An Open Letter: What Depression Feels Like

An Open Letter: What Depression Feels Like

Putting words to a feeling

What is depression? Depression is feelings of severe despondency and dejection. I had been diagnosed with depression a couple years ago but it has been there what feels like forever. But here is what it actually feels like.

1) Some days it's like a small fire fly and other days it's a giant bear hanging over you.

2) It's wanting to stay in bed all day and face the world.

3) It's faking a smile because you don't want others to know how you feel.

4) It is a loss in interests like sports and hobbies.

5) Losing friends and family because you push them away.

6) It's like drowning but your not able to die.

7) It's fighting a battle but the enemy is invisible.

8) It's like giving directions in French but to someone who speaks English.

9) Depression is like a gremlin in a box. It messed around with my head for a long while, he made me think I was crazy, changed my thoughts and feelings, no-one could see he was there. Then somehow, i managed to put it in a box.

10) It's a dementor sucking the life out of you.

I always get asked what are you feeling and it's all like a variation of it all. On the low days it sucks because you try and try but nothing seems to work. There are ways to cope and make the days easier and actually happy I managed to get the help I need to get be though the dark cave to see the light.

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How We Have Stereotyped Depression

Not everyone who has depression is going to act the exact same way.


I have struggled with depression for a number of years now, probably since I was in middle school. And my close friends are aware that this is something I deal with.

But I've noticed that whenever I mention this to people, most are surprised. Especially if it's people that I don't talk to every day or spend time with.

They always say something along the lines of, "but you're always laughing and making jokes" or "but you're such a bubbly person". They always tell me I don't seem like "the kind of person to be depressed". For a while, I took that as a compliment. I was glad people didn't assume I was depressed.

But eventually, I realized people say that because they have this image in their mind of what someone who is depressed is supposed to look or act like. That because I didn't walk around frowning everywhere I went or was this awfully negative person, that I was always happy.

When in reality, that's not it. I'm not always laughing and making jokes. I'm not always such a bubbly person. But how I, or anyone, may look on the outside doesn't always match how I'm feeling on the inside. It just means I've learned how to function with it.

A lot of the cause of this stereotype on depression stems from social media. I know most people can recall seeing at least one or two pages on Instagram of those "emo" accounts that always post about being depressed, how much they love heavy metal or screamo bands and wear a lot of blacks.

If it's not that stereotype, it's the one where people who are depressed never talk to people, isolate themselves, and always have a mentality of "the glass is half empty".

And while people like this just might be depressed, we can't assume that's how everyone is. So just because someone is smiling on the outside, doesn't mean they don't battle with inner demons.

When it comes to mental illness, as well as many other things, there's no one way to deal with it. And everyone expresses themselves in their own way. Something society needs to keep in mind is that you can never truly know what people are going through by how they present themselves.

It's what happens inside and behind the mask.

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