It is really difficult to find an analogy of depression and be able to explain how it feels. Someone asked "what triggers depression," and truthfully, depression doesn't take a trigger to appear.
When you are depressed, it certainly doesn't mean you are always sad because sadness is like a kaleidoscope of emotions.
Depression is not like a light switch that can just be turned on and off. Unfortunately, depression could linger throughout your whole life or it could come in phases and bursts for periods of time.
It's like you have weights built into your arms and legs. They're heavy and make any basic activity feel like you're dragging around dumbbells that are too heavy to hold.
It's like you're black and white, and the rest of the world is in color. You are colorblind by everything that surrounds you.
It's like fog during the early morning sky, it never completely fades, but it is always present and blurs your vision.
It's like living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die.
It's being extremely tired, but not being able to fall asleep... or sleeping even when you aren't even tired.
It's like the waves of an ocean: one minute you see the pretty sand and shells, but soon, the tide will come and swallow all the beauty and drag it away from you.
It's like trying to run underwater. It's frustrating and annoying, and by the end, you haven't gone anywhere.
It's like being snowed in by an avalanche. You don't know which way is up, so you dig tirelessly in the wrong direction, and you are still snowed in.
It's like a prison without bars. You are trapped by an invisible force that is preventing your happiness.
It's when you stop loving the things you love.
It's feeling like you are in a large body of water without seeing the shoreline. Something tugs at your leg and you struggle to keep your head afloat.
It's like a cold. You feel run down and lethargic, your thoughts are congested and slow. Your symptoms cause you to focus more on yourself than you would normally, and you are very conscious of how you feel.
Doing anything you would normally takes more effort, and most of it isn't enjoyable. You want to just sleep.
Rather than a runny nose, you cry, you take medication, and sometimes, it makes you feel better, or at least alleviates some of your symptoms.
But, unlike a cold, depression won't "disappear" after 10 days.
While those are just some analogies of facing depression, everyone experiences different feelings and emotions with their struggles. It's always valuable to never compare depression to other ways you have experienced it or saw someone else go through it.
There is no "just make it stop," "there's nothing to be sad about" and "just get over it" because it's not easy at all. Telling someone who is depressed that they're fine and there's no reason to be so sad is similar to telling a person who has asthma to just breathe because they're surrounded by air.
You can be the most uplifting, positive, successful, happiest person and enjoy all the little things in life but still get depressed frequently.
It doesn't discriminate, it can hit anybody in life at any given period.
The thing about depression is that it can eat you alive. It stops you in your tracks some days, and it's hard to get going again. It's literally fighting against yourself, and that's the hardest battle you may ever fight. It's so draining.
It drains you before you realize it's happening, and once you get yourself back on track, things still feel like an endless struggle.
Unfortunately, while battling depression, there is nothing anyone can do to help you. At the end of the day, you are the only person in this life that can help your own healing. Every thought, every action and everything you decide to do: that is completely up to you.
Depression is not visible. People are good at hiding when they're depressed, but they certainly know themselves when they are. People will always have a chapter that they won't read out loud, and their depression might be that chapter.
Sometimes, the worst place you can be is in your own head.
Life isn't a walk in the park, and every day is a new day to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving along. Sometimes, you will realize you have an immense amount of strength to continue to move forward.
There is always hope... even when your brain tells you there isn't. Once you choose hope, anything is possible. Every day might not be good, but there is good in every day. Your happiness matters, and so do you.
This was the face of depression. Do I really look depressed in this photo back then? I don't, and that's why it is so crucial to understand that there's absolutely no image to depression. I was smiling, I looked absolutely fine, I continued to walk through life, but that smiling face was far below the water, and no matter how hard I tried, it took years to resurface the water to finally breathe.
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Use these resources to find help for you, a friend, or a family member.
- Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room.
-National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1800-273-8255)
-Crisis Text Line, text "HELLO" to 741741