What It Is like to Live a Life with Depression
Editor's Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health, suicide or substance use crisis or emotional distress, reach out 24/7 to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) by dialing or texting 988 or using chat services at suicidepreventionlifeline.org to connect to a trained crisis counselor. You can also get crisis text support via the Crisis Text Line by texting NAMI to 741741.
Constant fear of disappointment.
Have you ever felt like you are drowning, while everyone around you is breathing? You are trapped and held captive by the thoughts running through your head. Your body is being dragged down, down, down...into a place of darkness, coldness, and silence. Much like the ocean, and it is choking you. You are trying your hardest to keep afloat, but your mind will not let you. It has utter control over you.
You look at the mirror before you and do not recognize the person that is looking back at you. You see dark circles under your bloodshot eyes and notice you have lost all color to your face. You want to crawl back into bed and not face the day ahead of you...hoping tomorrow will be better. But, you can't. So you plaster a smile on your face and wipe your tear-stained cheeks, dragging yourself throughout the day...counting down the hours until you can lie down and escape the world again.
You're exhausted. So exhausted. It is a permanent feeling of being exhausted that no amount of sleep could ever fix. And the only thing making you more exhausted is pretending that you are okay. You feel so alone. You could have so many people in your life that care about you, yet you feel as if you have no one. Some people around you may notice that something is different about you and ask you "Are you okay?". Every single time you lie to them and say that you are doing fine, and you just die a little more on the inside.
You have the constant fear of being a disappointment to your family, friends, teachers, coaches, and boss. Yet, you have no desire to make any sorts of effort to do anything. You have the feeling of wanting to be alone, but hate feeling lonely. You experience all these feelings at once, yet you are completely numb.
You want to be happy, but you don't even know what that feeling is like anymore. You want to feel hope in that you will find your way back to your true self again. You want to have control over your mind and it not have control over you. You want to win the fight with the constant battle in your head.
"That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key." Elizabeth Wurtzel
Many people may not know how to help someone that has depression or may be concerned someone they know is depressed. The link attached below is a good start to understanding depression in a friend or family member, the symptoms one may recognize, how to talk to someone about depression, what one should avoid saying to someone who may be depressed, what one should do in a crisis situation, how to encourage someone to get help, how to support them through their treatment, and also knowing how to take care of yourself.
If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the U.S.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio 1-888-628-9454
Options for Deaf + Hard of Hearing 1-800-799-4889
Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255
Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990