Depression isn’t something easily explained. It consumes you. Swallows you whole. Things that once mattered, don’t. Things that once made you happy, don’t. You don’t just wake up one day and know you’re depressed, either. Progressively you’ll develop the undeniable urge to stay in bed. You’ll wake up and the only thing you look forward to is going back to sleep. Or maybe you can’t sleep. You can’t do much of anything. You don’t want to do anything. You enjoy nothing. Why bother?
The worst part of depression isn’t how you feel. It’s not the emptiness, the sadness, the numbness. It’s the loneliness. And it’s not lonely because you’re alone. It’s lonely because no one understands. No matter how much you try to explain to someone how you feel, no matter how much they think they “get it”, they don’t. They’ll get frustrated. They’ll ask why you never want to get out of the house. Why you’re never happy.
This is significantly worse if you live with someone or have a partner. The attention that should be focused on you inadvertently gets turned to them. They feel like they aren’t good enough, that nothing they do makes you happy, that your mood swings are making them miserable. Why are you never happy? They try so hard to make you happy, you ought to be happy.
It doesn’t work like that. Yes, this is coming from me–the girl who has a seemingly “great life” in the eyes of society. You can have a house, kids, family, money, pets, hobbies, career, degree, etc. and still feel empty when you’ve been struck with depression. Nothing in this life can fill the void that depression creates. Nothing can make you happy. If something does happen to make you happy, it’s fleeting. The happiness is temporary, and the negative thoughts slowly but surely come surging back in. And they’re unstoppable.
Depression isn’t always what it seems. Depression is waking up every morning wanting to go back to sleep. Depression is staying up until the sun comes up because your thoughts have taken over. Depression is smiling and laughing in social situations, not because you’re happy or because something’s funny, but to appease the people around you. To make them believe that you’re okay. Depression is convincing other people you’re okay when you can’t even convince yourself. Depression is so desperately wanting to enjoy life, but no matter how hard you try, you just can’t. Depression is eating everything in the fridge in two hours. Depression is feeling so sick to your stomach that you can’t eat for two days. Depression consumes your life. You can’t explain it, you can’t fix it, you can’t understand it, and you can’t get rid of it. Depression takes over your body, mind, and soul. And once depression takes over, it takes over everything, and leaves you with nothing.
Be aware. Know the signs and symptoms of depression. Seek help. Suicide is never the answer. It does get better. There are always resources. Don’t fall victim to depression. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, even if all you can see right now is darkness.