According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people suffer from it globally, and many more go undiagnosed. Some suffer from mild depression, while others have what’s known as “clinical depression” which is the more permanent and severe cases. Depression can be caused by a number of factors, including job loss, family death, medications, and many other causes. It can last days, weeks, months, or even years depending on the person.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression my freshmen year of high school. I don’t know what the exact cause was, but a number of things happened in my life, and before I knew it, even just getting up in the morning was a daily struggle. Like a lot of people, I used to think depression wasn’t really a disorder, but more of just an emotion that you could shake off if you wanted to. Growing up I had a great childhood, and the thought of being even mildly depressed never really entered my mind. Whenever I would meet someone who was depressed, it’s not that I didn’t believe them, but I couldn’t fathom the feeling. How could someone be sad or numb all the time when life is full of happiness and joy?
Speaking from personal experience, I can say that you really can’t relate to depression unless you have gone through an episode or have been diagnosed as clinically depressed. The feelings that you get can be very overwhelming at times, to the point that personally, I’ve had to turn to medication and/or therapy to get my life back on track. I don’t think depression should be seen as a weakness, but more of an obstacle. People like myself who have been or are currently dealing with depression can do everything that happy people can do, we just struggle sometimes to find the motivation to do them, or we don’t get the same enjoyment that a normal person would.
Here are 5 confessions from someone who is depressed:
1. Please don’t say “Just cheer up.” While these are not in order, this might be the thing that helps people who are depressed the least. If it was just a matter of “cheering up,” we would do that. People spend thousands of dollars on depression-related treatments because it’s just not that simple. We want to feel happy again, but chemical imbalances and overwhelming thoughts cloud our brain to the point where we just can’t.
2. It’s very hard to describe the feeling. If you can try to imagine feeling nothing, while having zero motivation to do anything, that might begin to scratch the surface on what it feels like. It can feel like you are trapped in the cage of your own mind, but you know you have the key, you just can’t find it. People ask you what you are feeling, and you might have a different answer each time, because it can be hard to pinpoint.
3. Our sympathy and empathy can be skewed. A lot of times someone who is depressed struggles to connect with people, as they have a hard enough time trying to understand themselves. When I was depressed, it was hard to feel happy or sad for someone, because I was barely having any feeling at all to begin with.
4. Loneliness becomes comfortable. You may know someone who has been depressed, so to try and help them, you might of invited them out somewhere, or tried to get them out of the house. The problem with this is when you are depressed, you spend a lot of time alone and by yourself, which eventually becomes comfortable. What’s worse is sometimes when you do force yourself to go out and interact with people, you feel even more lonely because you realize no one really knows how your feeling, and they wouldn’t understand even if you told them.
5. We can be very good at hiding it. It is human nature to try and hide our flaws, and depression is no different. People who are depressed usually develop a shield that allows them to keep their depression a secret from other people. In today’s society, some people are masters at this, to the point where they can be depressed for years and no one has a clue.
Depression is something that almost everyone goes through, but not everyone recovers from. For a lot of us, it is constantly in the back of our minds, waiting to show itself in our most vulnerable or grieving moments. While many see it as a curse, I personally see it as a blessing. I can tell you from experience that when you are alone for long periods of time, you learn a lot about yourself, things that you may not have noticed before. I also have developed an intelligence about myself that I know when I’m just generally sad about something, or I know that what I’m feeling is the beginning of a depression-like episode. This “intelligence” helps me put things into perspective, which I think is the greatest gift depression has given me.
Author: Max Conroy
6 Replies to “5 Confessions From Someone Who’s Been Depressed”
Did you have a SHOCK that Freshman Year in High School? Was there bullying and abuse? Was there ANY type of shock, mild or severe…it is not always severe and extreme…little things can mount up… let me know… there is a technique that can help stop some things…maybe not the physiology…but certainly the Emotional…
First of all, I commend you for writing about a personal topic. It’s not always easy, but it definitely makes for genuine content that readers can emotionally connect to – which is very powerful.
I feel depression is a topic that everyone is aware of, but many of us don’t know how to talk about it because we don’t truly understand it. You hit on a lot of key points that I think represent the views of many on depression that help you bring the reader in to really get what you are saying. For instance, you include the notion that you once thought that depression seemed more like a shakeable emotion rather than a real disorder and that it’s not that you didn’t believe that someone was depressed but that you couldn’t fathom the feeling. I can relate personally to these thoughts on depression, and I think acknowledging that you once felt this was also helps you gain trust with your readers who haven’t experienced or don’t understand depression. It speaks to those who have and have not experienced depression effectively.
I really appreciate your post and want to thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject so that others can get a better understanding of depression. I also really appreciate your take on depression as a blessing in disguise. It takes a special person to see the best in seemingly negative situations, and I feel your post could benefit social acceptance of a wide variety of negatively viewed things. Your post has inspired me to see the best in everything and strive to gain a better understanding of everything around me.
Max – I can imagine it wasn’t easy sharing this post, but you did a great job & I really applaud you for writing about such a personal topic. And that’s what made it so great.. it was personal, heartfelt, and real. Many reading this can relate and just by sharing your story I know you helped someone in the same situation and gave them a little extra glimpse of hope and reassurance that they’re not alone– and that’s awesome! I really liked how you explained your two perspectives on depression; before you went through it and couldn’t relate to those that had, and then when you personally experienced it. I think this made it intriguing & relatable for almost all who read it. Again, really great job!
Max, Thank you for sharing this personal topic with us. This was great content and was written really well. I thank you for sharing this because honestly, depression is a topic I know of, but never really understood. It never really even scratched the surface when family or friends were diagnosed with depression and what it meant or how they felt. The way you explained it from both perspectives, before and after, made it relatable for those who have not been depressed before and those with mild to severe cases. Again, thank you for writing about this topic and sharing it with us.
Max, this piece was powerful. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I saw the title in our slack channel. Thank you for being vulnerable and shedding light on a subject that is so prominent, yet so stigmatized in society. With my personal experiences with my cousin passing away by suicide from battling with his depression for years, this piece hit home and allowed me to further understand just where he was at for so many years. For me, I always knew my cousin was sad at times, but given his personality and strong sense of contagious humor, I had know idea what he was truly going through. The way you described what it feels like took me there and deepened my understanding of the battle that so many people fight everyday. I have a close friend who is really having a hard time with their depression right now and this piece was really helpful to me with how to approach difference situations with them and gave me a valuable perspective to keep in mind. Thank you for writing this Max. I think opening up the dialogue is the first step in shattering the stigma.
Wow, all around great read. I know this can be a tough subject to share with the world, but I really think you shined some light on a real world struggle for many people. I suffer from anxiety and I am currently talking to my doctor about it. I have been wanting to go in for years, but the anxiety of sharing something so touchy made me even more anxious. I had a breaking point this year where I just couldn’t handle it, so I went in. I just tried my first month of anti-depressants – I guess depression and anxiety are very similar. After my first month I found them helpful, however I think my situation is more situational – therefor pertaining more to the anxiety part of it. Now that you know a little background on me, I wanted to tell you that you really inspired me by sharing this blog post with the world. I waited years to even talk with my doctor about my anxiety, even with my mom telling me it’s something I need to take care of. I really like that you put yourself out there, in what I would imagine to be a very uncomfortable place, and shared your story. Your blog has inspired not only others with depression, but also me who is very nervous about sharing my story. Thank you again for shedding light on a tough subject for many people. Depression and anxiety are real disorders and I think you turned a constraint into a positive for yourself. Really, really great read…Thank you for sharing!
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