9 Things Only People with Depression Can Truly Understand

9 Things Only People with Depression Can Truly Understand

Dealing with Depression

Have you ever gone through depression? Are you in that situation right now? Or, do you know someone who is fighting depression? It is difficult to know what depression is like if you’ve never gone through it before. And, trying to help a friend find a way out of this state of mind can be tough if you don’t know what you are dealing with.

Depression is an illness that affects you mentally, physically and emotionally. It can even go as far as wrecking your career, professional and personal relationships. It can affect just about any one. In some cases it is easy to see in others it is much harder. Not every depressed person may look broken and completely aloof. Some people may only pretend to be fine in the company of others, but on the inside, they suffer from the brutal effects of depression. Going through depression is life altering, definitely exhausting and even deadly sometimes.

1. Positivity Only Gets You Down

Is the glass really half full or half empty? A person suffering from depression, can never relate to positivity. For him the glass will always be half empty! Positivity to a normal person seems like a completely normal thing, but a depressed person feels everything but normal. Telling them to cheer up, look at the brighter side of things, everything happens for a reason or even that the glass is half full, you are doing more damage than good. They feel like your positivity is forcing them into being something they aren’t which, in turn, would only upset them or cause them to feel frustrated.

If simply throwing catch phrases at your friends and family was the solution to depression, this illness wouldn’t be so serious. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you need to be harsh and negative. Just try to dial down the positivity and be more encouraging and supportive in your approach to calm your depressed friend or family.

2. Simple Things Take Longer Than They Should

We all have certain responsibilities or work we need to do irrespective of the causes of depression. These tasks may be as simple as making dinner or helping your kids out with their homework. Every little task seems challenging and difficult to focus on. It’s like everything you need to do takes more time and energy than necessary. This makes you feel overwhelmed, stressed out and facing anxiety attacks when it comes to doing long tasks.

Those diagnosed with depression say that doing simple tasks takes a lot of concentration and energy. So much that it makes them feel abnormal and frustrated. Sometimes, it forces them into giving up all together.

3. Depression is Continually Confused With Sadness

Depression is continually confused with sadness

People often use the words depressed and sad interchangeably. However, the two don’t mean the same. Sure the thoughts and emotions caused by depression may evoke sadness and the two are interlinked in some cases. But most people do not feel anything at all during their depression. If you consider certain causes of depression, like the loss of a loved one or a tragic accident that took a devastating toll on you, the feeling of sadness will slowly disappear until you feel nothing at all.

How to fight depression will come from how well you understand it. You need to know that it is a mental illness and not entirely related to feelings. If you restrict it to just emotions, you will fail to understand it completely and presume it to be an unrealistic state of mind, which will prevent you from getting better or helping someone else get out of depression.

4. Depression Causes Physical Pain

Did you know back pain, headaches, stomachaches, pain in your limbs and joints are all symptoms of depression? The mental and emotional turmoil is obvious, but the physical pain is often neglected by friends and family, because they believe it is imaginary. Some people dealing with depression may only show signs of physical pain, states Mayo Clinic. Often pain and depression go hand in hand because injuries and accidents bring on this mental illness. But it can bring you pain too, making you feel more depressed.

5. You’re tired all the time

Fatigue is a side effect of depression. Since depression affects you from all sides – physically, mentally and emotionally, it drains you of all your energy, making you feel exhausted and sleepy all the time. The moment you wake up, you feel the challenge of the day and want to quit while you’re ahead because you’re already so tired. This is why people with depression, sleep longer and feel fatigued during the day. Emotional turmoil is a lot more exhausting than physical work and can impact your energy levels, which, in turn, will affect your mood, making you feel low. And the cycle goes on!

6. Everyone Experiences it Differently

It’s difficult to treat depression because of this very reason. Every person suffering from depression doesn’t experience the same symptoms and neither are their causes of depression the same. So, there isn’t a simple standard procedure or medication that will cure depression. Some people need either medication or therapy, others will need both in order to get cured. Leave the treatment to a professional, but you can still be of help. The best way you can help is by being empathetic to the person and his situation.

7. You Can’t Just Get Over It

Tough love won’t get a person to snap out of depression. Those around you may have absolutely no idea about what you’re going through. This may cause them to do or say the wrong things, which will then make you feel irritated, frustrated, angry and/or stressed. Support is vital for those facing depression, but pushing too hard won’t work. On the contrary, pushing may only add fuel to the fire. Depression is a complex condition. It takes time, patience and a lot of support to overcome this mental ailment.

8. It’s Difficult to Talk About

Confusion, fear and embarrassment make it very difficult to talk to others about what it is you’re experiencing and how it is affecting your day-to-day life and work. Not everyone understands this illness and so they consider it to be nothing but imagination. You will often hear others say it is all in your head. This can cause you to become upset or more depressed. You can’t hide it forever though. So, if you feel like your friends and family don’t get it, talk to a professional counsellor.

9. Things Aren’t Fun Anymore

Things aren’t fun anymore

Depression can dramatically affect your lifestyle. Simple things like hanging out with friends, being intimate with your partner or participating in activities, which you used to enjoy are no longer fun and exciting. You see them as dull and unexciting. If someone displays this kind of sudden change, in reaction to the things they once loved doing, it is important to be supportive and open minded.

Every day is a challenge for those with depression and helping someone you love cope means you need to see things the way they do. With this list of nine things depressed people experience, you will be able to identify the symptoms of depression.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad