Depression Isn’t Just Sadness

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“I felt pretty down too once.”

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If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this… People may mean well in saying this, but it’s hard to describe or imagine depression if you don’t have it yourself. Depression is multi-faceted and complicated and is a lot more than just “sadness” or “feeling down.” Whether you want to become more understanding about depression, or you think you may have it yourself, here’s some insight into what depression can mean for those who have it:

Depression Is Guilt

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For me, my depression predominantly presents itself with the emotion of guilt. I can be very hard on myself, and beat myself up about situations where I did something wrong. These can be things that someone actually told me I did wrong, or situations that I’ve made up in my head. Here’s a simple example – feeling guilty the whole way to the restaurant for running late, only to find that I am the first one there, and I had put the wrong time in my phone – I’m actually early. All emotions have a practical function, and guilt’s is to push you to make amends. But the guilt depression gives you is warped and unwarranted.

Depression Is Exhaustion

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Depression messes with the chemicals in your head, and when chemicals are out of balance in your head, your sleep can really get thrown off. You may suddenly find yourself turned nocturnal – only tired during the day, and wide awake at night. Or, you may be able to fall asleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night, or early in the morning before your alarm goes off. If you have a set schedule during the day, you don’t have the opportunity to make up sleep. The insomnia can completely drain your energy.

Depression is Daydreaming

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Depression is inattentiveness. It’s finding it hard to focus on the normal things, like work, class, watching TV or holding a conversation. With depression, your mind often wonders off – it wonders to past times, over what could have been, what could happen in the future… your mind is anywhere but the present.

Depression is Anger

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Depression is getting aggitated at the slightest inconvenience. It’s snapping at a friend or coworker. It’s slamming your horn at the driver in front of you. It’s a dirty look at a person who bumped into you while walking. With depression, emotions can go from zero to to 60 in seconds, and anger is the one that is most easily identifiable.

Depression is Apathy

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Depression is the lack of feelings. It’s the joy that’s missing when you go to your restaurant that you’ve always loved. It’s the tears that don’t fall anymore when you watch your favorite true crime show. It’s the excitement you lack when getting ready for plans with one of your best friends. Emotions play a big part in depression, but the condition can also present itself as feelings that are missing from where they used to be felt.

What else does depression feel like to you or to a loved one? Let me know!

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