Talking Openly About Mental Health
I’m comfortable talking openly about my battle with mental health but it’s not always been that way. At first, I didn’t accept it and when I eventually did, I couldn’t describe it. I know that there are lots of others who feel the same way. Some, including myself at times, have a fear that others will judge us, treat us differently, even close friends and family, which can increase the stigma of mental illness. But I am beyond caring what people think of me, that’s their problem, not mine.
I am (still) writing my book “Burnout, Breakdown, Get Better” which will feature my story with mental illness and how I found a way back from the darkest of places. The book’s purpose is to help people avoid the mistakes which led to my breakdown, help support anyone affected by depression & anxiety and to share some insights on how I deal with the illness and live a happier, healthier life.
One issue I have really struggled with at times is the ability to explain to people what depression feels like. I say “feels like” because I’m not sure exactly what is actually IS. I am sure though that depression is different for everyone who has it. The best I can do is say what it feels like – to me. However, I do hope to share how others describe their experiences too, only if I’m allowed.
- Those with depression may be able to understand and articulate better what depression is – to them,
- Those who have someone in their life with depression may understand it better,
- Those who think that depression is a fictitious illness, an excuse for laziness and it’s easy to “snap out of it” might hopefully think again.
I understand that others with depression will have different descriptions, symptoms, experiences and feel differently so if you have a different definition I’d love to hear that too. You can keep these anonymous if you like or can credit you. Feel free to share yours.
Below are phrases and analogies of mine in no particular order.They are from medical professionals or academics but an attempt by me to explain how I feel.
Writing this post has brought back my feelings of depression, I have temporarily been reliving that state of mind and my mood has dropped very quickly. This may the reason why it’s me taking so long for me to write the book. So, whilst this may take a few minutes reading it has taken me a long time to write this. I do hope it helps……
What Is Depression …
..to me and in no particular order;
Depression is like trying to run through deep mud.
Depression feels like gravity is too heavy, everything is too difficult.
Depression takes my ability to make even a simple decision.
Depression feels like I have no mental or physical energy, even after long sleep and rest.
Depression just won’t go despite not having anything to feel low about and taking care of myself.
Depression makes me feel useless, dead inside and the world would be better without me.
Depression is like an external force takes all positivity from me, like Kryptonite for Superman.
Being depressed is not a choice why would anyone choose to feel lifeless?
Having depression is debilitating.
Although a mental illness, depression is also a physical one, you can’t quite find the source of the pain. The complex balance of chemicals in the brain become unbalanced sometimes temporarily, sometimes forever.
Depression can be all consuming and affects all aspects of life.
Being depressed brings the feeling of guilt, more anxiety, paranoia, anger, rage, helplessness, hopelessness, delusions and psychosis. These feelings increase the symptoms of depression and can be a vicious circle.
Depression feels like a thick fog, it surrounds me. You know there is light out there but you just can’t find it.
When depressed I forget what feeling good or even normal is like.
The pain of depression hurts so much but no x-ray will find it.
Depression is like being under a permanent raincloud
Depression is feeling alone and isolated
I will add more descriptions to this list periodically if requested.
Did any of these resonate with you?
How would you describe depression?
All I ask is; please look after yourself and others!