What Depression Feels Like

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What does depression feel like?

what depression feels like

Do you know? Or have you wondered?

Depression feels like walking through a thick fog. Completely unaware of your to-do list – what you should be doing, where you should be. Everything is blurred around the edges and it’s hard to grasp onto something solid. Time passes quickly, nothing gets done, and you feel useless at the end of the day.

Depression feels like wanting nothing more than to go back to bed, hide under the safety of the covers and sleep the day (or days away). It is exhausting from head to toe and sleep seems like the only way out (though it never is, and you never feel well rested).

Depression feels like wanting to run away. To be alone in a safe, dark, quiet place to just sob or scream or sit with your thoughts.

Depression feels disappointing, especially when it resurfaces again (and again) after you had fought it off. You do all the right things, and it still sometimes creeps back in, placing you back on square one.

Depression feels like being a complete fraud. Putting on a happy face in front of friends and family, or online, so nobody will know how broken you feel inside. Your worst fear is someone asking “what’s wrong?” or “are you okay?” because of the flood of sadness the innocent question might initiate.

Depression feels like being a big fat liar. Rescheduling an appointment or a meeting at the last minute, only because you can’t face the world that day. You don’t have the courage to simply say “I’m depressed” so instead you make up a “better” story.

Depression feels like not being able to get up off the couch. No matter how badly you want to, you sink deeper into the cushions and can’t will your body upward.

Depression feels like you are stupid. Trying to explain depression to someone who has never experienced it, even if they are your spouse or best friend, makes all the words coming out of your mouth seem insignificant and dumb.

Depression feels like letting people down. You can’t be fully present in your relationships or give people as much as they are giving you.

Depression feels like being cheated. Cheated out of living life. Seeing others move forward with their lives and their successes when you feel paralyzed and stuck. Seeing a beautiful day outside your window, while depression keeps you from enjoying it.

Depression feels like all, some, or none of these things. Depression feels different for everyone.

I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. Actually, scratch that. I don’t like the term “suffered.” I have dealt with perhaps? Managed? It is a struggle at times, but I have learned many coping skills over the years. I’m in the midst of a struggle right now, but will work my way through it. 

Symptoms of depression in women include feeling empty or hopeless, losing interest in things you previously loved, excessive crying and sleeping too much or too little. Read more about depression in women at WebMD.

If you are suffering, you are not alone. I am here to support you, but I also strongly encourage the use of therapy as an excellent coping tool. You can find a therapist by searching the listings at Psychology Today, asking your regular doctor, or contacting your health insurance provider. 

Have you ever experienced depression?

what depression feels like

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43 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this because it needs to be shared and people need to know depression is a very physical thing. It can feel like a giant hand is pushing on you, keepinf your shoulders hunched and head low, keeping you from being able to get up off that couch. It is way more than just feeling sad.
    Julie S @ Fab Working Mom Life recently posted…Transition from Infant to ToddlerMy Profile

    • Yes! It is so much deeper than being sad. Some depressed people feel mad or irritable instead. Thanks for reading Julie!

  2. Depression is one of those things that you can never truly understand unless you experience it firsthand. This look into it is very enlightening, though. Sending you big hugs! 🙂
    Samantha @ Momma Wants Java recently posted…Coffee Brown Sugar ScrubMy Profile

  3. I’ve managed depression my whole. It’s not easy. I hate the fear the looms over my head worrying about if and when it will resurface. You are so right depression makes you feel stupid. When I try to talk to my husband or someone else they look at me puzzled. Since I’m a stay at home mom, I shouldn’t have depression. I send positive thoughts and prayers your way and hope this passes soon for you.
    Healing Mama recently posted…Having the Perfect Baby ShowerMy Profile

  4. This is a great article. Actually, it’s one of the best I’ve read in a long time. I have always wondered exactly what it felt like to be depressed and wondered if I am depressed sometimes. I have fibromyalgia and this article describes me 95% of the time.

  5. Depression is a real decease and everyone that suffers from it, should seek professional help. The problem is that most of the times the persons feels embarrassed to admit the problem, and never reaches out. It is important to reach out to them if we see anyone that shows any of the symptoms. Great post!

    • Thanks Jacky! You’re right that there is a feeling of embarrassment, and asking for (or admitting to needing) help is really hard!!

  6. I understand anxiety very well, but depression is such a foreign concept to me. I really wonder if some personality types are sort of immune to it? I do try to be compassionate to my friends who struggle with depression, but I think they can tell that I truly don’t “get it”. I don’t know if someone can fully understand it if you’ve never been there and probably never will be. But you can always be kind and I at least try to be that.
    Adrian G recently posted…Family Fun Friday #1 – Beautiful and Functional HomeMy Profile

    • It really is so hard to explain to someone who has never felt it. I’m sure your kindness and compassion makes a world of difference to your loved ones Adrian. <3

  7. Such a brave post Erin! I’m sure many people who have experienced or are currently experiencing depression can relate and gain comfort from reading your words and knowing they are not alone.
    Nicole @ The Professional Mom Project recently posted…Low iodine diet friendly vegan gluten free muffinsMy Profile

    • Thanks for the sweet comment Nicole! I didn’t feel brave writing it – I just felt I needed to get it out! I hope it does help someone. <3

  8. The first step in dealing with depression is awareness. I enjoyed reading how depression feels different for everyone. You can’t simply go down a list of symptoms to determine whether you,re depressed or not. Great article.
    Tanya @ Motherly Adventures recently posted…A Look Back On My Maternity LeaveMy Profile

  9. “Depression feels disappointing, especially when it resurfaces again (and again) after you had fought it off. You do all the right things, and it still sometimes creeps back in, placing you back on square one.”

    I can SO relate to this. This is exactly how I feel about my anxiety and depression!
    Jen @ Frugal Millennial recently posted…Why I’m Breaking My Three Year Spending BanMy Profile

    • I’m sorry you have experienced this too Jen! I also have anxiety. It’s frustrating when it crops back up, but I’m really learning to be gentle with myself <3

  10. This has really is a post I can relate to. I’ve suffered from deep depression and anxiety ever since I can remember. I’ve tried many things to help with this but nothing really seems to have an impact (apart from medication). Id love to hear how you, Erin, and anyone else have managed it? Thanks <3

    • Hi Meg! ❤️ I have coped through several different methods through the years – and usually multiple ones at once! I have used medication, I have also benefited from regularly attending therapy. I find journaling helps, as well as trying really hard to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

  11. I am coping with a family member who has recently started experiencing depression. It has been a really hard time for them and the rest of our family. We are working at patience, forgiveness, and acceptance, but it is possibly one of the hardest things to watch let alone feel, I’m certain.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that Jessica. I would maybe try asking “what do you need me to do?” and see if your loved one has any ideas for you. It’s so different for everyone and you sound like you are already being so loving and compassionate. ❤️

  12. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Depression is so difficult for others to understand, and as you pointed out, so different for everyone. Hugs!

  13. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Depression is so difficult for so many. It’s a real problem that causes heartbreak for the whole family.
    Cristine recently posted…School year ends, new opportunities on the horizonMy Profile

  14. Yes, I’ve dealt with it after the birth of my kids. I never thought about it much until it happened to me and it is definitely a struggle.

  15. yes I have dealt with it as I had postpartum years ago and never knew it until after the fact when another traumatic event brought it back to life. It sucks and I try my best to cope but can’t afford to see anyone as we have no insurance. Praying gets me through it =)

    • I’m glad you have found some relief through prayer Laura. <3 We all have to find what works best for us and our individual circumstances. Sending you big hugs!

  16. The insight is helpful. It is good to understand more about something that really isn’t uncommon!

  17. I have never had to deal with depression within myself, but I have seen it in those I love. It’s a heartbreaking illness that really does effect everyone around them and so easy to get lost in.
    Crystal recently posted…Chocolate Protein Packed Yogurt TrufflesMy Profile

    • You’re so right about the “easy to get lost in” part Crystal. That’s really insightful from someone who hasn’t experienced it themselves. Thanks for being so compassionate!

  18. Thank you for sharing this! I love how you’ve really spelled it all out. And, interestingly, the thing that resonated with me the most was your skepticism of using the word “suffering” when discussing your dealings with depression and anxiety. I recently wrote about my own experience with anxiety and depression, and every time I wrote or started to write “struggle,” I tried to find a different way to say it. It just didn’t really feel like the right word. It’s so interesting that you feel the same way!!

    • That really is interesting Catherine that we both are kind of turned off by words like struggle and suffer! I’m glad you enjoyed reading this, thank you for taking the time to comment. <3

  19. What a great article! Depression usually is silent and can affect each person differently. I liked the “big fat liar” part I chuckled a little only because I cab relate. 😉

  20. Thank you for expressing what I couldn’t put into words…
    sacha recently posted…5 amazing self-acceptance quotesMy Profile

  21. Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

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