How Depression May Affect Your Life 256


Image: Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton

Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton

    • Your place is a mess; laundry and dishes are piled up, mail is unopened, etc. (Assuming you usually stay on top of these things).
    • You’ve been making excuses to friends why you can’t get together with them, or you’re telling them you’re “just too tired.”
    • You’ve really let yourself go – you’re wearing clothes that make you look dumpy, you’ve stopped exercising, you’re not shaving unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  • You’re wearing mostly dark colors.
  • You’re putting off things that need to be done: your car registration, taking that book back to the library, buying a birthday present for someone.
  • You can’t remember the last time you laughed a real laugh.
  • You don’t feel like you can handle your job anymore, even though nothing has changed so far as increased workload or responsibility.
  • You’re drinking or using drugs to escape the pain.
  • You’ve been to the doctor a lot recently, for things like headaches, stomach aches, fatigue, but the doctor can’t find anything wrong. Or you have convinced yourself you have a life-threatening illness – AIDS or cancer or a tumor.
  • You wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep. During the day you sleep a lot to escape from your life.
  • It takes you a whole weekend to do chores that used to only occupy a morning.
  • Since you’ve lost interest in things you used to enjoy doing, you try a lot of different activities in the hopes that you can find something to occupy your time.
  • You have no ability to imagine or conceive of your life even a few days ahead – no plans, no hopes. You can’t even be sure you’ll still be here.
  • You wear the same clothes a few days in a row – choosing new ones is too much effort.
  • You lose things, you lose track of things and can’t always remember what day it is.
  • You’ve pretty much stopped eating, or caring what you eat and whether it tastes good.
  • On the flip side, you may be eating all the time because you’re bored and hope that food will somehow satisfy the vacant feeling you have.
  • You’ve lost interest in sex or even physical affection. Hugging someone doesn’t feel any different from leaning against a wall.
  • You’re reading escapist books (fantasy, sci-fi, romance, mystery) with little effort, but anything more demanding mentally (the classics, reading for school) is too much effort.
  • You’re avoiding talking to anyone to whom you have an obligation (your boss, friends who you’re ignoring).
  • You’re watching TV constantly – lying on the couch or on/in your bed flicking the remote seems to be the most effort you can deal with.
  • You hope you don’t run into anyone you know while you’re out. Not only is maintaining a normal conversation difficult, but you are sure they’ll notice something is wrong with you.

I hope these examples help to clarify things. Also see Reflections on Depression.


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256 thoughts on “How Depression May Affect Your Life

  • emma

    every thing on the list relates to me, i have no friends, the ones i do have i avoid meeting.. I rarely go out, i hate seeing positive old school friends who are in uni and driving and living in there own houses, just makes me feel much worse, i dont work have no motivation to find work, dont get up b4 1pm most days and cant sleep at night.. I have no motivation, nothing to look forward to, nothing no plans, how depressing! Hope we all feel better soon! Xx

  • Danny

    A few months ago I became what could be called enlightened where you basically unlock your mind at first I felt on top of the world it was amazing but the more and more I thought into things I couldnt think what actualy makes me happy not properly happy somethings are just slightly satisfying and eventually it just led to the thought that if nothing makes me happy what’s the point! I’ve been avoiding labeling myself as depressed even tho I clearly am I used to be way happier than most people and I still help other people and my friends love me which is probably what irritates me about them I wish I could be selfish but I’m just too nice. I’m trying to channel all this into creativity it’s just hard to focus on things but I want to ask this one thing to you all do you feel for more intelligent compared to everyone else and unapreashated because of it? X

  • deadinside

    i feel i have been somewhat depressed for about a year now but now its really bad that my longtime “friends” started a horrible rumor about me and constantly talk about me behind my back the only thing that has kept me alive is my family. much love to everyone seek hope

  • Amy

    im 18 and A couple of months ago I found out that my aunt is my biological mom.i was living with her and then moved in with my dad cause it didn’t seem right at my aunts house. Ever since then I eat all the time even tho I’m full I just keep eating. I don’t want to do anything anymore. It’s a huge task just to get a shower. I cry all the time but when people are around I hold it back so they think nothing is wrong. I don’t go anywhere. I just Sit at home and watch tv or I’m on the computer. I can’t sleep at night. I’ll stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning fall asleep and don’t get up till around 3 in the afternoon. They want to help me but I just brush it off cause i don’t want to think something wrong. I just want my life the way it was…normal. I miss my friends and being happy. Does this mean I’m depressd?

  • Bill

    I feel inferior to everyone. I get weird perverted thoughts. I
    trust n.o one and think I am in the devils world. all my friends are
    dead and I want to be with them. I have no feelings, I observe my
    world but feel nothing. When my mother tells me that she loves me; i do
    not believe her. love for me is only a word; I can never feel it. My
    intellect can state all I should be thankful about and be thankful.. but
    I cannot feel glad or happy I know death will come but why wait??

  • Ellen

    If you feel this way, get help..Don’t wait.
    I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Even when I got suicidal I didn’t
    really feel it was wrong..Well, I attempted suicide and it was wrong for
    me to do it..and no one who was home tried to get help when it was
    discovered..I have the liver failure now to show for it..and guess what,
    i would have been better off if I had read the above..I did everything
    there and more. Whatever you do, don’t expect anyone to help you at all
    or even realize that you need help..They won’t. My family didn’t do
    anything at all except complain..and this was not a routine or normal
    way for me to live—this hit in 8 months..I’m still depressed and unable
    to take medications due to the damage..Please get help for
    yourself—don’t let your life slip away…

  • tony

    i am so utterly alone and empty, depressed isnt really the right
    word to describe me . i am 38 yrs old. i dont have a job and i havent
    had one in over 8 yrs. i have no friends and i live with my parents. i
    have never had a relationship with a woman, i have only had sex 3 times.
    and not at all in 17 yrs. i cant describe the emptiness and
    hopelessness i constantly feel. can somebody please help me? ive been
    like this for so long, so much pain, please help me.

    • viv

      By reading all these postings it shows You Are Not Alone! First step, go to see your doctor and explain to them exactly how you feel. If you can’t talk to them about it, write them a note and hand it to them. You are equal to every human on the planet.

    • Kim

      Can you get yourself to your doctors, can you talk to your parents about things or ask one of them to make a doctors appointment for you. You might find it one of the hardest things to do at the moment, but try to summon every bit of your strength to do it, as it’s the first step to getting help and be honest with your doctor and tell them everything you have just said. You deserve a better life!

  • This Person

    The worst thing for me is reading this list of symptoms, finding
    that it corresponds with my life, and not knowing whether it is just my
    subconscious trying to convince me that I’m depressed when I’m not. I’m
    afraid that others won’t take me seriously and will only see me as an
    attention-seeker. I can’t tell anyone.

  • Beth

    I am comforted, to some degree, knowing others feel this way too. I
    also feel so low, so desparate. I am normally a very positive person
    and continue to put on this front around others. This seems to make it
    all the worse when I am alone because I feel like I am a fraud. I am
    also waking up to a deep “ache” in my gut that just wont go away. And I
    have no appetite. Have lost 35 pounds in four months. Ordinarily I
    would have been thrilled to loose this weight. I gained this weight from
    stress at work. But, for some reason I just don’t care.

  • Carmen

    I dont know how to say this sametimes u cant explain how u feel its
    not a nice feeling just feeling down sad and want to cry how can u let
    go help me please cant take it

  • JAD

    I think I have depression. I’ve looked it up and I have more than
    half of the symptoms. I am a fourteen year old girl and I have no one to
    talk to about this. I can’t even ask my mom for a counselor. I think
    about suicide often. I drink anytime I get the chance because it’s my
    escape. I read books so I can escape reality and put myself in the
    characters position. I always go for walks and go as far from home as I
    can and don’t come back for hours… no one notices. I do this because I
    heard a quote once… “some times you have to run away just to see who
    cares enough to come after you.” …but no one ever does. I do think this
    world would be better without me. All I ever do is hurt other people in
    some way. I need help but I don’t know where to find it.

  • ellis little

    i think i may have it but theres no way i could or would allow
    myself to let this win, my advice is to just stand up and fight back
    when it attacks and never give up………..ever

  • Maggie

    I dont want to tell my parents I’m depressed but I need help. I know
    it will turn into a fight like everything else does. I just dont want
    to deal with that, but I want to go to therapy or get medication or
    something to make the numb go away.

  • luis

    i think depression is the worst thing you can have..people dont
    understand what the pain is like they just say laugh and it goes
    away.when you have a depression you just want to be like before u dont
    evan remeber how it used to be when you were normal.

    • chantelle

      I feel like I’ve constantly got some think wrong with me. I’m always tired can’t do anythink n I’ve been on citapram I was on them for 8months just recently come off them cause I thought they was giving me headaches I just don’t know what more to do

      • Carrie

        Chantelle I have been taken off citalopram 40mg for one month now, I was on them 9 years. I was wondering if you can relate to any of this….. I can’t be away from my parents as I’m frightened, I can’t bath or shower it takes too much effort, I can’t tidy my room or make conversation, I am terrified of life. I’m in constant pain

  • Not Important

    Why did my deepest depression hit while I was in college? The one
    chance I have been giving to succeed is being washed down the drain
    because I can’t make myself care about anything. On top of my failing
    grades and horrible outlook, I have no money, and consequently no dates,
    I wear the same 2 shirts and same pair of jeans every day…I just don’t
    care (having barely enough money to eat on helps). Even if someone did
    love me, I can’t provide a stable enough partnership. I am doomed to die
    alone, bitter and unsatisfied. No matter where my life leads me, I feel
    like I’ll never escape this mindset. The isolation is maddening.

    • Sarah

      I’m the same I don’t know if I’m depressed because half of those things I haven’t done but half of them I have and I just feel different and I’m failing my coursework and I don’t even care yet I want to get into uni, and I’ve been trying to cry because I’m feeling so down but I just can’t and it gets really frustrating and I keep thinking about stabbing people and I feel like I could just snap and do it at any moment, the other day when I felt it I cut myself to feel satisfied and now I feel pathetic and I don’t even want to be here anymore :/

    • heyyyyou

      I am so sorry. University and college can be so hard since there are so many expectations of everything being amazing suddenly and your real life starting. But please remember its not like that for so many people, maybe for most people. It does take a lot to go to college and get good grades while having friends and doing other things or even a job. And it can feel so overwhelming. With depression it can be so hard, and Im so so so sorry youre had to go through that. I know by now youre finished school probably, and I Hope that things got better you wrote this message and you sought help. If anyone is reading this, please please please don’t fight depression or any other mental health problem on your own, please take the help offered by so many kind-hearted people there who want to see you better. There are wellness centers in universities and colleges that you can take advantage of.

      There are so many other people who feel alone out there and you dont have to suffer silently. Please tell someone you trust, phone Kids help phone or the distress centre if youre in canada, or a similar help line if youre in the us or uk or Australia or any other part of the world.

      I really Hope all this pain only eases later on, and though it may be so so hard, please know that its okay and that things can be okay. It may not happen suddenly, but things can being to get better. please take things one day at a time, one moment at a time. I promise it will help. And I hope you all learn to love yourselves, because you are beautiful. Really.

  • Eileen

    I’m only 13 and I am depressed as hell, I can no longer taste food,
    everything tastes bland. My friends and family are annoying, when they
    didn’t know anything to make me mad. I’m very lazy, I don’t do any
    activities on the weekend. It hurts to see other people smile, and mine
    just seems so fake. It feels like I’m going under, underneath the thick
    black cold waters were there is no light. I am careless on what I have
    to lose. Everything seems off and it feels like the world is going too
    slowly also I lose track of the days. Its hard for me to get out of bed
    in the mornings.

  • Anwyn

    People who haven’t suffered from depression don’t understand it. It
    isn’t just about feeling sad; it changes how you handle everything in
    your life. It affects everybody , and the above shows how depression can
    affect you without even noticing.

  • rabi

    These criteria in general suits me. I don’t know that I am already
    in this situation. I am running to grasp sth that is impossible…