How Depression May Affect Your Life

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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  1. Some things on the list are true, I’m trying to fight it, so some things on the list i fight every day, but’s it’s hard work.

  2. I’m 28 and I honestly don’t know what I am. Do I have anxiety, depression, both? It could be that I just simply don’t like anything, anybody. I could be just an asshole, which would be fine with me. I have no desire to get a house, no desire to get married or have kids. I can go forever without talking with my family, I kind of resent and pity them. My parents have some mental issues, my brother is in jail and my sister is keeping up with the kardashians. My girlfriend doesn’t get me and I’m not even sure if I like her or her ideals, I might have no ideals. I don’t know. I haven’t felt sadness since I can remember. I feel some level of grief and annoyance all the time though. I think people are generally self-serving and silly, quick to make decisions (perhaps I think to much, my mind is constantly at work without accomplishing much). I actually feel like the human race is destroying this planet. I feel like these are negative or depressing thoughts until I realize that they are fact. Most people just want to work hard, raise a family, have fun occasionally, and not really care about anything else outside of that realm. I haven’t really felt anything for awhile now. I have a great sense of humor and I’m a pretty good writer but I don’t care and I’m too afraid to enhance or focus on those qualities. Sometimes I feel like there is nothing wrong with me and that what I think (although different) is the right way for me but sometimes I feel like I have a problem because I don’t really feel things and I don’t care to get a job or have kids. I’m in school but I’m not focusing on anything, i’m just going just to do something. I enjoy learning but my memory can be poor at times. I’m not suicidal but I do picture myself killing myself a little or I think of meteors striking the earth randomly when I look at the stars (I have an interest in astronomy but even that I lose care for). I’m definitely not a violent person, I hate violence actually because I grew up in a violent and aggressive home but sometimes I think that I will just freak out one day (not like kill people freak out but like hit someone or maybe just become brain dead from possibly keeping my emotions down). Again, I think you can be the “craziest” person in the world but if you don’t think you’re crazy then there isn’t a problem, which is what I wished I thought but I don’t. I’m uncomfortable around most people. I have a big group of friends but I feel like i’m different from all of them. I don’t know…maybe I’m just a selfish lazy asshole but I want to be comfortable being that. Those are only negative qualities from an outside perspective or subjective in ways but if I’m that then I want to be happy being that. I don’t take meds or anything for depression nor do I want to because a lot of my thoughts and ideas are right for me and make me feel unique and good, I don’t want to alter those thoughts. Those thoughts can be unusual and mean but they’re creative and funny, I’d rather be creative and funny over usual and nice. My problem is my lack of care for people, for myself and my future. I’m confused and lazy, with no desire to fix anything and no idea where to start. I’m also afraid of failure. The last two sentences are my problem that I want to fix. Perhaps I don’t want to do anything nor do I care to do anything workwise. I’m not even sure what love really feels like but enough of my bitching. This is the first time I’ve ever really wrote about it. I guess posting it is a sign of some sort of care so there is my paragraph of confusion and gripes.

  3. I relate to all these, second day on meds now starting to see clearly now, don’t feel so paranoid about what other people are thinking. Honestly can’t believe how and when it started. Feels like it’s my first time being happy.

  4. Its strange that all of these symptoms are relevant to my everyday actions and feelings. I thought I was the only one feelng these symptoms but there are actually other people as well, but no one ever understands people like us unless we’re enduring the same thing. I can’t turn to anyone for help because they hate me or do not understand how I feel. I wish I could meet each one of you and let you know that I understand your pain. The world is a cruel place, there are so many people like us after reading the comments, it goes to show how awful people can become that they can make others feel so upset and negative. Its so hard to explain and show my feelings nowadays, I always end up crying for no reason or for characters in t.v shows who got bullied or feel worthless or are suicidal. I try to be happy but when those bad days come which is everyday now, you feel like all the achievements and happy moments in your life are just a lie because theres more bad moments and screw ups then of the good ones, I feel like theres nothing to look forward to because nobody loves me and I’m talentless and worthless, I can never do anything right. Almost everyday my mother tells me she wish she had aborted me or killed me when she was pregnant and I was baby. Why should I exist if no one wants me to or will care or notice? I lost hope in God because everytime I pray things just get worse 🙁

  5. I’m 13 years old. I didn’t know depression until I was already experiencing it. I came from a religious family, so whenever I would cry without any reason they would say I should pray. I can’t sleep. It never comes to me. Suicide is something that crosses my mind always, but I’m too much of a coward to actually do it. I read books a lot; even at school, although the fantasy kinds. I used to be socially active few months back, when depression was only coming to me whenever I would remember how I was raped by my uncle, thrown to the highway by my own maid with street children multiple of times, of how my parents only argue with me whenever I tell them that something is wrong with me. It started last month, I didn’t attend parties anymore, I don’t attend social gatherings. My parents hosted a party last night, and I locked myself in my room, pretending to be asleep rather than facing all the older and young people outside my door that I used to talk, chat, and become close. I started to love being isolated. I used to go outside and stay outside a lot, either at my friend’s house or stay longer at school because being at home felt wrong. My parents thought it was a good idea to put me into multiple classes like photography, art, piano, swimming, everything music related. I loved each and everyone of them until I started to feel useless and loneliness that I can’t even put into words. My parents spoiled me, but they were never there. I got everything, from an xbox, to a 73″ Flat screen HD 3D tv, iMac, Macbook pro, Everything to my expense. But they never gave me what I needed. I needed them to listen and understand. I told them that I knew there was something wrong with me 3 years ago, they just shrugged and argued with me. Now, I don’t tell them anything because I’m scared they might scold me again for thinking that they know how I feel because they’re my parents. As a foreigner living in Saudi Arabia, everything here is available to my expense. But they don’t listen when I tell them I need to talk to someone who understands. I never knew what I wanted the other people to understand. I guess I wanted them to understand how I feel, I wanted to feel normal. I’m as pure as a 13 year old can be, not a taste of Beer or wine or vodka, not a single cigarette placed on my lips, not a single drug sniffed up my nose. I had been harassed and hurt by the people closest to me. I push everyone away. I push the people who try to help me, because I have this fear that they might hurt me in the end as well. I try to find hope, since my father is a nerd and a geek and has taught me in his ways. He taught me that when there is hope, there is will. As long as Your will strives, hope will find it’s way. My father is the only one nearest to who understands. But I make myself distant. I didn’t commit suicide because I thought of all the people around me who tried to help me and talk to me. My friends, my teachers. What would happen to them if I passed away? Would they simply go on to doing what they normally do? It didn’t affect me how they would act since I saw myself as the lowest of beings. So like reading a book, I tried to imagine myself in their place if i did commit suicide. I imagined that someone would call me and tell me that this person was dead and she wanted to tell me how much of a great person I am and how much help I did. I would feel like a failure and so depression would also conquer me. And I didn’t want anyone to suffer like how we are suffering now. I didn’t want anyone to know how much depression can cause even the brightest of minds and the bravest of hearts crumble to ashes in the simple blow of depression’s wrath. I lost hope a few months ago, but I refill myself with books and movies. Music makes it worse, food is useless, and talking to anyone makes me feel sad and useless and I think of how much I could tell them and if they would understand me. I started to act like my father, to make myself look normal. I became ‘lazy’, I triggered my gamer side, my bookworm side. I started to act like I wasn’t a snobby rich kid who has boys wrapped around her fingers. I wanted to become normal that I started to change my attitude, appearance, and likes depending on who I’m with. I felt as if it was my job for the people around me not to feel what I feel. I would smile, laugh, play, say witty comments and act like a lady outside my room; But when I’m inside it, I would cry anytime. I would stare into the corner, deciding what i should do, then my mind would start to linger elsewhere, The books started to make me feel numb, but the moment I put it down, the pain comes back. The light of day looks the same as the blackest of night. I started to commit myself to games like assassin’s creed which was full of adventure and amazing skills and battles, Pokemon which showed me that sometimes you just have to find the right Pokemon to use the only Masterball you have. I’ve confined myself to my room, not eating one bite of food, My parents started to worry. They thought I was straying away from the Lord. Which was kind of true, I started to think of the worst thing I could, something just as bad as suicide- selling my soul to the devil to change my life for the better. Praying made me choke my words. I start to sleep at usually late in the morning then wake up in the night forcing myself to sleep, but can’t bring myself to do so. My friends has given up on me, that whenever I would even talk to them about my depression, they would say “I’ve got to go” or they would change the topic, or they would say think of happy thoughts. I can’t even remember my happy thoughts, I easily forget where I’ve put my USB or controller or remote. Everything seems faint. If I read a book, I could easily forget the whole story as soon as i finish reading it. I’m trying to stand strong, but everyone is trying to hard to get through my thick layer of pain that they just start to topple me over and get me buried in it. I write stories to express myself, But now-a-days, I’ve lost the will to even write a great story. I never realized I really got depression until I started to relate to every page about what depression is and how it feels like. But now, I find hope that one day, I would get over this, or that I can prevent someone from experiencing this kind of pain by living with them and trying to make their life something worth remembering. I want to die being remembered as ‘The one who made it through rough and smooth.’ How do you want to be remembered?

  6. i’ve been suffering depression for about 5 years but never felt it the way i feel it now, suicide is now wandering my mind more than ever and no one around me seems to care. I feel so lost, like i’m never going to get out of this dark place

  7. I relate to all the things enlisted above. My life has become so miserable & I find no solution of the messen up things. Just want kill myself. I reallly hate the way I am.

  8. ahhh! Well i am 24 and typing this from my ps3.You can imagine the rest.
    i never had clear ideas about what i wanted from life.i had a beautiful childhood and my parents loved me a lot but today without a job i feel completely useless and now that its my turn to take care of them…i just dont find a job .i feel like i didnt deserve all that love. i am the only child and i am very worried. i cant even take care of myself.I am a looser in this world of winner.i hv always been since i was born.My mind has become week and i have lost intrest in life.I cant believe what the hell i have become.

  9. I was searching for answers when I found this. I have found what I was looking for. My dr. Tried to tell me months ago I have depression, but I thought she was crazy. I blew her off and didn’t take the meds she prescribed. But now it makes sense. I started self medicating with alcohol and surrounding myself with friends who also drink. I found an emotionally absent boyfriend to distract myself with and I’ve been neglecting my life, my job, my children, household chores, even getting my car tags renewed. I lose things constantly and forget important dates, my kids resent me and so do my parents and i feel I am not capable of caring or loving anyone. All of this has led me to a dark place where I’ve pushed everyone away and feel empty inside. Now that its all starting to make a little sense I have no insurance and no money so suicide has crossed my mind since I can’t run away from myself.

  10. I can feel all of your pain, I too have been living with depression for over 15 years, been on medication but it don’t work for me only makes me num. Everyday I think about taking my life I don’t know how much longer I can hold-out, if I know where am going or will happend to me at my last breath i would do it right now, there is nothing here for met o live for.

  11. I feel so low everyday is the same for me I live alone I don’t work my family are all dead I used to take drugs but I don’t anymore I’ve been wearing the same clothes for months I feel like crap and my life is over

  12. Yeah so am i, everyone is out celebraiting their firstive seosen and me busy feeling sory, thinking bad about how am i going to be able to take care of myself, my family and my little boy i have to raise. I dont really know what has happend to me, i used to be the most fun to be around now all i do is make people feel unconfortable because i can’t find anything to say to them. So i turned to lock myself up in my room and never allow anyone to be friend with me. Please help me, even now i can’t put up words that i mean, i can’t think straight, please i really need your help.

  13. I’ve been feeling 75% of those things but I don’t Feel depressed. As it’s said, I sleep to escape my life. I stay up all night and sleep during the day. I have 8 video games I haven’t played and 3 books I’ve bought and I just can’t take the time to read them. What’s worse, they’re fantasy books, ones that I REally like, but I can’t bother with them. I’d rather sleep. I feel happy half the time though, just also really tired. Am I really depressed subconsciously? I can’t get a job, I can’t go to college this semester (and i was Really looking forward to it), and my life feels like it’s standing still and I have no motivation to do the online jobs I have. I make waaaaaaaaaaaay less than minimum wage, but it’s something. I just cant focus though.

  14. lately I’ve been depressed. Greatly.
    im only 12 yrs old,so its hard dealing with it.
    my life so far has been HELL but until i turned about 7 everything was fine:) my mom kept getting married and moving from house to house so i could never develop a stable social life i lost connections to my friends and family and couldn’t get myself together. since my parents split up I’ve been feeling broken. At school i feel my self getting light headed and tired then i feel like im shaking and about to faint, but the thing is…No one else seems to be affected by it. i hav never had so many nightmares in my life until this period of time came around. My parents r strict so i could never talk 2 them about how i was feeling so i write to get my anger and hurt out of my sytem, and i no they always say change is coming and it will get better…but…when??
    how come my change didn’t come yet?

  15. Hey, I’m Alaina- I’m 14 in a half. Everything on here describes me basically…. I think I have depression problems because of my problems at home, stress, anxiety, and the fact I was bullied all throughout middle school. I missed over 60 days because I was to scared to go to school. Although I do have depression issues I have not cried for a few years now, I have to force them, I’ve given up on that though. My mom says she won’t get me help because she doesn’t want it on my permanent record for school. I just absolutley hate my life right now and wish I had no school to go to and just want to get away from everyone I know except for 2 friends. Been faking smiles for 4 years now….
    That’s it I guess….sorry… just felt like I had to post this comment…

  16. Oh and I also wanted to say I never sleep at all with out medication, I have no idea why, I am scared of something and can’t shut the thinking down ever my mind goes 100miles an hour and I hear the same thoughts over and over

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