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.


248 thoughts on “How Depression May Affect Your Life

  1. I feel totally alone I am overwhelmed by clutter and housework. My family are all dead I live with my cat. I have one good friend who has a boyfriend and I don’t see often. I’m 38 and don’t care what I look like. I spend all day lying in bed I feel suicidal

  2. Being made to feel worthless all the time by everyone in my life has conditioned me to believe that I’m an oddity, there’s something wrong with me because I can’t just lighten up or take a joke. Fact is these people are cruel, and I’m not alone.

    When I feel particularly hopeless, I’m glad I can find places like this for solidarity. We are not alone, and we are not invalid.

    Try to steal some contentment for yourself today, and I hope you can truly enjoy it.

  3. It feels like everyday is the same, I go to work come home cook dinner for my family, do housework, go to bed. My husband and I used to do so much together, now we have money worries and we hardly do anything. I am just existing. I miss my family, who are miles away. I want to go back to them. It just feels like everything is dark right now and I can’t see any light.

  4. Mostly all of these are true for me, except a couple. Only Im manic depressive, the kind where I am up and down in energy rapidly. I stay depressed for a few days usually 2-5 but will get a burst of energy & clean everything spotless. I have a line drawn where when my teeth are too fuzzy it’s time to brush them, my hair’s too greasy it’s time for a shower. Sometimes I cant leave the house cause I will not go out with greasy hair & it gets abnormally greasy very fast. Even if I want to go to the place I’m trying to leave the house for, getting out of bed into the shower is hard. I don’t even like going to get the mail sometimes, even though I do a lot of online shopping & there’s almost always a package in there. The mail man brought me my mail to my door today & they really didn’t have to, it’s just I hadn’t checked it for 4 days already & the box was full. The only things I manage to do are go to Church 3-4 times a weeks & things that are mandatory, as in appointments & I’m proud of that, even though it’s still hard. On the days I go to Church I’m all dressed up & I’m able to do things I want to. I’ve gotten better & it helps so so much that I have a dish washer now & also a crock pot. Sometimes its even hard to load the dish washer. I think I haven’t showered for 2 days now & I don’t stink yet but like I said my hair gets greasy fast & I want to go down the street to get dinner & do my laundry, but I need to clean my hair to go to the laundry room & I would just go do the laundry but I’m embarrassed of my greasy hair. I’m sure I’ll get an energy burst here soon, just waiting for it, but I don’t think today & Church is tomarrow, so I will definately get a shower before then. I got a new shirt in the mail I bought to match a skirt, so maybe the laundry doesn’t even have to be done today & I have plenty of food in the house. So maybe today is lay in bed & sulk day. Also I have a dillema lately where everything I wear isn’t good enough, or I wore this already this week I can’t wear it again. This just started happening, I didn’t care what I wore & had the same clothes for the last 2 years & now everything isn’t good enough & I have low self esteem & I get embarrassed cause I don’t like what I wear most days & some days I’m happy with what Im wearing cause I like that dress that matches those shoes or if I have to wear these shoes with this outfit Im self concious. Like I said my enery goes up & down, along with my happiness or approval of myself with my moods. Im trying to find new clothes, but its hard to find what I want & how I want it to fit. I also keep baking supplies on hand & when in an angry mood I will bake, but that’s a different story & has to do with my angry moods & baking soothes me. Right now I’m going to find an out fit for Church, get back into bed & have a shower early in the morning. When I go to Church I am less depressed & moody on those days, much less moody, I can come home in a good mood & clean. Or atleast come home in a good mood & get back into bed. Atleast I left the demons outside the church for 30 mins to 1 hour & that helps my entire day, Im a much nicer person.

  5. The days seem so long to me I don’t cook I don’t clean and all I do is lie in bed now I can’t sleep at night’s because I do nothing in the day time I’ve been wearing the same clothes for two weeks now I can’t be bothered to change life is so boring and lonely

  6. Hey I’ve been suffering depression for many months now, I’m 22 but when I was 16 I had it very bad. Crying everyday, feeling everyone would b better off without me etc. I intended to give my life away but when I left the house crying to my parents that I was sorry n that i loved them, they knew what was gonna happen so rang my friend n only for him i wouldnt b hee today. I used to lookat my life n say y me. Today even though I’m sufring the illness again I’ve realised one thing. Life is like a puzzled autobiography, the first chapter might seem perfect but as chapters go on u realise thers pieces missing, but as u approach new chapters u always find them missing pieces n u realise that life is the way its ment to be. U should have faith in god as our lord has our life’s planned out, see it through the end and u will find that laugh u thought u lost:, i hope the best for u all :), god bless

  7. Yeah.. I am fully depressed. My moods are extreme. I act out in front of my 13 year old son and its starting to effect him. His grades are slipping and hes withdrawn. But going to call my doctor today because the ifs too much to bear.

  8. Everything in my life has come to a head this week. All I have been hiding at work has come out, and now my husband and his entire family hate me for nearly ruining their business. I hated the job. I did it because I loved my husband, and I thought that was enough. For some reason, I just avoided most of my duties, just cruising by. Any major things that came across my desk made my heart palpatate, and I would jam them away – out of sight, out of mind. I lied, saying everthing with me and with the business was fine. It’s not. I don’t understand why I keep doing this crazy “ostrich” routine when work becomes difficult. The only thing that I can seem to do well is my children. I can get up with them, feed them, pack their lunches, and make sure they look good going out the door. After that, I have no energy or interest in anything. My husband is furious with me. His parents are convinced that I am just a lazy eff-up. I’m not. I want to succeed. I just hate the responsiblity that was put given to me with this job. I hate it. Every time I pull up to the building, I want to cry. Then I sit at my desk, avoiding anything that looks confusing or I know I would make some sort of mistake with. I want to be happy not just at home, but out there in the world too. I don’t know why I sabotaged the business, I don’t think it was intentional. Maybe I thought it would all just go away. My husband asked me tonight how I could live with myself. All I could tell him was I really don’t know how to.

  9. I just bawled my eyes out. I’m 17 yrs old and I’m depressed. And I have no idea why. I’m afraid. So afraid. I just want to be happy. God help me I want to be happy.

  10. Almost all of these are true about me and I didn’t even really know until I was doing a project for school and was looking this stuff up and then I started to cry because I noticed that I have depression so I got to looking farther into it and I found some tests to take so I took them and they said I have high or major depression and I don’t want to tell anybody because my dad already threatened to disown me when he found out that I cut and that scared me so bad that now I try not to show it to anybody and my now ex-best friend couldn’t even tell I was depressed or that I was self harming and that really hurt and then I noticed that she was one of the reasons so I told her I cant be her friend anymore because she could lead me to do much worse but now I have been 24 days clean and im so happy about that and I went to my cousin and he talked some sense into me and now im helping other people stop and that feels good to do.

  11. I have no friends, despite years, years, & years of trying. Being skinny didn’t make me happy, neither did having sex, making stuff, walking, exercising, spending time with parents, or watching movies.
    Haven’t had sex in years, and why bother? Been there, done that. Tried churches, clubs, groups—everyone’s busy outside that one hour, and an hour a week is not a friendship. I’m sick of everyone telling me all their shit within five minutes of meeting me. I’m sick of having to put in all the work with people. I’m sick of people telling me to just “keep putting myself out there”, yet those same people won’t have a fucking cip of coffee with me.
    I’m sick of being surrounded by aquaintences, none of whom want to be friends.
    I’m 36 & wish I were never born.

  12. I am every one of these. I’m 15 years old, and my Lyme disease relapsed so sports, working out, and horseback riding, the only things that actually make me feel good about myself, are all out of the question, at least until I am well again. I dread every day at school; my friends hate me now because I didn’t contact them once all summer and I just didn’t have the energy to keep up with them when school started again. My ex-bff who I was friends with for 10 years totally replaced me, and honestly I couldn’t care less but it hurts me because I know she told my other friends not to talk to me anymore. Only when she’s not at school do they acknowledge me. I feel so lost and out of place at school, I kinda have friends but I usually eat lunch alone and stuff because I’m too afraid to ask anyone to hang out. I wish I was invisible so that I didn’t have to talk to people. I have absolutely no desire to eat but my parents just force it down basically and the more they push it on me, the more I resent it. Even worse my dad says he’s disappointed in me because I’ve always been a smart kid and now I’m just thinking foolishly but I can’t help it.

  13. I am 37 and single and my 3 kids are nearly all grown up now. I started renting a new house and have been trying to build the next stages of my life but Its so hard and I just cant work out why. All i feel is sick with nerves all the time. I cant motivate myself. I dread any kind of daily simple things like family dinners or shopping. Anything important I postpone as long as I can and it builds up to a point Where i cant sleep and feel paranoid then racked with fear. Why? What made me happy is not fun anymore. I constantly fear for my children, always feeling they are in danger and i feel guilty for all of this. Hiding What i have become is killing me inside and eating me up. I feel like Im dirt and bringing everyone down. Im tired of how scared I am. Im so alone.

    • I am also 37 with 3 almost grown children. I feel alot of the way you feel only i have a bf that lives with me that wont help with anything and makes it worse. My job is horrible too! I will pray for you bc i know your pain

  14. I can relate to at least 70% of the depression indicaters. I’ve had depression for most of my life, I’m 53 now and depression has had a huge affect on me, lost jobs and careers, so many interests fallen by the wayside. Many mornings I feel like what’s the point of getting out of bed it’s just another day of pain and unhappiness. I take antidepressants and they help somewhat but I know from my history of alcohol and drugs I’ve been self medicating too. I don’t tell people because I’ve learned the hard way depression and mental illness are stigmatized in our society. I’m sure there are a lot people who can relate to me.

  15. I just want to sleep literally all the time and force myself to be asleep. I don’t shower, brush my teeth. I’m in bed so much my body aches. I don’t pay my bills or leave the house. I don’t eat so I’m weak and shaky. I just want to be left alone. Everyone else seems normal, living life having friends. I have health issues, but can’t make the appointments much less show up. I’m on disability so I haven’t much money. I think about suicide a lot. I’m the worst depressed person ever. I feel like no one is as bad off as me.

  16. I really relate to most of those things listed. Depression and anxiety really take you without you realising. The most important thing is to have awesome people around you to chat to and to pull you out of that black hole.

    I have friends who nag me to hang out with them. And if it weren’t for them, I would probably be crying in my room in my black hole.

    So even if you don’t have friends around you who understand, make friends online, or make friends where ever you are because you need those people in your life to pull you out.

    And another thing, who cares if you don’t feel like doing the daily things you normally do, do them later!! Most important thing is you get pulled out of your room, out of your house! You gotta see the beauty of the world!

  17. Half of these symptoms are me. I used to enjoy a lot of things, now every time I try them I just feel like giving up. I feel so tired all the time. Staying positive doesn’t really help me. It’s a new year and I’m afraid I’m just gonna waste it like these past few years.

  18. I’m only 18, & over the past 2 years, my life has been a nightmare. I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety & depression. & have been to counseling several times. Why? Counseling only hurts me worse. I cry constantly. My stomach is constantly turning. I started my first job for a month & had to quit because my anxiety is so bad. I just don’t care anymore. I have good grades, but I haven’t been to school in 3 weeks. I can’t go. My stomach is so bad. I can’t go out to eat with family at my favorite restaurant. I can’t even take my dog, who means the world to me, out for a walk. I let myself go. I’m now 185 when I was 145 in 2013. I’m embarrassed. No one understands. Suicide feels like my last resort. But I can’t leave my dog. I can’t leave my family. I can’t put them through the pain of thinking it’s their fault. Sometimes I just wish the world would end & my pain would end with it. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

  19. It feel great to know im not alone.. its hard to explain. The need to be alone and not talk to anyone and you say to yourself im going to go places and be this happy, fun person.. but nothing. people think “oh just get out there and do things”.. do you have any idea how hard that is while feeling this way? omg its so hard.

  20. I feel sad every second of the day but I dont have suicidal thoughts. I have made mistakes and made decisions in my short life and just wish I could go back just a few months and do it over. Whenever someone I love tries to hug me or even say that they love me, I just can not do the same for them. I have never felt depression because I didnt know what it was till now. My family is having a lot of trouble at the moment and I feel loke this is why im feeling so sad. I have moved countries just because I thought it would be a good change, new school, new people… No this was not what I thought it would be like. I hate it here I wish I could go back, I miss everything and everyone. I know teenagers like me have gone through the same thing but may have taken it a lot better than I have. I play games just so I can think of something else. Like right now I have to get up in 4 hours for school but I dont even know if I want to leave my room let alone going to school. This new school is hard for me qnd changing my lifestyle for it is killing me by its self. Im sorry to go on and on about this btw but I needed to say it somewhere I didnt know where else to do so. To all the people who are suffering from depression, stay strong, keep your family close and let them help you even if they feel like they are annoying the heck out of you just let them help because they are feeling bad because they feel like they cant do anything. Love is a big thing you need during depression and I hope one day I will be able to go home and live the rest of my life happy. Thank you reading this and sorry if it makes no sense and I wasted your time

  21. I went through all of these things and doctors gave me many types of antidepressants. One day while watching TV I saw this professor give a speech on depression and other kinds of mental issues and he talked about endorphins which is something in your brain that makes you happy. He talked about how when they leave your brain, this is what makes you sad and when you have negative thoughts, more leave your brain. He also talked about laughter, which puts endorphins into your brain. He said that laughter is medicine going into the brain. When I got to thinking about it and did not feel like I wanted to feel depressed anymore. I called a couple of friends and made plans to go to the Comedy club which took everything I got to even make the calls and plan it. I went and it a few of the comedians jokes and stories but finally cracked a laugh…..and laughed again. I found that the professor was right and it worked!!!!!! I am not on meds anymore, no numbness and most of all….no more depression. I’m enjoying life now to its fullest and thought I would kill myself before I ever enjoyed anything EVER again! My life has changed so much and I actually found a craft…etching glass and mirrors and I make money from it to go places and enjoy getting out. It was the greatest thing in the world and I thank that professor at that moment for coming on the TV at a time when I needed it the most. I wanted to share this with each and everyone of you because I know the pain of having nobody there or being told to snap out of it or quit making excuses or get off the pity pot because unless you have walked a mile in our shoes….you will never know or understand that it is none of these!

  22. To tell you the truth I don’t really know all about depression but I know I have it I am only 11 and I show every one of those symtoms but the one about dressing badly I can’t seem to stop getting upset about everything then nobody even listens to me I’m in counseling and have been sense I was 7 and nothing ever seems to change I don’t know what to do my mom doesn’t care or doesn’t think it’s a big deal I don’t know if this is my falt I have a twostory house and a window next to my bed and I keep thinking I wouldn’t have to feel this anymore if I just jumped out and I don’t want to feel this for the rest of my life my mom says I get “babied” and I’m more fortunate than most but I have OCD ADHD and ODD I don’t want people to keep trying to fix my life when they don’t even know or care about how I feel and know I am crying the whole time I’m on this page

  23. As I’m writing this I’m in a dark room tears ate streaming down my face, I don’t even see a reason to live, all of the above mentioned r just me my hir is a mess I don’t even have the desire to do anything besides just sit for the hole day. I need help please

  24. I am 54 and have been affected by depression & anxiety since my early teens. I have been on several antidepressants, been hospitalized, and even tried ECT treatments. I always come out of it eventually and I have a wonderful Dr whom I trust. My frustruation comes from telling my friends and family when i’m sick. They don’t seem to take me seriously and I think they think i’m doing this for attention – I know they are worried about me and I know i’m not pleasant to be around – but what I need most right now is a shoulder to cry on – someone to talk to about how i’m feeling and some encouragement – instead they stay away and ignore me. It really hurts and makes my depression worse. Depression is a very lonely illness and I just pray that scientists can get it figured out and come up with a treatment ! I give the glory & honor to Jesus and am so thankful my Saviour watches over me..

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