What is Depression (and What is it Not?)

Image: Detail from the Women of Amphissa by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Detail from The Women of Amphissa by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

“People who don’t know [what depression is], who say it’s self-indulgence, sound callous, but it’s not callousness born of indifference; I think it’s callousness born of ignorance. That kind of ignorance we’ve got to get rid of, and little by little I suppose, we will. You say to them, ‘It’s a pity you don’t know. I’m sure that if you knew, I’m sure that if you knew, not only wouldn’t you say that, you’d try to help in one way or another.”- Mike Wallace, On the Edge of Darkness

Note:I wrote this a few years ago, and it has made its way around the Net uncredited. If you want to reprint it, please make sure you credit Wing of Madness.

What Depression Is:

  • Depression is an illness, in the same way that diabetes or heart disease are illnesses.
  • Depression is an illness that affects the entire body, not just the mind.
  • Depression is an illness that one in five people will suffer during their lifetime.
  • Depression is the leading cause of alcoholism, drug abuse and other addictions.
  • Depression is an illness that can be successfully treated in more than eighty percent of the people who have it.
  • Depression is an equal-opportunity illness – it affects all ages, all races, all economic groups and both genders. Women, however, suffer from depression almost twice as much as men do.
  • At least half of the people suffering from depression do not get proper treatment.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide.
  • Depression is second only to heart disease in causing lost work days in America.
  • Unipolar major depression is the leading cause of disability.

What Depression Is Not:

  • Depression is not something to be ashamed of.
  • Depression is not the same thing as feeling “blue” or “down.”
  • Depression is not a character flaw or the sign of a weak personality.
  • Depression is not a “mood” someone can “snap out of.” (Would you ask someone to “snap out of” diabetes or high blood pressure?)
  • Depression is not fully recognized as an illness by most health care insurance providers. Most will only pay 50% of treatment costs for out-patient care, as well as limiting the number of visits.

Also see What Does Depression Feel Like?

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65 Comments

  1. I don’t know what I’m going through I’m perfectly fine sometimes laughing and feeling good but then people can get me irrated easily and simple acts that usually wouldn’t matter to me I freak out and cry over. I go home at night and left lose every emotion I usually cry every night before bed..

  2. I was a pretty depressed person at age 12. I used my drawings to express myself but then I worry about them scattering around, and i don’t want my mom to see them because she will ask me what are the problems in my life, and they are very hard to explain because they are petty problems caused by me. Now at 14, I just carry this heavy thing around with me, and I don’t want to say I am depressed because there are a lot of people who have a much worse life than me. i overthink too much, I get depressed in the morning, and I space out a lot. Whenever my mom and dad would ask what is happening to me because I seem to falter, as I am known as a bright kid. But I don’t want to say anything. Whenever I want to shout, or throw something, people will think I am a monster, when it is usually them who are the real monster.

  3. I think im depressed. I feel like i need to seek help but im scared. Some days i feel relatively fine and i think i just had to snap out of it then one day i feel like im back in the hole i thought i had crawled out of. Ive been feeling up and down for about 3 years now but in the last 6 months its gotten noticeably worse. To the point my wife asks me if i still love her, or why am i always so quiet or ignoring her or never want to be intimate. Its like ive become really self destructive and irritable. I feel like ive made too many mistakes and missed too many oportunities. This is as good as my life is gonna get and its all my fault. Im going no where in life. I cant concentrate at work and i cry randomly when I think about everything i feel. I hate that i have alot to be thankfulld for but my life just isnt what i expected and wanted for myself. I think about killing myself at least once a week. Sometimes i play out my funeral in my head and what everyone would say and think. Other times I sit with my rifle in my lap and think of how fast and easy it would be. I dont think I could do it though. I want to die but im too scared to kill myself. I stumbled across this page and reading all these comments gave me the courage to comment my self. It just feels good to be able to put it out there but i don’t think i can tell my family or go to a doctor. I feel like im hiding a terrible secret around friends and family and it gives me a heavy feeling in my chest.

  4. To me, depression is like the feeling of just having lost a loved one but the pain never goes away.

    It’s hard to do simple things. It’s impossible to face anything stressful or anxiety-producing.

    It’s constant pain, constant worry, constantfatigue. And very few people understand.

  5. I know I am depressed.. but just letting it be. There’s no support around. No one to believe that am depressed n needs help. Moreover they think I don’t have a reason to be depressed.. does being depressed come with a reason..
    I eat sweets, lots of them, cry and sleep alot. makes me feel gud. I have become too slow to think or perform my daily routine list. Life has no inspiration. It’s very very boring. Don’t know what the future has in store. Don’t feel like speaking to any of my family. Infact their thought makes me depress..

  6. Warning: this is really long.
    I don’t know if I’m depressed or not. I don’t know if everyone else feels this way or not.
    I feel constantly exhausted, but I get a normal amount of sleep. Some nights it takes hours to fall asleep, but not often. My appetite has been unusually large lately, but before then it was pretty normal. Except for when I go through phases where I don’t eat anything but an apple or some almonds a day, but that’s at my own will. I’ve had only one panic attack that I was sure was a panic attack. I have emotional breakdowns often. I also depersonalize a lot. It’s usually just the typical unreality feeling, but the most extreme episode of depersonalization I’ve had is where a ringing blocked out all noise, a bright light blocked my vision, and i “collapsed” while talking to an officer. Was not on drugs. Sometimes I get sort of hysterical, high energy and repeating words in a creepy-happy way. Lately something new has come up, an intense feeling of impending doom, where I get a string intuition that someone is going to die. I often think of my friends or family dying and get very emotional. I cry many times a day. Everywhere. Usually I’m discrete and I can fake smiles until I get home, then I collapse on my bed and cry. Every day. Sometimes it’s about something small, and sometimes about nothing at all. But at the moment I feel hopeful for the future. I’m getting college credit while in high school, which makes me want to go to college and get it over with, a new desire. I also really want to have a kid, and want to be a teacher. So maybe that’s what makes me mentally healthy. But I think of suicide or Runningg away as the easiest and most likely course. My reason for still being here is lack of money or a foolproof way out. If I fuck it up I’ll be pitied and watched forever. I feel an intense distaste for my city, and all the people here. Everyone knows eachother and everyone hates me. There’s no one left to meet or to love. I do have a few beautiful friends that I love very much, though. But I constantly fear that they’ll turn on me. It’s happened to me before. But I’m very passionate about nature. It’s comforting and beautiful. I could stare at one plant or the sky forever. I feel stressed and uncomfortable indoors.
    I have no sex drive anymore.
    I have no desire to socialize with new people. It feels like a chore, and I avoid it at all costs.
    I can’t make decisions. Even little ones.
    I space out a lot. And I forget everything. Also, my attention span is really short.
    I haven’t had anything particularly horrible happen to me. I’ve been in two emotionally abusive friendships (don’t write this off just because it’s a friendship and not a relationship. I wouldn’t go back to those periods of my life if someone paid me a million dollars), my dad is shitty and makes me feel uncomfortable but he’s never said anything alarmingly lewd that I could tell my mom about, I was bullied a lot in grade school but who isn’t, and I had a particularly traumatizing night while on acid, which I have flashbacks to that give me anxiety almost daily. Never panic attacks though. None of these are really worse than any average person’s life,
    So am I just a self-pitying self-obsessed asshole or should I seek help?

    1. Apparently I would have the same feelings like you. Sometimes I just feel like a pathetic person. I get too happy and it annoys people. The reason for this is because I miss being happy and I love the feeling. Though I crave for emptiness sometimes.

  7. I have depression for 8 years. Everyone around me thought it’s because I was a teenager. But I still have depression and people still think I exaggerate. I still have nervous breakdowns and it’s getting worse, antidepressants are not working. I tried so hard to get better but now, I don’t feel anything anymore and it’s worse than getting hurt. I used to feel like I’ll drown and die. But I don’t even care anymore. I’m too tired to care I think.
    I just wanted to share and let people see that they are not alone.

  8. My heart just feels empty and I feel like my family ignores me and idk what to do with my life I’m always confused about everything I feel this every month they’re the times I get sad and start to cry it just makes me look stupid! I don’t trust anyone not even myself

  9. The women and men thing is not true. I know a lot more men who suffer from depression than women, and some of that manifests itself in chronic drug and alcohol abuse. Also, women tend to seek help more than men, and thus their medical records can be brought up for creating statistics.

    Men are also more than twice as likely to commit suicide than women.

  10. I dont know whats wrong with me , i was used to be that type of “always happy” annoying people , and now i’m like living in a Tim burton movie or something…i dont want to do anything!! Is that normal? I got to university : medecin , i didn’t get my first trimester and i didn’t care much , i broke up with the guy i was with for two year and … i swear i couldnt care less , it’s like i never loved him , my relationships are all going wrong , my life is sliping out of my hand what should i do ?

  11. Hi, i’m quite young and I have a question. How does one grow old whilst wanting to die everyday? Everyday is a struggle, I dont want to live like this much longer but nothing seems to help. How does one grow old with depression?

  12. I believe i am depressed but since i am a minor i cannot make an appointment with a psychologist or a physician. I cannot bring it up to my family because they think im just trying to be in the now, when all teens say they are depressed but arent really. I cant bring it up to anyone else because apparently you cant be depressed without a doctor saying you are. Maybe this is a slump, but it doesnt feel like it.

  13. I don’t even know if I am depressed. I don’t know how to express it. Sometimes, all of a sudden, I hate everyone around me. Sometimes, I hate myself. I want myself to die. I want to die just so that I can start all over again, just so that I get another chance (if it is even possible!)

    I don’t feel like getting up in the morning. I think I am only engrossed when I have a piece of work in my job that is really challenging and I am not able to do it.When I am unable to do it, I google, I try everything and ask for help (and cursing myself the whole time that I cannot do anything right) But I guess that’s the only time I am fine because then I am not thinking about anything else. My self-esteem is on an all-time low. I was fine earlier — I had changed jobs, I had a decent amount of confidence, but now it feels that I cannot do anything right.

    I don’t know if it is just low self-esteem or depression. I want to exercise, but I am too lazy. I want to study so that I can get a new job, but again I feel that irrespective of how much I prepare, I will fail.

    I used to write. I was not the best, but I was pretty decent. But now I don’t feel like writing. I don’t know what to write. I try to write stories, but I don’t finish them because I am unable to think ahead. I have stopped doing the one thing I was genuinely good at. I have stopped meeting my writing group. The last time I went there, I wrote crap. I never returned.

    I have had days when I did not move from my bed at all. All I did was to lie down, sleep, surf the net. I didn’t eat more than one meal. I only got up to pee. Because genuinely I did not feel like doing anything else.

    My husband is a nice loving man and he gets really tensed when I behave like this. I don’t want to tell him how bad things are. I don’t even know if things are that bad. I am sure there are people in worse conditions. Outwardly my life is perfect. Inside I have no zest, no vigor, no interest.I cry at a drop of a hat.

    I cannot afford a psychiatrist. And as I said, I don’t even know if I am depressed.

    Can anyone tell me what to do? Please consider this as a cry of help.
    Please!!

  14. I’m 17 years old and I’ve been depressed ever since I grew up from being a kid and realised that the world and life itself for some people, like us, is totally unfair and unforgiving. For me depression is not being able to talk to my oldest friends, my family, and obviously I’ve never been good at talking to new people, but I’m the only person I know with this affliction which makes it hard to communicate how I feel, since they don’t understand and my friends simply don’t care. Depression is being able to see this ugly world for how it really is, disgustingly unforgiving, but it also allows you to see the real meaning in small gestures, like at a gig a few nights ago I was standing on my own and a man much older than me just told me to smile, to know that a random person can care about you means the world to someone who thinks everybody has already left you. I know I’ll never outgrow this constant feeling of being different or feeling like the unluckiest, most unimportant person in the world, but this is the way I am, and you are the way you are, depression is a parasitic curse but it can also be the blessing you need to see the important things in life worth sticking around for

  15. I don’t know if I deserve to be depressed. My family have always traveled and I spent a majority of my early years living in a bus. That all stopped when my dad died in a freak accident. I’ve lived with my mum for about 8 years and for 6 of them my brother also lived with us. He used to hurt me and hate me for completely irrational reasons. Him and my mum would have screaming fits at each other and my brother would use the death of my father as an excuse. The horribleness I would understand, but I can never forgive him for using such an excuse. The high school I attended was in the bottom 20 in the UK when I was there but seemed to be amazing before I started, I seemed to have alot of people to talk to but I never felt comfortable if there were only two of us and I never got invited out or to party’s and never had any close friends. I got into fights and almost got stabbed at one point while I was there, luckily I was taught how to defend myself and only came away with a boot to the face. I was constantly put on reduced timetables at school due to the fact that I couldn’t cope with anything, I still have scars on my left hand where I would nervously scratch the back of it until it was bleeding and raw. Often I woke up in pools of blood after doing it in my sleep. I left there after a couple of years and by that point no one spoke to me at all and most actively disliked me for being miserable and weird.I don’t think anyone even noticed I left. By this point I used drugs heavily and was addicted to meow meow by the time I was 14, during this period I had the only girlfriend I’ve ever had. She had an even worse home life than me and I think I felt sorry for her more than I loved her. We broke up after I realised our other addict friends only used her for money. I tried to take her away from it but she wouldn’t let me. After that I started a college that was supposed to be one of the best but ended up as a disorganised failure. And in a few days I’ll be starting a new college where I’ll be living away from home, the course I’m taking is fun but I don’t think it’s right for me because I don’t know what’s right for me. On top of this I’m only 17 but my hair has just started receding at the temples, I have other personal things wrong with my body also that I am constantly deeply emmbarressed about. I don’t think I am attractive but no one has ever really said anything about it to me so I’m not sure. I can’t see how I can be. I feel emotionally void, as if things should be affecting me more but I can’t be arsed to let them. I still can’t answer the phone without a deep sense of panic and my home phone I can’t answer at all. I used to be musical but I can’t even be bothered to get my violin out the case or play my drums. My current friends only seem to use me for my money but that may be me being paranoid. I sometimes share a bed with a girl called Gabs who once said she loved me but then decided she didn’t. I hug her at night when she stays sometimes. I’ve never had the chance to feel that sensation before a few nights ago. It seemed to warm something deep inside of me.She doesn’t stop me but I don’t know if she likes me doing it. It’s as if I don’t know anything. My knowledge of the world is better than anyone else I know but then simple situations seem incredibly hard. I don’t know how to act ‘normal’ and it seems my personality is just a mash up of fictional characters and people I’m with at the time. I’ve never posted anything on a forum before although I read a lot of them. I don’t know why I’ve decided to reveal everything about myself on this one. I’ve never even told anyone how im feeling because I can’t articulate it. I just want to crush my existence in my hand and watch the vileness that is me ooze through my fingers. I feel confused while writing this. As if I shouldn’t be for some reason. As if it’s just me feeling sorry for myself, but I want to understand why walking through the woods with the smell of a river and the wind in the leaves doesn’t make me have the same sensations as I used to. As if I’ve done everything a million times before and I’m bored of it.

  16. I’m in my late 40’s and have suffered depression for most of my life. One thing I’ve learned is that trying to talk to people who don’t suffer from chronic depression simply don’t have a clue; period. No F****** clue….. 😐

  17. i had a seizure awhile back that put me in an ambulance and now every time i see or hear something i seen or heard that night i cry sometimes i can’t stop thinking or crying about it it seems bigger then me but i know its not i’ve been having more anxity attacks since that night too and more depressed it overwlomes me i have too much on my plate i feel secidal too sometimes

  18. I honestly don’t know if what I have is depression.
    I had an embarrassing emo-phase about five years back where I acted in hate towards my body and mind. Unsurprisingly, I grew out of the melancholy theatrics and adolescent posturing. And now, in all respects, I look like a functioning, responsible, successful young adult with a loving and stable home life. I look happy.
    I have yet to grow out of hating myself though. Throughout the day I set easily attainable goals: clean the house, walk the dog, answer emails, or make plans with friends. These tasks are never attempted. I sleep five hours a night. Five years ago, I slept for 10. This is probably significant somehow. I often wish that someone deserving could take my place, my comfortable, relatively non-dysfunctional life, and live it to the fullest. I should have been born a better, more useful person. I don’t understand why I’m so miserable! My teenage years have been great so far!?

    I’m sorry for spreading my incoherent self-pity around, but it’s going to feel so therapeutic to hit the submission button.

  19. I don’t remember a time without depression.
    If it’s not disappointment it’s failure. If it’s not sadness it’s pain or anger.
    I can’t breath and crying is all I do.
    People around don’t know because I don’t want to burden them with my problems.
    Some days are better then others but on the otherdays getting out of bed is a challenge. With three kids and a husband that don’t understand it is even harder.
    This is the first time I share anything like this to anyone.

  20. i think of suicide and death quite alot also about how i am worth nothing to my friends and i know that i shouldnt be thinking like this which just makes it worse. i get panic attacks sometimes not big ones but at small things. is this normal???
    i want to move away and start afresh but i know i cant due to money so thats why i think that death is best but i dont want to hurt my family but they are so annoying and will never leave me alone.
    i think im sad but your description is just too close to how im feeling but i dont want to say cos what happens if im wrong, people wont believe moi

  21. I am struggling with just about every symptom on the page where it says what does depression feel like? I started taking wellburtrin about 3 days ago and have taken it before along with many other medications during my years in highschool. I started having panic attacks when i was 16 and am now 21 years old. Growing up, i kept just about everything inside. i grew up in a Christian home but my dad has bipolar and he left when i was just 4 years old. my mom said i cried so hard. i must have felt alot of pain back then. i have 3 other sisters and i thank God for them. When my dad has an episode he thinks he is an apostle from the bible so my views on Christianity was twisted growing up. i had one escape. that was my music. i wrote songs all over the walls of my bedroom and would try to sing myself out of my sorrows. one night however it was like all the songs came to life and consumed me. i was so overwhelmed. i had had lots of sleep deprivation just by staying up writing music. i had one best friend in highschool but we don’t speak now because of the pain i caused her when i went through the panic attacks. i was hospitalized and tested for the right meds and once i was dismissed i kept taking my medication. it was senior year of highschool and first time at public school. i met a boy and after graduation and in the summer he asked me out. i said yes and we dated and i became very dependent on him. moved in with him and his family. didn’t work and didn’t stick with school. i stopped taking the medication when we had been dating for awhile and ever since i feel like somethings missing. i haven’t been helping the depression get better by staying inside alot and doing nothing. im very forgetful and feel like my music was just a delusion when really its one of my deepest passions but when i look at peoples photos and their happiness and everything they have i think i will never get there. so i start doubting everything i have. i don’t know when this depression will end but i just keep feeding it. im hopefully going to go to counseling at my church soon. i feel like a little girl again how i felt when i first started having panic attacks. all i wanted was my teddy bear and comfort and love. all i could remember was my daddy leaving. i don’t know if the depression is rooted from that tho because i thought by now i would be stronger and that wouldn’t be a part of who i am. i don’t know why God chose this battle for me. just some thoughts sorry this post is so long.

  22. Depression is taking over my life bit by bit. I used to be so happy and successful. My friends always have regarded me as the fun one or the life of the party. I was on track to become my school’s valedictorian and that outcome seem unlikely now. It’s as if all my energy has been drained and I’m no longer myself. I’ve read on several forums about how Depression is a subtle disease. It’s entry into one’s life is slow and then sudden. It’s different for me. It feels as if I was in a Tornado and my life now is left in shambles. I watched as my life around me was breaking as if I was in the eye of the tornado. Now I’m left to pick up the pieces. I don’t know what’s become of me. It seems as if I left with it.

  23. I need some help. From the age of 10 – 17 I have always talked to someone. I have always felt different and weird. Lately I have been feeling familiar feelings that ive had before. I cant stop crying. I cry just about all day everyday. I notice myself that I’m crying for no reason and I just can’t stop or Control it. I go to bed late and then wake up for a few hours in the night/morning and then may sleep for hours during the day. I have no motivation to even get dressed or to eat half of the time. I have so much to be happy about lately and nothing works. Do you think im depressed? I feel myself that I should see my doctor x

  24. Hi I think I am very much depressed. It was about a year ago I began having anxiety then panic attacks. Like my chest was on fire and couldnt breathe. I have always had a temper but only recently I have become irriated by stupid conservations and mundane statements. Playing over and oved the idiocracy of the non substance asking the question is this the basis of this passing age of time we explicity pronounce as life. I have a wife and three wonderful children. I became unemployed seven months ago and find it increasingly difficult to keep up the fight of completing everyday mundane taskz to fulfil a disapparent purpose of life. My body feels like a vessel in which my emotions have escaped my brain and has become entrangled in the insurmountable number of veins and arteries in my body which are acting as noose squeezing them to death. Im like an external force looking at my body and mind through a glass barrier gazing at the fierce battle doom and despair is having with these losing entities. This extends to my family life aswelli couldn’t live without my family but often see them living a seperate life as though on tv with my main function being that I am merely there and the thought of me leaving becomes likened to a family ornaments which has attachef itself over time. I try and embroil in some social encounters oy to find myself challenging the doom with some of the inherent good Instilled in me by my parents to smile and focus on the social necessities by telling myself it will have a deadline. I want to have a purpose but the shackles of the dark are at the moment smothering me from the glorication of life and tge embroiled enlightenment which results from the feelings of purpose, love and attachment.
    The fight is onnn….. but will I win?
    Good luck to people out there who r suffering these demons and please fight through the willows of doom and hope to rejoin the exuberance of life.

  25. i feel like i have depression and i’ve felt this for a long time. i dono whats wrong with me. i do things on impulse like drink excessively, takes pills, do dangerous things.I misbehave in school all the time and sometimes i feel so overwhelmed like im choking. i have no support system and if i bring it up to my mom she tells me im ungrateful. if i didnt believe in my religion i would have taken my own life by now. i can still smile and have a good time but when im alone or something bad has happened i feel like complete shit. my family would be so much happier with me out of the picture. they say time heals all but it’s been 2 years..i feel like i have alot to be happy and grateful for but im just not happy… im constantly in a state of worry from my anxieties. ive had 2 panic attacks and i feel like ripping my own skin off when they happen. i lose control and it’s like someone is preventing me from breathing. i dont want anyone to know im sad but its getting worse and much harder to hide.

    1. Hi megan dear,i’m so sorry for your pain. it is hard(perhaps impossible?) for those that haven’t felt and *recognized* these feelings as a pattern that is very hard to shake. i understand the part about smile and joke with others, but then feel that sinking feeling the moment they are gone, to feel guilty about… it is possible that others we try to rely on may be suffering too, but not understand it. anger and impatience can spring from this too, so dont take what others say too hard. i think a parent especially may feel … responsible? or like a failure themselves because they try very hard to make others happy , but dont understand these unwanted feelings we have. please seek pro help, and dont give up…thats the advice many of my friends who have a well regulated condition have given me. they have found meds that help. i know its hard to stay away from symptom relieving substances and even activities but i notice that , over time, i realize i’m more ‘stable’ when i do. please dont feel preached at…. it’s just that maybe if i say these things to others , my brain will eventually hear it

  26. I have been feeling depressed and anxious.I always get this feeling that I can’t breathe,sometimes I cry for no apparent reason.i think about death.
    I worry about my health alot.i feel hot every time,I act like everything is fine in school.sometimes I am happy but sometimes I feel much worse.i would always have this “what if” thinking in my head. I would think about my old self and how I want to be like that and sometimes I just think like there is nothing I can do help myself.Does anyone feel this way?

    Cheers
    Mariam

    1. Yes! I have had many of these feelings and in reading/talking with others i have heard these over and over, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! sounds like depression. The “can’t breathe” feeling is common in panic attacks. Talk to your family doctor or a trusted friend that may have some insight,school nurse our teacher, parent etc. You can feel better! Sometimes it takes a few tries to get a right treatment, but don’t give up even tho that’s ALL you may feel like doing. Friendships can be healed, and new ones made, so don’t give up on that either. A little honest discussion and apology, if appropriate , can go along way. Don’t give up, healing always takes a little time, but we do heal! many find comfort praying to god , but Jesus also said the ailing need physicians so seek that help too. Many, many people have felt the way you do and found relief from qualified doctors. I hope you get the help and support we all need at times like this! Love

  27. I am so sad. This mask I wear feels so thin. I used to be so happy and full of positive energy. Now I hate to look at my own reflection. I hate to feel and at the same time I am scared to be numb. My whole life has been a battle. A battle for peace. I thought that if I left OK. I would have a new view on life maybe even find a real reason to smile. I don’t think that’s possible anymore. I try to take care of the world and the world spits in my face. When I was 28 I thought I had something real something that was mine. I was wrong and eventually I pushed away the only person I had ever truly wanted. Now I find that this person has not only moved on but also has a child. So there goes a big part of my heart. I have family but we aren’t close in fact we are divided I speak to my parents and not to my sisters. They have their own lives. Everyone that cared about me is gone. Some just a state away others an ending. I a hopeless and so tired of being an actress especially a back up for my own movie. I am not reaching out for help. I am not good at that. I am just writing this to get it off my heart. I know more things will weigh it down soon. Eventually I will end this. I just don’t want to hurt anyone in the process. My greatest fault is being so kind that I let the bad in with the good and instead of the conflict I hurt myself. I thought I would be gone by the time I was twenty. Ten years later and I am still wondering what happened to my prayers for release. Tears will happen in private but you will see my face with a smile. I will touch you and heal you and give you all my energy and you will feel better but I will lose myself.

  28. I’ve battled with depression & anxiety most of my life. Thankfully, it has all been manageable.

    About a few months back, I successfully weaned off of my anxiolytics and anti-depressants because I was wanting to cut down on all the chemicals that my body is constantly barraged with. Keep in mind, I was only on a very low dose of Prozax as well as Xanax. So my getting off of the meds did not pose any perceived threats.

    Fast forward a few months later – I’ve had pain and fatigue on a constant basis for over a year and no matter what tests I take, everything is normal. I’ve felt really low on myself, which is fairly new, as, I’ve managed to not indulge in negative thinking about myself since I was a teenager. However, now, I just feel guilty when I spend money, ashamed even if it is my “allowance” and I use it on clothes for my kids. Food no longer really entices me and not much is enjoyable anymore. I’ve always preferred to be alone and work on my art, however, there have always been a few people that is love to hang out with and to discuss God and spirituality, which I am usually very passionate about. But now, I’m not even passionate about that anymore. Or at least, I don’t want to share it anymore with anyone.

    Music and leading worship is my passion and for about a year I have completely shut it all out. I don’t want to sing because I’m afraid of the passion it ignites in me, which then triggers memories of feeling like a failure.

    I just don’t feel like I can do anything right anymore. Especially with my 5 year old daughter or my mom who is so co-dependent.
    So I guess today I realized that it was time to start the Prozac again, as well as talk a small dose of my Xanax to help with shortness of breath ;-( I am just so not interested in this stupid battle.

    Thanks for your post. I related to most of it.

    Cheers!
    Mindy

  29. I am a 16 year old female girl. I’m about to leave my family home because of repetitive issues within the family which are affecting my mental state. After reading this,I feel like if I were to be diagnosed tomorrow- I wouldn’t be surprised. For the past 2years it like my eyes have been opened to where I am in life and you know what…my existence is one big joke. Feeling like the creators personal joke. I try not to expect too much out of life so I can avoid disappointment but even so…most things don’t do much for me. I sound very ungrateful for oxygen. before writing this I was thinking about what is the point of even moving out to this youth hostile? It feels like every decision is a bad idea. I may be better of making NO More decisions and just terminate my own existence. As much as I’ve been trying to find value, I just keep feeling irrelevance. I already have a shrink and I mean…nothing happens. I’ve stayed alive abit longer but seriously now it has been my worst regret.
    I imagine life without me just flowing so well. And I feel like I’m beyond worrying about going to hell. That’s it. I don’t love me. I still take care of hygiene as I don’t want unnecessary attention. But I cannot even care enough to worry whether my suicide would have landed me a vip section in Hell. No even in hell I’d be irrelevant. I hope it doesn’t exist. I just want this heavy head ache and this deep feeling of **** (no word to describe)can just go away for good. If I could have a wish to make it all better what would I wish for?…
    that is the most popular question shirks ask you. I never have anything to say. I cannot find a solution. I ask them what do they want me to say? If I had a solution I wouldn’t be here. But then I stop and re-evaluate the question as they asked what would I wish for, and not what solutions are there. I would wish for… Peace, calmness, long hair, be fitter, be able to laugh regularly,be a natural A* student, sing better than Beyonce, move better than Shakira, always have money, be happy, be more confident, be able to never feel like I’m just a bother,a burden,useless,stupid,irrelevant. ,be able to live without always questioning my existence,meaning I have something I want to live for.
    I don’t really want to die..I just want this to end. Give me other issues please..like my fish died. Not oh my god I cannot find the point of life as it has just felt like a complete waste of time. Fml.

    1. I know life seems pointless sometimes.I have depression so I know what it feels like.Try getting help by talking to people or going to a physiologist.You can talk to me if you want.I not an expert ,but I want to help.

  30. All of the Loneliness and anguish that has been tormenting me and that was sitting at the back of my mind has hit me like a brick over the last two weeks. I now believe I suffer from depression but never really wanted to admit it. I left a temp job that had everything going for me to enter into a job i dont really like. I dont go out as I have no friends to do fun stuff with. Unlikely to ever find love and thats all i really want. I cant talk to my family as it will cause them too much worry if they knew how I felt..feels like i have no one to talk to and that I have nothing to live for or look forward to. Just want to feel contented again

  31. I’m a girl, 19 almost 20, and I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. There are times when I feel depressed and there are times when I’m really happy. I used to cut myself and it’s been months since I’ve done it last. I still have temptations of doing it. Every day I have insecure and suicidal/self-harm thoughts. I have Spina Bifida and I was bullied in second grade and I constantly get stared at everyday. I’ve always been an outcast. Lately I’ve been confused about how I feel emotionally. Does anyone have any thoughts/ideas/suggestions that could help me? Thanks.

    1. try and talk to ur parents they might know what you mean they could of went through the same things as your or talk to a trusted friend.

  32. There are so many hurting people here. Through a few self-examinations I’ve found that it is very, very likely that I, too, have depression, but I only have those feelings when I’m in school. I am hopeful for my future and do not want to cause any self-harm, but I’m still battling the feeling of a dark hole inside me, ripping me apart. It’s good to know that there are others who can relate, and my heart goes out to all of you. Life will get better.

  33. For me it has become painfully obvious I have depression. It started in full swing maybe 4 years ago and has roots right back to my early teens.

    For me it feels like I have nothing, am nothing and I’m going nowhere. But when I think about what I would need to be happy… theirs nothing.

    I feel alone and I am alone. I have no family, none that’s close, and I have only one real friend, who has 4 kids and not much free time.
    Plus as blokes, we tent to talk about none consequential things mostly.

    I want help, I do, I would love to have someone to talk to about it all. But every time I get asked if i’m OK my answer is always the same.

    “I’m fine.” or “Yeah I’m good

    I used to believe heartache was just an expression of sadness, until that is, i experienced it first hand.

    1. Hi , your not alone I know how you feel and the pain.. Been going tree depression my whole life I’m 49 now. I just keep going and that’s all you can do I’ve tried Jesus but he never hears me and know one understands the pain people say I’m here for you but I know that’s a lie.. Contact me any time and remember I care cause I know the pain.. Your friend frank

  34. I think I might have depression, but I just can’t get help, I can’t bring myself to want it. I just want to ignore it, but curiosity brings me places like this.
    It feels like I’ve lost my soul sometimes. Then everything feels so nonchalant and grey and slow. It’s like if ‘eeyore from winnie the pooh’ but in a ‘old mickey from disney’ way. Slow, cold, and monotone.
    I DO like music, but sometimes I hate music’s guts, but I force myself to take in the things I hate. I don’t want to hate something, then just let go. If I marry someone I once loved, now hate, so be it.
    I used to spill my life story out and my thoughts to a close friend, but after we got in a fight, when we got back together I stopped. I didn’t want to tie an anchor to him and drag him down with me. He has depression himself and hes already called me scenic, clingy, and told me to just be happy. So I know I need to stop.
    Well that’s what (possible) depression feels like to me.

  35. i am 21 years old and i think i have depression. i don’t know when it started but i know i have been overly emotional for a long time. even in school and stuff i never really cared about anything. i remember in the fifth grade i used to be scared of going to some of my classes because i could never do well in them so i just wouldn’t go, after that all the way up to when i graduated high school i would find ways to skip school as much as i could. i didn’t really have any friends who i could talk to about these things. people would tease me about just about anything. they would make fun of me about crying so much, getting so angry. even before i had a boyfriend or kissed a guy they used to call me a slut and a whore and they still do. i have been told that even people who said they were my bestfriends have called me a whore behind my back and that was just last year. i cry all the time. just today i cried most of the afternoon and even during the evening. i have dropped out of college and now im working as a model but i hate working even with such an easy job. last month i went to work for about 10 days only. i feel like im getting worse. my mood swings are crazy. i feel cold all the time. theres so much i have to say, what i have written here is not even 2 % of how i feel. im only happy when im on something like MDMA or acid, if im smoking weed, or with people i know, getting drunk at some party. please help. i need someone to talk to.

  36. im only 14 but i have a bad past.. i do self harm i say im going to stop and i did for 3 months.. then things happened. i dont cut really deep but its cause im afraid. it went from my wrist to my thigh. i feel like if i tell anyone they think im syco and need to be put in a hospital. i think i have depression. i am always sad. sometimes for no reason. i just block everyone out. even the ones i love. i hold my feelings inside. anyone that trys to help me i push away and say im fine or nothings wrong. i walk around school like nothings wrong like i have a perfect life.reading this does make me feel ashamed like im different from everyone else. they have great parents that are still together and dont live with they’re grandparents. my grandmother knows that ive self harmed but i promised i wouldnt do it again but i lied and i did it. im too scared to admit it but i think i need help.

    1. if you think you need help then please go get some im going through the same things as you and i haven’t said anything yet but i know your ashamed but people like your parents will understand you just need to tell someone befor things get worse.

    2. It’s nothing shameful because you are depressed.I know it is difficult to get help but try talking to someone.You can talk to me if you need someone to talk to.I also have depression but I’ll be happy to help.

  37. After reading what depression is, I feel I might be depressed and need to see a doctor. I can relate to a lot of what I’m reading… I feel like I’m not myself,a fake, I try to fit in and just feel overwhelmed and stupid. I can’t retain anything and don’t feel like I have anything to be happy about. But I have everything and don’t feel it!

  38. I feel like I have depression, but I don’t want to say I do because people will just say I’m sad or stressed or something. Or they’ll turn it into this big deal, which I don’t want. I just want to feel better. I can’t get out of bed easily. I’m really anxious all the time, and I get major mood swings. I think about life and the universe and realize how meaningless my life is. Nobody would care if I just died. I’m really scared and not sure what to do.

  39. I don’t know if I’m depressed or if I’m just crazy I’ve been lightheaded and dizzy for four weeks now and the first two weeks I was lightheaded sometimes and the second two weeks I was lihgtheaded all day every day and now I’m starting to get sad,feeling hopelessness, Scared and i think im have anxity attcks because the doctors don’t know what’s wrong me and i just dont know if I’m depressed or if im going crazy because I feel like it won’t get better.

  40. Reading these posts make me feel less irrational.
    At first I wanted to make everyone else disappear, but then I realized it would be easier and more relieving if I disappeared. May kill myself or run
    Off unannounced. Laying down gives me relief. Crying gives me relief. Pretending to be happy so people don’t make fun of my hopelessness is tiring. I just feel like I’m done with everything.

  41. Ive been depressed for 5 months now and just dont seem to be able to shift out of it. Im on my 2nd course of different anti depressants. Its scary every day is hard work, really struggling. It feels like there is no end to this!!

    1. If you are suffering please go get professional help there is an end it just takes some time please hold on a little bit longer it will be over if you talk to someone fast.

  42. I feel lost at the moment i have one 12 yeaqrs of ivf got one beautiful daughter my husband left me 2 years ago and now have a new partner but his 16 year old daughte has no idea of life but he can not see that i want more in my life.

  43. i have been going through depression almost my hole life now it all started after i had my daughter she had open heart surgery at 6 weeks old and i had to take care of her all bymyself my husband worked swing shifts and my mom was taking care of my son so i had no one and at that time i didnt know what depression was until four years later when my brother passed away from cancer and then my grandmother passed away also from cancer and then my husbands grandmother she aslo died from cancer.. it was a tough of couple years for me. then i started to get help cuz i couldnt think straight i wanted to stay in bed all the time my house i cant keep up with it there are times i just want to give up and then maybe everyone around me will see that there was something wrong with me they always say aww just get over it how do u just get over depression i have a sleeping disorder, i have PTSD im on blood pressure pills for my sleep cuz i have really bad nightmares of my brother dying. i slao have anxitiy whitch is bad, i cant stand to be around people i hate big crowds i hate trying to talk to somebody cuz my words just dont come out right im always tired. i dont feel anything i just hate the world and everything on it i just want to dissipare sometime,… i need better help…

  44. It’s like no one cares about you anymore. I’m in depression and everything around just make it harder. I nearly got through it. But the thing that stoped me was love. I got heartbroken and it feels like SHIT.

  45. Ive stopped paying my bills and I don’t even care. I have stopped riding my beloved horse and I don’t care. My house looks like a bombstrike hit it and I don’t even care. I sit and think about my own funeral and wonder what everyone will think if I just killed myself. I cry constantly and over dumb Crap on TV. I’ve gained almost 80 pounds in the past year. Don’t care but I cry over not having clothes to wear. I’ve become cynical and hateful to my mom. Don’t care.

    1. Don’t give up.I know it’s difficult. I also have depression.Medication helps or even talking to people.You can even talk to me if you want to.Ill be happy to help.

  46. I would like someone to explain to me what depression is scientificly. You say it’s not in any way sadness. It feels like it is tho. But illness feels like your sick, when depression (a illness) feels like something that has nothing to do with sickness, even tho it is. How is that?

  47. I am not sure if I am depressed or what it is. After reading all the info on what is depression and what people think it is I just cry more and don’t want to be here. I really want to get it together, I am a big failure and a fake!

    1. I don’t even know if Im suffering from depression or not. Its been six to seven years since i wanted to run away from home but didn’t because i was scared of being on my own. Its been a few years since I wanted to commit suicide. But I am just too coward to do so. I don’t have a zero figure and my mother constantly tells me to lose the extra pound and her every word seems like an abuse. Though i am the most intelligent student in my school, my parents don’t even bother about that. All they want is a supermodel. I am 17, never had a boyfriend or a best friend. Food tastes like metal and all i want is to lose myself to drugs. I do have unexplainable pains and feel intense panic and anxiety. Can anyone tell me if I am having depression?

  48. * Depression IS NOT the opposite of happiness. (Sadness is the opposite of happiness. Sadness does not equal depression, but depression can cause sadness.)
    * Depression is an illness that can be aggravated by a simple cold, or change in weather.

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