What Does Depression Feel Like To Me

What Does Depression Feel Like To Me

I’ve never really touched too much on depression on my blog as anxiety has always taken centre stage. Surprisingly I have lived with depression longer than I have lived with anxiety, but depression has never been the one that has consumed me as much anxiety have.

But I thought it might be quite therapeutic to write about my experiences and a great way to shine some light on depression as like most mental illnesses it has it’s misconceptions and a stigma attached to it.

This week 13th May – 19th May 2019 is Mental Health Awareness week so it seems pretty fitting to share my experience. The focus this year is on body image but I wanted to share my own experience with depression as the two can play hand in hand.

I also began writing this post around a month ago now when I felt my depression had hit me hard for the first time in a long time. So I really hope this true account gives you an idea of what depression can feel like.

So what does depression feel like to me?

When it’s bad depression feels like a heavyweight is living inside of me. It feels like every muscle and bone inside my body weighs ten times heavier than normal. I feel like every movement I make takes twice as much effort to do. It’s almost like someone is hanging onto my shoulders trying to pull me down and prevent me from moving at all.

It’s feeling emotional pain inside of your body in particular in your chest and stomach. It’s a tense and heavy feeling that you have to carry around with you. It’s feeling like you’re going to drop to the floor any second because it’s taking so much for you to try to do even the most simple tasks like getting out of bed or eating a meal.

It’s having no interest in anything or anyone. You want to do so much. You want to do what you were doing days before and get stuck in. But your mind and body just don’t want you to. They want you to just sit there, wrapped up in a ball and do nothing.

Everyone around you is going about their everyday lives, wanting to get you involved, but you feel so much guilt and shame that you just want to be left alone. You don’t mean to be harsh or ungrateful but pretending to be happy, joining in the conversation or carrying out plans is the last thing on your mind.

It’s carrying around that guilt knowing you can’t be the person you want to be or that everyone wants you to be. It’s feeling bad that you have to let people down and worrying that you’ve upset them or brought tension to your relationship.

What Does Depression Feel Like To Me

But depression can also be smiles, laughter and good memories. Depression can also exist during more good times. It isn’t always doom and gloom. It isn’t always sitting in a dark room alone, crying your eyes out, unable to get up and move.

Depression affects everyone in different ways. It can be something that comes and goes further you move through your mental health journey. Or it can be something that stays around for longer bouts of time.

For me, it came first in my mental health journey, when I was at school and I began to experience poor self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and prolonged low moods. I remember one time I was referred to seek help from my school’s student support because I was caught crying in class.

Never did I think that once I left school, I would then develop anxiety and panic disorder, which in turn has lead to other mental health conditions and a whole journey of recovery for the past six years.

Depression comes and goes nowadays. It’s never been centre stage. It’s been something that has come through to the surface when I’m feeling low, run down, hormonal or experienced a long period of anxiety.

But all I know is that when it does come it is real and this is what it feels like to me.

Have you experienced depression? How do you look after yourself when you feel low?

Further support – Mind (the mental health charity)

Samaritans

Time To Change

12 thoughts on “What Does Depression Feel Like To Me

  • Hiya Lauren,
    I absolutely adore you for being so brave and vulnerable in writing this post. Depression is such a debilitating illness and I’m so proud of you for having the courage to share your story in honour of mental health awareness week!
    When I feel low I try to get myself outside for some fresh air, it really helps me to stay present!

    All my love,
    Casey x
    http://www.casestreetx.com

    • Aww thanks so much, Casey! Your support is always so appreciated. Fresh air helps so much, doesn’t it? It’s so underrated but it definitely helps to make you feel grounded when your mind is elsewhere xx

  • I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for most of my life now. The past few months, however, have been extremely difficult for me. I find myself miserable, unable to get out of bed, crying all the time and feeling suicidal. The bad thing is that nobody understands what you’re going through. I’ve tried to speak with the people around me about but people don’t take depression seriously. Even when I’ve tried telling them how depressed I feel, they don’t seem to get it. Actually, people usually tell me that I’m not depressed. Thus, I’ve stopped sharing my feelings with them… People don’t seem to understand that you can still smile and laugh occasionally, even though you’re depressed.

    I completely understand how you feel and I send you my support. I’ve never tried anti-depressants as they scare me but I’ve recently started taking 5-HTP. It has helped a lot, especially with my anxiety and sleeping issues. Have you tried it?

    Mariya | https://www.brunetteondemand.com/

    • I’m really sorry to hear that, Mairya! I hope things start to feel a bit brighter for you soon. It can feel so unpleasant when you’re in the midst of it so I totally sympathise with you but I believe you will get through it. It can be so hurting when no one understands and you feel so alone. But I find being able to connect with others online and knowing that other people are going through what I’m going through makes me feel less isolated. I’m glad to hear that you’ve found something that is helping! I’ve never tried them but my anti-depressants have worked wonders for me xx

  • I always admire you for raising so much awareness and sharing your mental health Lauren. This is such a well written post and you look lovely in these photos! When I’m feeling low and anxious, my self-care beauty routine is really important to me – I like to dedicate extra time to myself to have a pamper session and there’s just something about feeling clean, fresh and pampered that makes me feel a bit more like myself again x

    http://www.clionahill.com

    • Aww, thank you so much lovely! That means so much to me. Yes, I can completely relate to that! I always feel refreshed after having a shower and treating myself to some beauty products. It’s such an lovely way to feel more like you again xx

  • Ohwow, you are so amazing and brave, really. By seeing your blog I can tell that you’re a very ambitious and wise person. Well, I know how it feels, when everyone just thinks that you are such a succesful person, but you know that they have no idea how you feel, when they don’t see you. In the past I also had a really low self-esteem, but now, when I saw photos of me from that period, I couldn’t believe, how I could think about myself such things. Well, it’s not easy, but everyone should focus on her or his advantages and focus on something that makes him happy.
    Have a nice day and good luck!
    Mona Bednarska

  • This was a really interesting read Lauren, I’m sorry depression is something you experience but you’re so strong for talking out about it. I’ve suffered with severe anxiety/panic attacks for almost 5 years now and within that time, I have experienced depression too. I think when my anxiety gets so bad, depression is almost a side piece to it. It makes me so miserable, I’ve found myself in a few depressive episodes over the years. It makes you so tired and feel lifeless, I can vouch for that.

    Lucy | Forever September

    • Thank you so much, Lucy! That means so much to me. I’m so sorry you have to go through that! It’s crazy how anxiety and depression can play into each other. It definitely does make you feel in a very dark place xx

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