Whenever a person goes through a bad time, they usually wonder “What does depression feel like?”. It is usually the bad times that force our minds to ask these questions. Life events can take unexpected turns, our feelings follow that same path too. And it’s our feelings that make us question ourselves, “Is it worth it?”.
Feeling low and depressed has become more common in this fast-paced world. We are so into earning ourselves a fortune that we sometimes go too far. Then there comes a sudden disappointment and we feel broken from inside. It feels like all we did in the past was make wrong decisions. We feel regret which ultimately leads to stress and sadness. It’s a vicious loop.
Keeping the discussion in mind, let’s further elaborate on that. The pressing question “What does depression feel like?” would also be answered. Moreover, the actual solution to feeling depressed would also be discussed.
1. Diagnosis of Depression
Before answering “What does depression feel like?”, first know whether you are suffering from depression or it’s just sadness. There are some parameters to decide whether your feeling of sorrow is depression or not.
1.1 Lost in Appetite
Probably the most visible litmus test for depression is loss of appetite. A sudden loss in appetite is often related to mental health. If this loss in appetite prolongs, it may be a sign of depression. This coupled with other things shows signs of depression. It is common for teenagers to eat less sometimes. But if they suffer from depression symptoms, it is usually highlighted.
1.2 Feeling of Hopelessness
Probably a person who’s suffering from depression feels that there’s nothing right they can do. It’s a bottomless rabbit hole. A person feels like whatever they do is of no use because, in the end, they will fail. Whatever they do, they have a negative outlook. This leads to poor decision-making. Hence, due to wrong decisions, each and everything goes downhill in their life.
The thoughts of being the unluckiest human in the whole world lured into their heads. They begin to cut out from the world and isolate themselves. This is the thing that should be avoided but they care less and less about it.
1.3 The World of Anxiety
Feeling anxious sometimes is not at all concerning. More often than not it’s short-lived. But when this becomes more frequent, it’s a bad sign. Anxiety attacks are the most common among depressed people. However, some are prone to anxiety more than others. But a depressed person feels anxious about even walking out of their home. Anxiety is identified with increased heartbeat, uncontrollable trembling, heavy breathing, and cloudy thinking.
Probably the most related fact to depression is lack of sleep. When a person is depressed, their mind is flushed with thoughts. These thoughts are most prevalent at night and are often not so good. These thoughts are filled with past regrets and the worst of all memories. And the fun fact is, our brains crave these thoughts. It forces us to wrap our heads around the insignificant things.
Due to that, a depressed person is often left wondering about these thoughts. Due to that time flies, and before they know it, it’s already morning. That means they have to go to work sleepless. Which in turn leads to heavy dark circles under the eyes. Due to not getting proper rest, their brain becomes cloudy and they are drained of energy all the time.
1.5 Looking Out for Death
The above-mentioned effects, if continued for a long time, become fatal. As a person feels no hope, they start losing their will to live. This ultimately forces them to take their own lives. This fact is common in most teenagers. Due to incomplete knowledge of how the world works, they are left with no choice. Among the teenagers, the neglected ones are the most vulnerable. However, suicide is never an option, but a depressed person finds it otherwise. Probably that’s a brief answer to “What does depression feel like?”. It’s deep and dark.
2. Different Types of Depression
The step in answering “What does depression feel like?” is by discussing its types. However, the feeling of hopelessness is common among depressed people, there are some differences. These are all related to different causes. Some might be short-lived while others may pose a long-term threat. After all, “What does depression feel like?” might get various answers to it. Let’s explore the types further.
2.1 Major/Clinical Depression Disorder
Major depression is also known as clinical/unipolar depression. This disorder is characterized by more than two weeks of prolonged depressed feeling. It is the most common type of depression out there. A person suffering from this seems sad more than 5 days a week. Irrespective of whether they are being praised, they feel worthless. This type of severe depression has various further subtypes.
- Melancholia: This type of depression is characterized by physical symptoms. A person is always tired, doesn’t like to move, and is never interested in going out.
- Psychotic Depression: Its symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. A person suffering from this often sees things that are not there. The part of the brain that differentiates imagination from reality is troubled in that person.
- Prenatal and postnatal depression: Prenatal occurs during pregnancy. Whereas postnatal occurs within three months of childbirth. Usually, the mother is constantly about the welfare of their baby. Paranoia is a common symptom.
2.2 Bipolar Disorder
This is a weird type of condition. A person goes completely out of their character sometimes but other times they are completely fine. Depression occurs in periods and mania. This type of depression becomes dangerous as the person seems fine most of the time. So, they think nothing of it and never consult. But over time, when the symptoms accumulate, a person can lose touch with what’s happening in real life.
Causes of bipolar disorder can be anything from family history to stress triggered. It can be mistaken for ADHD but this disorder is completely different. Sometimes it is within the genes of a person. Usually, it starts with experiencing the extremes of your mood every other day.
2.3 Cyclothymic Disorder
Another disorder identical to Bipolar is Cyclothymic disorder. Usually, this disorder is a mild stage of Bipolar disorder. The symptoms here are milder than Bipolar. A person still experiences periods of mania but they are spaced out greatly. Usually, a person can feel normal for up to 2 months. Hence it is difficult to detect. It is advised to consult a doctor if you have even a small doubt.
2.4 Seasonal Affective Disorder
This disorder is related to the changing of seasons. If you feel different in winters and in summers over 3-4 years, you probably have SAD. The symptoms here are the same as depression namely not eating too much, lack of sleep, always tires, etc. But it is always seasonal. Usually, a person feels depressed in winter and a little energetic in summer. It is seen that this type of disease is common in countries with extremely cold winters. Due to darkness persisting more throughout the day, it affects the minds of people.
3. What Does Depression Feel Like?
Now that you know the diagnosis and types of depression, let’s proceed further. Let’s finally completely get an answer to “What does depression feel like?”.
Imagine yourself suddenly waking up in a dark room. You can’t see anything clearly. There’s darkness everywhere. Your visibility is close to zero and you can’t even see your own body. You don’t know what to do and your heart is beating out of your chest. You feel anxious and hopeless and cry. Even if there’s a way out, you seem to just remain sad and your thinking is clouded.
That’s what a depressed person feels like. Depression is like the infinite darkness that’s there in the universe. Even if there are stars of hope like the sun which are bright enough to light up Earth, the darkness still overpowers.
There are literally an infinite number of galaxies of happiness, but still, 97% of the universe is dark. The universe is perfectly relatable to a depressed person’s mind. The dark matter in the universe is all the doubts that persist in their mind. Even if there are infinite ways to be happy around them, they are broken and hopeless from the inside.
4. There’s Always a Way Out
There’s always a door out of a dark room. Similarly, there’s always a way out of depression. It’s just that you have to relax for once, take a break, and then search for it. Even if there’s sadness of dark matter everywhere, try to explore a galaxy of happiness. Try to go deep into that galaxy, and find your way to live inside it. Just like the darkness manipulated its way inside your head, manipulate your mind to be happy.
And when you learned to be happy again and live inside it, now try to look into the dark matter. Try to see what the main problem was. And make sure that depression can’t ever make its way again in your life.
5. Try to Get Help
Now let’s accept the fact that getting help is the most important thing. People usually are scared to ask for help. They think that people would judge them. But it is important to get someone’s point of view when you are depressed. It is important as in your mind you might be doing everything badly. But when viewed from the outside, it’s not as bad as you think it is.
This helps you to break the bubble that you made around yourself. Even if there’s someone to listen to what you have to say, it helps manifold. There’s a reason why a human is a social animal. We thrive when we are living in a society.
6. Ways to Counter Depression
Now that “What does depression feel like?” is answered, let’s discuss further. Let’s learn how to come out of that depressed phase.
6.1 Ask for Help
Never refrain from asking for help. There are many government helplines. Also, try to talk to your friends more and keep them around you. Isolation is probably the best friend of depression. It elevates it. Your depressed feelings would suddenly reduce once you start hanging out with people. Someone to talk to is probably the best gift ever.
6.2 Seek Medical Help
There’s a reason why psychiatrists exist. There are some things that can’t be resolved with home remedies. You need to take some medicine to counter depression. There are medicines that calm you down. Just like you take medicine for a fever, depression is no different. So, try to go see a doctor if there’s something you are not feeling right about.
6.3 Take up a Hobby
Even if it’s as simple as a morning or an evening walk, do that. Play any sport that involves physical work. At the day’s end, if you are tired, you would rather fall asleep than overthink. Morning walks can help you rejuvenate yourself. The beautiful smell of the flowers in a park can probably elate your mood.
7. Conclusion for “What Does Depression Feel Like?”
We have discussed in depth “What does depression feel like?”. We have also discussed the remedies and diagnosis of depression. Let’s end on a high note. There’s a saying that no matter how powerful the enemy is, good always prevails. Depression is a disease caused by today’s fast-paced world. If it is caused then surely it can be conquered. Whether it’s by medicines or by changing our lifestyle. Slowing your mind down and then analyzing things is still at the pinnacle of problem-solving.