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  • Writer's pictureBeth

depression Explained to those who don't understand

Photo by Beth Pauvlinch

The following is an article that I found on I've attempted to answer this question myself on previous occasions but was never able to find the right words. I think Grahame has explained it beautifully in his explanation below. I can honestly relate to all of them; however, specifically, six out of eighteen, which are: 2, 5, 7, 10, 11, and 16.

By Grahame Cossum Published My Third Book: Understanding Depression

As depression is a grossly misunderstood illness, this could be quite a long list.

  • We are not just sad all the time, we can certainly feel sad just like you, but sadness is not what drives depression.

  • We do want to be happy, we just seem to have lost the ability.

  • If we push you away it’s nothing personal, it’s all part of the illness.

  • We experience helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness on a daily basis. How do you think you would feel if this were you?.

  • Most of us feel like our lives are over and there’s nothing we can do about it, we can feel like we are trapped.

  • We know you want us to explain what depression feels like, it’s just not adequately possible with words, it’s something you need to experience to understand the depths of despair.

  • It hurts more than you can possibly know when you say “it can’t be that bad”, it really is that bad, we are not looking for attention and we are not faking it.

  • When you say you understand because you, yourself have been down for a week, you really don’t. Comparing being pissed off to depression is like comparing a toothache to taking it out yourself with a hammer and chisel.

  • If we talk about ending it all, sometimes we are just blowing off steam. Unfortunately for some people that final act becomes reality.

  • Suicidal thoughts scare us just like they would scare you.

  • We can feel guilty all the time and feel like we are being a burden to everyone.

  • Please, please don’t say it will pass. You have no idea how insulting that sounds.

  • If we could snap ourselves out of it, or pull ourselves together, do you not think we would have already?

  • Just because we are not curled up in the fetal position in a corner doesn’t mean we are not depressed. We have a socially acceptable mask for every occasion.

  • Please, don’t try and fix us. It’s the support and understanding we need. Leave the fixing to people that are experienced.

  • We understand that you probably read somewhere that exercise is good for depression. The truth is, most of us have neither the energy nor the motivation to exercise, even if we knew it would help.

  • We live with the daily fear we are going to be like this for the rest of our lives.

  • We can spot prejudice and stigma from a mile and a half. We might be depressed, we haven’t lost the ability to feel hurt.

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