*this is not a diagnosis tool, the descriptors are from lived experience, please see a GP or health profession to seek medical advice if you feel you have depression.
Every person is unique and how they experience depression differs from person to person. Depression doesn’t look one way on the outside, some people sap a smile on and go about their day, some people withdraw and stay away form friends and family as much as possible, some people hold it together in work and fall apart at home, for most people you would never know the battle they are fighting in their heads as they become masters at hiding the pain.
Clients describe symptoms of their depression as:
- Feeling numb or feeling sad for a prolonged amount of time
- Feeling like there is no way out
- Difficulty socialising or communicating
- Feeling a sense of doom or blackness around you
- Unable to enjoy life or things you previously enjoyed
- Lacking motivation or passion
- A loss of interest in family, life, relationships, work, hobbies, etc
- Not looking after yourself
- Not wanting to leave the house or bed
- Feeling exhausted / drained all the time
- Mindless living, working on automatic pilot
- Feeling like you are drowning
- Trying to find ways to distract yourself from the emptiness inside
- Feeling lonely even if surrounded by people
- Lacking energy
- Clouded by negativity, self punishing thoughts,
- sense of worthlessness and or hopelessness
- eating too much, not eating or controlling eating.
- Feeling fearful
Sadness and depression are similar and although you can have depression and be sad, you can have depression and you feel numb you can feel sad without being depressed. I remember having meltdowns where would cry, feel like my life is out of control, feel like a failure and be constantly self punishing and I never believed there was a way out but now I am free of depression. It takes hard work to maintain my emotional state, I now have sad moments, happy moments, angry moments, when I was living with depression I had years of feeling a mixture of sadness, loneliness, numbness and anger.
My biggest fear when living with depression was not ever living a life free from it, I hated the constant despair and disappointment. The fear in depression is irrational and has you believing a variety of things that are not true, you discard the truths and evidence that contradict the fear and depression.
Clients looking for reasons for depression often tell me that they do not understand why they are depressed, they have everything they need, money, family, home, good career / job, but depression isn’t about what you have it’s about how you feel and think. The likes of stress or demands at work may contribute towards depression as can toxic people, dysfunction, not living your values are all contributors. IF you want to know if you have depression speak to your doctor and let them know what is going on for you.