What Does Depression Feel Like?

It’s not wanting to get out of bed in the morning – and sometimes I don’t.

It’s a cloudiness in my mind that just sucks the life out of my thoughts and emotions.

It’s wanting to isolate myself from other people.

It’s desiring to stay inside the house because it’s kind of my “safe place.”

It’s putting on a smile when I’m around others so they don’t know I’m not feeling well. How would I explain my struggle to them?

It’s feeling lonely – oh, so lonely – even though I’m the one who chose to be by myself. I sometimes feel like there are very few people who understand.

It’s fear, doubt, and a lack of confidence.

It’s feeling like I’m in a deep, dark pit – and like I have no way to climb out of it. Thank goodness the Lord is there to help!

It’s a complete lack of energy. I often want to crawl back in bed, even if I just finally got myself out of it.

It’s a total lack of motivation. Simple daily tasks are huge undertakings for me.

It’s not enjoying the things that you used to enjoy. I used to like so many different activities…but now I just can’t get myself to do them. I have been able to get back into reading and writing, and for this I am grateful.

It’s feeling different. Not normal. Like I don’t fit in.

It’s fighting – fighting every moment of every day to focus on the beautiful and the good, instead of focusing on my struggle.


Those are some of the ways that depression plays out in my life. Do YOU struggle with depression? If so, what does depression feel like for you?

10 Things that People with Depression Want You to Know

  1. Depression is not just “being sad.” Yes, you feel despair and discouragement often when you struggle with depression. But you also feel a lack of energy, low motivation, irritability, and a host of other things. Sadness just does not encompass all of the emotions that you struggle with when you are depressed.
  2. We can’t just “snap out of it.” We did not “choose” to be depressed, and we can’t just force ourselves to feel better again.
  3. There isn’t always a specific reason for why we’re feeling depressed. People often think that our depression is linked to a devastating event in our lives – although sometimes that can trigger it. But depression is not as simple as feeling low because of something bad that happens (whether big or little).
  4. We may try to hide how we’re feeling so as to appear “normal.” Sometimes we don’t feel like we “fit in,” or we feel like we’re “strange” because of our illness. Please encourage us to be open about our emotions.
  5. Things that may be easy for you can take a huge effort for us. Many times, just getting out of bed in the morning drains all of our energy. So things like making meals, taking care of our families, and navigating the work world can be overwhelming. Help us to feel good about little victories.
  6. We just need you to listen. Oftentimes friends and family members want to give advice that might help us feel better. We appreciate this, but what we really need is a listening ear. Just like any other disorder or illness, it’s difficult for someone who has never experienced the illness to be able to understand. And that’s okay! Just knowing that you are there to listen is enough.
  7. We tend to isolate ourselves without realizing it. Our homes may be our safe places. It can be easy to stay indoors during the day – especially if there’s bad weather – instead of getting outside for some fresh air. And when we make plans to get together but don’t keep them…it’s not because we don’t care about you. It’s because interacting with others takes a lot of our energy – and energy is not something we have a lot of!
  8. We can’t just “take a pill” to make depression go away. Some people with depression take medication to help with the symptoms of their illness – I am one of them. However, I don’t believe that medication fully cures depression. Many times, it assists with controlling some of the symptoms, but also causes new symptoms (like making you feel emotionless).
  9. Just because we have a good day (or week or month) doesn’t mean we’re cured. Depression is complicated, and it can come and go. So please don’t think we’ve got this thing beat if we have a period where we feel better.
  10. We’re doing our best to fight this monster. We haven’t given in to defeat. Just because we struggle doesn’t mean that we’re not doing our best to live full lives. And we appreciate all that you do to help us!

I hope that this list has been helpful, and I encourage you to leave a comment with any thoughts you might have! ❤

I got my inspiration for this post from this website.

Photo Credit: Maria Victoria Heredia Reyes


12 Nuggets of Wisdom from My Experience with Mental Illness: Part 1


Living with a mental illness for the past fifteen or so years has been a harrowing experience. I’ve had some up’s, but many down’s. Thankfully, however, God has enabled me to learn from my experiences and to develop a few tactics in order to live a more enriched and satisfying life. I would like to share these with you, with the hope that you can use these “nuggets of wisdom” in your own life.

  • Recovery is a process — it doesn’t happen overnight. I cannot count the number of times I have thought to myself or even said aloud, “I want to be better, NOW!” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.There are many aspects to a person’s recovery, and each need to be addressed over a period of time. Yes, I hate not knowing when I’m going to be “better”, but I have learned that each day is a new opportunity to learn and to grow and to improve.
  • It’s important to take responsibility for your own recovery. It’s one thing to want to get better because your spouse or your children or any other person/people desire(s) it, but it’s much more effective when you have the desire within yourself to overcome your areas of difficulty and to become the best person that you can be. This gives you motivation that you wouldn’t always have if you were attempting to heal for the sake of someone else.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s humbling and embarrassing at first to realize that you need outside help in order to work towards healing, but the sooner you admit this truth to yourself, the closer you will be to getting connected with the resources that can help you in your recovery.
  • Widen your support group. This was (and still is) a difficult endeavor for me. I rely greatly on a very few number of people with whom I am close, and have always had a hard time knowing how to reach out and get the extra support that I need. This support could be from a pastor, a church group, a counselor, a friend, a family member, a recovery program, or a group that meets to specifically discuss mental health issues. The goal is to have people around you on whom you can rely, as opposed to only having one person to reach out to. This is not healthy for yourself, or for the other person.
  • Don’t be ashamed of your mental illness. Unfortunately, there is still a large stigma related to mental illness. Many people just don’t understand, because they haven’t had this type of experience themselves. But having a battle with mental illness does not make you any less of a person, or any less “normal” than anyone else. Even though I have never felt “normal,” I am learning that everyone has areas in which they struggle; and although they may be different areas, we all share the common need to grow and improve and to overcome the obstacles in our lives.
  • Learn as much as you can about your mental illness. As is often said, knowledge is power. Do whatever it takes to grow in your understanding of your illness. Whether it be researching the nature and possible cause(s) of the illness, searching for available treatment options, or exploring different coping skills that you may be able to use to improve your quality of life, it is extremely important to educate yourself in all aspects of your illness.

I will continue with the last six “nuggets of wisdom” soon. Thank you for reading, and I sincerely hope that what I have learned from my own struggles can be even a small tool to help you (or someone you know) in your (or their) journey.

Here is a link to 12 Nuggets of Wisdom from My Experience with Mental Illness: Part 2!