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Tue Apr 19, 2016, 03:49 PM

What does depression feel like? Trust me – you really don’t want to know (Guardian)

Tuesday 19 April 2016 20.05 BST


Darker than grief, an implosion of the self, a sheet of ice: no matter how you describe it, this is a terrifying state to be trapped in

This is Depression Awareness Week, so it must be hoped that during this seven-day period more people will become more aware of a condition that a minority experience, and which most others grasp only remotely – confusing it with more familiar feelings, such as unhappiness or misery.

This perception is to some extent shared by the medical community, which can’t quite make its mind up whether depression is a physical “illness”, rooted in neurochemistry, or a negative habit of thought that can be addressed by talking or behavioural therapies.

<snip>

From the outside it may look like malingering, bad temper and ugly behaviour – and who can empathise with such unattractive traits? Depression is actually much more complex, nuanced and dark than unhappiness – more like an implosion of self. In a serious state of depression, you become a sort of half-living ghost. To give an idea of how distressing this is, I can only say that the trauma of losing my mother when I was 31 – to suicide, sadly – was considerably less than what I had endured during the years prior to her death, when I was suffering from depression myself (I had recovered by the time of her death).

So how is this misleadingly named curse different from recognisable grief? For a start, it can produce symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s – forgetfulness, confusion and disorientation. Making even the smallest decisions can be agonising. It can affect not just the mind but also the body – I start to stumble when I walk, or become unable to walk in a straight line. I am more clumsy and accident-prone. In depression you become, in your head, two-dimensional – like a drawing rather than a living, breathing creature. You cannot conjure your actual personality, which you can remember only vaguely, in a theoretical sense. You live in, or close to, a state of perpetual fear, although you are not sure what it is you are afraid of. The writer William Styron called it a “brainstorm”, which is much more accurate than “unhappiness”.

cont'd...


Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/19/depression-awareness-mental-illness-feel-like

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Reply What does depression feel like? Trust me – you really don’t want to know (Guardian) (Original post)
inanna Apr 2016 OP
elleng Apr 2016 #1
inanna Apr 2016 #2
polly7 Apr 2016 #3
LiberalArkie Apr 2016 #4
mopinko Apr 2016 #5
Politicub Jun 2016 #6
BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #7

Response to inanna (Original post)

Tue Apr 19, 2016, 03:51 PM

1. I described it as the grey cloud.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 19, 2016, 03:53 PM

2. The "void".

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Response to inanna (Original post)

Tue Apr 19, 2016, 04:12 PM

3. Being at the bottom of a well so deep and so black that nothing seems possible. nt.

Innana and Elleng

Sorry for all the edits, I forgot what I meant to say first - thank you for the great article.

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Response to inanna (Original post)

Tue Apr 19, 2016, 06:04 PM

4. When you find yourself in bed in the fetal position, with the windows blacked out, and you really

do not care whether a bomb drops on you or not. I will get out of bed tomorrow, oh maybe tomorrow then, well maybe tomorrow because I need to feed the pets, oh they can wait.

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Response to inanna (Original post)

Wed Apr 20, 2016, 08:30 PM

5. darkness visible

is what william styron called it. always thought that very apt.

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Response to inanna (Original post)

Sat Jun 4, 2016, 05:06 PM

6. When you find yourself hunched over in the floor

Sobbing. Feeling utterly helpless and not caring that they don't care. Thinking hurts.

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Response to inanna (Original post)

Mon Jun 13, 2016, 06:58 PM

7. Sleeping for 4 days and no desire to get up.

What for? Nothing's changing, why keep hoping.

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