What is it like to be clinically depressed?

The experience of clinical depression is devastating. You feel worthless, tired, heavy and miserable. You can’t eat, or you eat too much. You can’t sleep, or you sleep all the time. Nothing is pleasurable, everything takes more effort than you can muster. Even the things that used to make you happy seem tarnished and trite. You can barely remember enjoying them at all.

 

Taking a shower seems insurmountable. You feel intense shame, guilt and overwhelming sadness. It seems rational that the ones who love you would be better off without you. You may not be actively suicidal, but the thought is there.

 

You have no concentration, and your basic cognitive functioning is seriously impaired, which just confirms your belief that you are basically stupid. You feel like you will never feel any better, that this is your reality. It is hard to remember any time when you felt ok.

 

You feel completely alone and isolated from your friends and family. You isolate yourself further, either because the effort of talking to someone is too much or to protect people from the dumb, lazy, miserable person you really are. You may be able to bumble your way through days at work and home, but you are not really connecting or getting anything done well.

 

All of this further contributes to the depression, and your general feelings of worthlessness. Not a fun place to be. You really need help to get out of the pit, but you are in no shape to ask for help. You are probably convinced that you don’t deserve help, or that no help will fix this.

 

Gradually, your friends stop calling, your partner becomes frustrated with your lack of participation, your children are miserable and the rest of your family just don’t know what to do. The best part is when some otherwise intelligent loved one tells you to “just pull yourself together”, as if you were somehow doing this to yourself or were indulging in general laziness. See the above comments about shame and guilt.

 

This is an illness, not a character flaw, but you feel like you are basically not worth the effort. You need a therapist, and maybe some meds, not Dr. Phil. You need someone to tell you that this is not your fault, and that you can get better and rejoin the world, but that is hard to understand for you and unfortunately for the ones around you.

 

Pasted from <http://www.quora.com/What-do-clinically-depressed-people-feel-like>

 

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