The Future Can Feel Inconceivable
Both the short and the long term future can feel hard to grasp. This doesnt necessarily mean feeling suicidal or not wanting to live, but rather just not being able to imagine it.
My Dad was talking to me about college choices and I just found myself thinking college? is that even possible? not in an Im stupid kinda way, more in a thats a thing people do, Im not really people Im just this blob of.nothing. how could college be for me?
My friend suggested that as I was managing a bit better now, perhaps we could get coffee next week. I said no. Not because I dont like coffee, or didnt want to be with my friend, but just because I couldnt get my head around the idea of this afternoon, let alone next week
Withdrawal From Family Friends And Community
When someone suffers from depression, they will pull away from those they love. I tend to pull away when it all feels too much or when I do not feel seen or heard. Often, it can feel easier to isolate than to pretend and fake a smile. It can feel easier to isolate and avoid questions or feelings you have to explain your emotions to others.
If you have a friend or family member battling depression or mental illness, the best thing you can do is listen and let me know you are there. They will be grateful that they are seen.
When To Get Help For Depression
If youve been experiencing multiple signs or symptoms of depression and feel like its progressing or has progressed to the point that its now interfering with your life, it might be time to get help. Your doctor or a mental health professional can help you identify if what youre experiencing is truly depression. They can help you identify which, if any, form of depression you may be dealing with. They can also help you come up with a therapy or treatment plan to learn some coping skills and techniques on how to handle depression.
Depression symptoms can increase, intensify, or worsen dramatically over time. If youre wonderinghow does depression feel, and questioning your symptoms, take our free depression test.
1. What does depression feel like?. Medicalnewstoday.com. . Published 2018. Accessed August 31, 2021.
2. Sex Differences in the Pathways to Major Depression: A Study of Opposite-Sex Twin Pairs | American Journal of Psychiatry. American Journal of Psychiatry. . Published 2014. Accessed August 31, 2021.
3. Martin LA, Neighbors HW, Griffith DM. The Experience of Symptoms of Depression in Men vs Women: Analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 70:11001106. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.1985. Accessed August 31, 2021.
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Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. This can be a serious problem as taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder can actually make the condition worse.
If youve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder.
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Researchers At The National Institute Of Mental Health And Across The Country Are Dedicated To Womens Mental Health Research
Researchers continue to study depression to improve the way this medical condition is diagnosed and treated. For example, NIMH researchers are currently working to understand how and why changes in reproductive hormones trigger mood disorders, including postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopausal depression.
NIMH scientists are conducting a large number of research studies with patients and healthy volunteers to better understand why some women are at higher risk than others, and how they can translate these findings into new treatments or new uses of existing treatments.
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What If My Symptoms Dont Improve
If youre not responding to treatment, you may live with treatment resistant depression. This is when your symptoms have not improved after at least 2 standard treatments. This can also be known as treatment-refractory depression.
There is currently no official criteria used to diagnose treatment resistant depression.
What treatment is available for treatment-resistant depression?There are treatment options for treatment resistant depression. Even if antidepressants have not worked already for you, your doctor may suggest a different antidepressant from a different class.
The new antidepressant you are offered will depend on the first antidepressant you were given.
Sometimes your doctor can prescribe a second type of medication to go with your antidepressant. This can sometimes help the antidepressant work better than it does by itself.
Where antidepressants have not worked, your doctor may suggest talking therapies, ECT or brain stimulation treatments. See the previous section for more information on these.
What is an implanted vagus nerve stimulator, and how is it used in treatment resistant depression?If you live with treatment resistant depression, and youve not responded to other treatments, you may be able ask for an implanted vagus nerve stimulator.
Please speak to your doctor if youre interested in this treatment and for more information. You may be able to get this treatment funded through an Individual Funding Request.
- NHS – Your Rights by clicking here.
What It Feels Like To Have A ‘depression Hangover’
Im pretty sure Im hungover right now, but its not what you think.
This past weekend, I experienced one of my most severe bouts of depression in a while. I woke on Sunday morning with good intentions change my clothes, make a coffee, sit at the table and write. I have a pretty huge deadline coming up, you see. Its one of those potentially life-changing deadlines which adds all kinds of pressure to my already anxiety-ridden life.
I digress. I sat down, notes ready, fingers to keyboard, but nothing came. Instead, the usual thoughts filled my head I cant do this, this is terrible, nobody wants to read this, whats the point in even writing to begin with? A few weeks ago, I was doing pretty well at silencing those thoughts. Hell, I even got some writing done, and maybe some of what I wrote wasnt half bad. On Sunday, these thoughts took hold. They sunk their hooks in, and they werent letting go.
Which leads us to today. Once again, I got up with the intention of doing all the aforementioned things, writing being the goal. That deadline is a little closer, you see. I sat down with a coffee and a hope and tried my best to get motivated . Again though, no matter how much I tried, the words wouldnt come. It felt like even typing that first word was impossible, that some invisible force held me and wouldnt let go. I know what Im meant to be writing. I know the scene, the chapter hell, I had my notes right there, ready to start. So why couldnt I do it?
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You’re Constantly Afraid Something Will Happen To The People You Love
Because of my anxiety, I’m constantly worrying about different members of my family. Anxiety replaces normal love with worry and fear.
My clinical depression makes talking on the phone difficult for me to do, and my family lives all over the country. Checking in with them is hard and can strangely make me seem like I don’t care at all. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is another case of communication saving the day. Let your family know why the phone is hard for you and I bet they can find other ways of communicating. In my family we’re big FaceTime fans.
What You Can Do To Feel Better
When youre depressed, it can feel like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.
Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or dont want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you. They just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.
Get moving. When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.
Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.
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How It Feels According To People With Depression
Some people ask me this question for comfort and to ensure that they are not alone with their experience, while others feel so confused by their tumultuous feelings that they struggle to clearly identify their inner experience, she says.
With that in mind, here are some of the responses Magavi hears in her sessions:
- “Depression feels like a weight on my chest, which brings me down everywhere I go.”
- “Depression is receiving praise at work but still feeling worthless.”
- “Depression is the loneliness I feel when I see other couples and families laughing and enjoying their lives.”
- “Depression is feeling like I am a failure as a person, family member, and friend.”
- “Depression is when I cannot take care of my children because I cannot take care of myself.”
- “Depression is not brushing my hair and teeth because I simply cannot move.”
- “Depression is smiling when others laugh, hiding behind the fabricated mask, and wishing I could just disappear.”
- “Depression is my life and shadow, which haunts me every day.”
Christian Sismone, someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety her entire life, says its important to provide a non-clinical perspective. She shares these examples:
You Can Play A Role In Research By Joining A Clinical Trial
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.
In addition to volunteer research opportunities for the patient groups listed above, research opportunities for healthy volunteers are also available. Healthy volunteers play a critical role in our studies.
For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials being conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.
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Thoughts About Depression Posted Online Explain What It’s Like And A Therapist Adds Her Take If You Are Depressed Share This With Your Loved Ones To Help Them Understand
People who have experienced sadness may think they understand depression, but thats not usually the case. While depression is a serious mental illness, it is often misunderstood. These descriptions from people living with depression provide insight into the pain, anguish, and distress of someone trapped in what many consider a living nightmare.
Has Your Routine Changed
Though we can often feel limited by a repetitive schedule that allows little to no room for flexibility or spontaneity, a change to our normal routine can leave us surprisingly off balance.
Most humans find comfort in some level of stability and predictability. This is how we know what to expect and find purpose in our daily activities.
If youve recently had a change in your schedule, whether its making your day more hectic or more empty, this could be affecting your mood.
Extra responsibilities often mean more work and more pressure to accomplish everything.
Removing a regular task that normally gave your day meaning and structure can leave you feeling aimless or unproductive. For many of us who thrive off of pursuing goals, we can struggle to find the sense of purpose we had gained through previous activity.
Does that resonate with you?
If so, consider any recent changes to your life that may be impacting you in this way.
If there has been a change, you can find comfort in knowing that your feelings may be stemming from changes to your routine.
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Physical Symptoms Often Accompany Psychological Ones
There is hardly a disease that has a greater impact on a persons overall well-being than depression. In fact, the level of stress for those affected and their relatives is enormously high. This is because depression can affect the experience, thinking, behavior and even the body itself.
There are complaints that are often accompanied by a depressive episode, although they are not directly related to the symptoms of depression. For example, experiencing severe exhaustion for two weeks doesnt just pass the body by unnoticed. Physical symptoms can even include cardiac or gastrointestinal complaints. As a result of sleep disorders, many people experience a worsening of their depressive symptoms in the morning, compared to this midday or evening. Due to their exhaustion, those affected often avoid social interaction and also withdraw from friends. Movements can become noticeably slower or accelerated to numbness or nervousness. In addition, for some, the libido can be reduced: they no longer feel a desire for sex.
In extreme cases, psychotic symptoms can occur. These can manifest themselves as delusional feelings of guilt, ideas of catastrophe, or in the form of hallucinations. When a severely depressed person seems to be frozen and is extremely slow in speaking, thinking and movements, experts also speak of depressive stupor.
Tom Describes His Changed Perception Of The World He Compares This To Living In A Video Game
A few people had noticed they were more susceptible to getting ill and said they always had a cold or an infection. For a couple, their weakened immune system was connected to an eating disorder and not eating well. One man experienced overheating and said its likely to be caused by both depression and the medication he was on.
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What It Feels Like To Have ‘functioning’ Depression
If youve ever experienced depression, you know exactly when your worst moment was, your rockbottom. Some of us hit rockbottom more than once. Sometimes we feel like we are always at the bottom of the well, begging for someone to pull us out.
But sometimes, we dont realize we are depressed because we arent that depressed. We arent rockbottom depressed, so this functioning depression doesnt feel like depression.
We remember that hellish feeling of rockbottom. When this functioning depression hits, especially if it is a constant low-grade depression, like dysthymia, we often dont realize thats whats happening. We just think thats our normal. But thats not normal. It often masquerades as OK or fine, but is really low-grade depression.
Functioning depression feels like theres not enough coffee in the world in the morning to wake you up. Functioning depression feels like theres not enough sleep in the world to cure your exhaustion.
Functioning depression sounds like Im OK when everyone asks how you are doing, hiding that something is a little off. Functioning depression sounds like everything is fine.
I remember telling one of my roommates that being low-grade depressed was just part of my life it would never be gone.
Functioning depression, while it may require medication, can also be treated with lifestyle changes, therapy and my favorite healer, the sunshine.
But it doesnt have to be that way.
Life is joyful. Life is beautiful.
What It Feels Like To Have Depression
If I had to describe to people what living with depression is like I would say is its kind of like watching a movie reel of someones elses life. And youre waiting for something good to happen. Youre always waiting. Always watching. Always wanting something you dont have. Its that happiness that seems to come so easy to other people.
Its struggling to go to sleep at night because your mind takes you to all these dark places and never shuts off. Its like no matter how tired your body is physically, mentally, you dont stop. Its finally getting to sleep at 3 am and it physically hurting opening your eyes at 6 am.
Its waking up and you lay there for a moment because for a few seconds youre kind of mad you had to wake up. Its like youd rather be in a dream state then have to face the realities of what awaits you for the day.
You muster the strength to get up and put yourself together, the best you can. And no matter how good you look that day, in your heart you know youre kind of lying to the world about how you feel. Because if you dressed the way you actually felt people would know.
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