Real Depression Stories about Life with Depression
One of the many tragedies of depression is that it makes people feel isolated and alone. Sometimes people are reluctant to talk about what they’re struggling with for fear of negative consequences (stigma is still very much alive in our world today). Other times, people don’t quite know how to put words to what they’re experiencing. Major depression is an illness that defies words. It’s something you feel, more than describe verbally. For these reasons and more, depression is hard to talk about, and people living with it often feel very alone, as if they’re the only ones with this problem. That belief makes depression all the more difficult to live with. Therefore, we asked people to share their depression stories. Here’s what four people had to say about life with depression.
Depression Stories That Let You Feel Connected
Shared experiences can be very powerful. There is comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one experiencing these awful depression symptoms and effects of depression. Reading others’ depression stories can lead to insight into your own illness. Sharing stories helps people find encouragement and remain hopeful that it is possible to survive this often debilitating illness.
These four stories are shared directly by people living with depression. Their depression stories are unique, but perhaps you sense some of your story in theirs. May they help you know that you’re not alone.
What depression is like for Kenneth J. Grimes
(edited slightly for length)
It's very difficult to put into words the way I feel. It's kind of like a random rollercoaster of emotions - anger, self-hatred, despair, loneliness. I find that if I trigger it, I can swim the waters a little easier. Otherwise, it will attack me when I can least afford it. It's very difficult for me to open up about myself. I can be there for others but feel like if I open up that all dark and vile crap I have built up inside will stain and disgust the person I open up to….Sad thing is that with the training I have had, I know that alcohol is not the answer, but as the Chris Stapleton song "Whiskey and You" says, I know that it helps in the moment to mask the pain, allowing me to move on.
And it is true for me that music is one of my triggers. It does allow me to trigger myself. So I'll put on the songs and or shows that I know will throw me into the depression and pour myself a drink and remember and cry. Sometimes the self-loathing gets the better of me. The thoughts of suicide start running rampant. I can say that I have only gotten close a couple of times. I think that my self-loathing is, in part, the reason for my depression. I feel that no matter how hard I work or how good I am that I'm a failure and waste of space. I also feel like I'm the dumbest person alive.
A depression story from a retired nurse
I certainly haven’t liked this feeling this winter. My stomach churns. I feel like crying at anything or even nothing and my energy level is so far below normal for me. Well, I must say I never thought I would be depressed.
Usually I am very outgoing, love being around people and used to think you should be able to get out of feeling down without any help. Well, I now believe you can be depressed and still be out in public without anyone ever realizing you are depressed. When I get up in the morning, I just don’t want to do anything else with my day. I force myself to go to my hour teaching job and force myself to be happy and energetic but inside I am crying and saying I just want to be at home and quiet.
Talking about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) helps, sunlight helps, having an understanding husband who helps you through each day helps. So don’t be ashamed to talk about it, especially to those that love you. If I didn’t have this support and the support of many friends, I know I would seek medical attention because you just can’t conquer it alone. I realized it is more important to share my feelings than it is to feel like I am letting myself down and that I am weak.
S.D., writer and professor
While I went through menopause, I became very depressed. I would cry during episodes of I Love Lucy and car commercials. I didn’t even want to walk or work. Then my gynecologist prescribed hormone replacement therapy for me.
Ten days after I started the medication, I became a happy, ebullient person. I was on replacement therapy for 18 years. I was slightly depressed when I discontinued the medication, but I eat a great deal of soy products such as tofu with soy sauce and the depression never returned. Also, music, editing books, yoga, and tennis give me an emotional lift.
From K.H., former on-air radio talent
I’ve recently learned the difference between being depressed and suffering from depression. It’s like nursing an injury vs chronic pain. The sadness becomes part of who you are.
I have days when the shower with its four walls, warmth, white noise and tasks to complete is the only place I feel okay. Turning off the water and facing the world is the hardest thing I do. Some days are better than others, and I’m taking steps to get the help I need. But I’ll never again give someone suffering from depression advice about “self-care”.
Caring for yourself is nearly impossible. And you can’t talk someone up. You can only help them with what they are capable of allowing you to. The best thing a friend did for me was text “I’m going to the store. Text me your list and I’ll leave your groceries outside your door.” No pressure. No expectations. Just love.
Peterson, T. (2022, January 4). Real Depression Stories about Life with Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/depression/real-depression-stories-about-life-with-depression