Depression is an illness that isn’t experienced the same way by everybody. Depression symptoms vary from one person to the next. The symptoms of clinical depression may include frequent crying, feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, memory loss, inability to express thoughts and feelings, inability to find the words to talk with another person, problems concentrating, to name a few.
Many of us know the symptoms of depression; however, if you have never been depressed, you may not understand what it actually feels like to suffer from depression. There’s no one way to experience depression. It is a physical illness just as much as it is a mental illness. The next few paragraphs will showcase what it might feel like to suffer from depression.
Feeling of doom – Oftentimes, a person who is clinically depressed will feel like something bad is about to happen. The person may feel like there may be an unexpected death about to occur, or that something bad is going to happen in the world. Feelings of doom can be related to an event that has taken place in the past, such as with the 9/11 attacks. The person may feel absolutely certain that something devastating will occur, for no apparent reason.
Frequent crying – Quite often, depressed people will have an overwhelming urge to cry for no apparent reason. There may be outside factors that stimulate the person to start crying, and then internal factors cause the crying to continue. For instance, you might start crying when you hear a song that touches you in a profound way. The song stimulated you to cry, but the crying continues due to some internal factors, whether you are aware of them or not. You might cry when your favorite actor gets killed off in one of your favorite soaps, and then you continue to cry because you grieve for some loss in your own life. It might be a husband that died or walked out of your life. Some people know why they are crying, and other people have no idea what brought the on the tears. Why? It is possible that people who cry for “no reason” are responding to unexpressed sadness and loss.
Inability to express thoughts and feelings – Sometimes you can’t find the words to carry on a simple conversation. You may want to express what you feel, but you can’t find the words. Your mind may feel like it is total devoid of thought. You open your mouth to say something and no words come out. It is frustrating to have something to say, but you can’t express it. The frustration of not being able to think of what you want to say, or knowing what you want to say, but can’t find the words is circular. The depression drives the inability to communicate, and the frustration fuels the depression.
Fatigue – Feeling tired or fatigued all the time saps your energy. You feel exhausted all the time; it can be difficult to get out of bed when you wake up. Your energy level is nonexistent; you can get out of bed and in a few minutes you are ready to sleep again from. Fatigue can interfere with your quality of life. Family life often suffers from depressed people suffering from depression.
Loss of family ties – Many people suffering from depression lose their sense of joy. They may lack the emotional attachments they used to have. They may lack empathy for other people, because they can’t get past their own feelings of loss. A husband or wife may lose affection for one another. Often times, people decide they love their spouses but are no longer in love with them.
Self-deprecation – Depressed individuals often put themselves down. They feel that if they put themselves down, no one else will do it. This kind of thinking chips away at the self-image. Self-deprecating individuals may feel like they can’t do anything right.
Feelings of hopelessness – The devastating feeling of hopelessness can be dangerous. Feelings of hopelessness can drive people to think of suicide and carry out the act. Oftentimes, people suffering from despair and hopelessness feel like they have nothing to live for. Their negative thoughts consume them.
The feelings mentioned above don’t begin to sum up what depression feels like. You can become physically ill. Being under constant stress from depression can flood your system with cortisol (stress hormone). Cortisol is an essential hormone. We need cortisol to feed our fight or flight response; however, when the body becomes over saturated with cortisol, the immune system can become compromised and you can get sick.