What Does Depression Feel Like?

What Does Depression Feel Like?

What Does Depression Feel Like?

Depression is not a two-dimensional mental illness.

It’s more than feeling sad or hopeless or simply having the inability to function like a normal human being.

Depression itself is not defined by one set of symptoms because the degrees of the illness can vary, and the circumstances that caused it are vastly different with each person.

In short: it’s a lot more complicated than you think.

Trapped Between Thoughts and Emotions

As a kid, I was diagnosed with ADHD and struggled in school. This became the ultimate source of my depression.

I was the slowest learner in class, labeled as a disruptive, and was a daily target of bullying.

I carried shame in having ADHD all my life and could never cope with the frustrations I had with it in an appropriate manner.

My ADHD worsened the initial feeling of being separated from others, completely isolated me from socializing properly, got in the way of my learning, and trapped me in my thoughts and emotions.

Throughout elementary school to high school, I noticed that aside from my usual ADHD symptoms, I started to feel perpetually sad, even if my day had nothing wrong with it.

I struggled with feelings of hopelessness about my future and began wondering if my life meant anything at all.

Feelings of Inadequacy

I suddenly stopped eating three meals a day and would sometimes skip them all together and I stopped talking to my parents and friends.

My thoughts eventually consisted solely of negative thoughts and self-talk that would always remind me I was stupid, inadequate, and would never be like others around me. I even came to believe that suicide wasn’t a terrible thing anymore and I thought that if I were going to die anyway, it wouldn’t have mattered when or how.


But please, to whoever is reading this story, do not ever believe suicide or self-harm is the right path to take.

Throughout adulthood, I attributed my circumstances and experiences to the feelings of inadequacy I felt as a child.

It was never encouraging or helpful to me that my teachers and my parents would be unintentionally condescending about my capabilities, my classmates treated me like I was stupid, and I personally never felt I was good enough.

When you start feeling less than other people, low self-esteem will drag you down like a cast-iron weight to the bottom of your self-hatred and blame, giving you no room to scream for help or climb your way out.

My Advice to You

If I could offer one piece of advice for anyone to remember, it has to be this: the moment you don’t believe you’re good enough or feel inferior to others, tell someone you trust and get help immediately.

The moment you train your mind into believing the worst, it will drive you into the clutches depression.

No one on this earth wants that for you, and I bet deep down – past all the lies you tell yourself – you wouldn’t wish the worst on yourself too.

If you are someone going through depression, these are vital things to remember:

1. Depression does not define you

More often than not, we can get warped up into our emotions and thoughts, assuming they make up everything that we are as a person.

You will always be more than your mental illness. It’s only a fragment compared to the list of unique qualities and things about you.

2. Therapists and psychiatrists are not against you

Most people who are diagnosed with a mental illness initially feel uncomfortable and even intimidated by the thought of visiting a therapist or psychiatrist.

They are not your enemies but are advocates of your mental health, emotional well-being, and quality of life.

A therapist offers:

  • A professional and third-party perspective on your everyday situations
  • They can give you resources and advice
  • Allow you to express everything you feel without judgment

Psychiatrists can prescribe you medications that will help not only your brain chemistry but also your ability to function in day to day life.

3. Your depression can be treated and prevented

Contrary to popular belief, mental illness cannot simply be “over with” or fixed by simply being happy.

Depression is a deeply-rooted mental illness that is caused by a variety of factors such as:

  • Environment
  • Circumstances of life
  • Traumatic situations
  • Genetics

Depression shouldn’t be treated as an illness with one solidified cure because it will always be more complex than that.

4. Stop making yourself feel inferior to others

I would look at the people in my life who didn’t suffer any mental illness of the sort and despise and envy them. Because who on earth wants to feel the sadness and painstaking loneliness of depression?

Aside from that, the attitude of separating yourself from others leads you into being harsh on the way you normally function. You can’t help who you are sometimes, and that should never be something to blame.

Trevor McDonaldTrevor McDonald

Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict and alcoholic whose been clean and sober for over 5 years. He graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in Liberal Arts.

Since his recovery began he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.

Aug 24, 2017
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