By: Lizzie Reezay
Depression isn’t feeling sad. It’s not bottled up emotions or negativity. It's not loneliness or unhappiness. Depression isn't an emotional state.
Depression is fatigue and mental confusion. It’s losing motivation to eat and wake up and be productive. It’s a loss of energy and passion. Depression is unanswered phone calls and unread texts. It’s realizing you haven’t eaten in days, but not being hungry. It's the feeling of being constantly exhausted.
Depression is sleeping in for fifteen hours and still feeling too exhausted to get out of bed. It’s when laying under your covers feels like the only place you want to be. It's telling friends you're busy to avoid leaving the house.
Depression is greasy, unwashed hair because you haven't showered in days. It's skipped classes, missed appointments, and unanswered emails. It's crying yourself to sleep because of how hungry you are. It's feeling exhausted no matter how much sleep you get.
Depression is crying in the middle of class for no reason. It’s sobbing when writing an essay for school, because your brain cannot recall words. Depression is enduring boredom. It's losing the ability to focus on what you’re reading or writing. It’s not being able to follow a conversation or a lecture. It's laying in bed all day to try and conserve energy. And it’s bouts of insomnia— laying awake until two, three, four in the morning.
Depression is feeling your face drop the moment you leave a room. It's lying again and again that you're doing "good" when you pass by people in the hallway. Depression is failing your first class. It's lying to your best friend about what you've done today. It's smiling at everyone and coming across as if nothing is wrong. Depression is friends telling you that you seem normal and happy. It's people noticing you're spaced out and you laughing it off.
Depression is going days without leaving your apartment. It's not being able to do dishes or pick up your room because simple tasks require strenuous mental effort. Depression is describing to your therapist that there’s a brick wall blocking you from getting out of bed. It's friends telling you that you need to be more optimistic, more motivated.
Depression is a pill taken every morning. A diagnosis you don’t want people to know. A word chocked full of so much inaccurate baggage, that you don’t even like using it.
Depression isn’t a phase or a mindset or wanting attention. It's sobbing in an empty field at three in the morning because you feel torn away from yourself. It’s not being able to trust any of your emotions. It’s staying silent about so much of what you’re feeling. It’s having no one understand what you're going through.
Depression is thinking of your brain as screwed up. It's disappointment washing over you when a friend asks if they're depressed too since they felt tired today. Depression is feeling angry when someone uses "depressed" in a casual context. Depression is sobbing for two hours after a phone call, because your father thinks you’re making it up.
Depression is praying and praying and praying that it will go away. It’s feeling like things will never change.
Major Depression is not caused by a loss of purpose or a traumatic event or an attitude of negativity. It’s not a lack of happiness or an excess of hopelessness.
Depression is a mental illness. It is caused by genetics and stress. It doesn’t always have clear trigger. And you can’t just think it away. Major Depression is complex and encompassing. It manifests itself differently in every person. It comes over you slowly and then all at once.
Depression isn’t a choice. It's not a phase or a mindset. "Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being too strong for too long."