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What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression

What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression

Did you ever lack motivation until the point of asking yourself why you should leave your bed? Have you felt like you had no control over what is going on around you? Like, nothing makes sense and no matter what you do, it is not enough? Did you feel worthless and guilty for something out of your control?

Depression feels closer to that and then it finds the way to go beyond, because it’s goal is not to wound or disable. Depression aims to kill. It has beaten me down thousand times, and I want to show you its dangerous tricks.

1. Bye, bye motivation…

Welcome, apathy.

It is a weird feeling that starts crippling your being. It acts almost unnoticeable in the beginning, like things are getting heavier in your mind. They lose color and brightness, fading into something that becomes a duty more than anything else.

I remember not wanting to write or read. The TV shows I followed started making a queue. Thinking about projects or plans made me snap and complain. I avoided getting involve in new things because nothing seemed appealing.

From things that are intellectually engaging —like new projects- to the physical aspect —like sex or sports, nothing awakes your curiosity. All seems dull and pointless. Trips, festivities, visits… all have an odd taste, like flavorless.

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It is a tragedy, and it gets worse.

2. Being bored to death

This might be surprising if you have never been through a rough episode, but it can get really, extremely boring. Depression will suck out all the happiness of things in your life little by little.

Yes, since motivation doesn’t boost your spirit anymore, your enjoyment gradually decreases. Going out seems like way too much effort. Movies don’t make you feel engaged anymore, neither conversations nor hobbies. You might do it because it is what you are supposed to do —and because otherwise people would get suspicious.

But the truth is that your interests start decreasing until they almost disappear. You want to kill time but don’t know how, and days just get longer and longer. I sleep. A lot. Others get intro alcohol or drugs to boost their senses or get numb.

And one day you find yourself bored to death, wondering what happened to the person you used to be. Deep down you know that something is wrong, and that is when it starts getting really scary.

3. Depression brings up the guiltiness

This is probably the worst of all the side effects of this disease, and all its outcomes —professionally and personally— are devastating.

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When it reaches dangerous limits, depression will hold you back from carrying on with your normal life until the point of neglecting your duties and responsibilities.

In my case, I couldn’t get myself out of the bed in the mornings —it just seemed pointless- which led me to miss way too many classes. I wasn’t even able to go to birthday-parties or other kind of social gatherings. I couldn’t find a reason to move on.

I felt the worst human being on earth, and the more down I felt the less I wanted to engage with things. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is a real trouble. You become fearful of others and guiltiness attacks your reason.

In any case you are responsible for not being able to get up. You are not lazy or irresponsible, but you will torture yourself again and again feeling disappointed for something you can’t even control.

That is why one of the first lessons I had to learn is to treat myself compassionately. Breaking through that circle of negativity is incredibly tough.

4. Hopelessly worthless

Do you know what is a vicious circle? “A situation in which an attempt to resolve one problem creates new problems that lead back to the original situation.”

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I can’t count how many times I caught myself thinking “you are worthless,” “nothing of what you do is worth it,” “you should just give up and crawl into your bed.” That is called irrational thinking. Of course, it doesn’t have to make sense.

You are demotivated, bored, exhausted and tired; you feel guilty and frightened; everything you do is wrong and everybody will blame you if they discover it. The light at the end of the tunnel gets smaller and smaller until the point you end up believing you deserve what is happening to you.

It is a terrible feeling, probably the worst I have ever felt. I couldn’t stop thinking and I made up any kind of stories and excuses to believe it. That is why it is so hard to fight this monster, because it uses everything it can despite making sense or not.

5. This is a never-ending battle

I have a recurrent, unjustified disorder. That means it comes and goes for no reason. If you ask me why, I can’t answer: it just happens.

Actually, I was doing incredibly great lately when all of a sudden, I found myself unable to sit down and work, sleeping 13 hours average per day and barely eating. All that after spending months rocking like a pro writer, freelancing and starting a bunch of new projects.

Do you realize how painful it is to look back and have no reason to justify that? And the worst is that I know it will happen again. For me, it is cyclic. I can’t know when it will be back but I now that one day I will find it hanging around the neighborhood again.

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What do you do when you face that kind of situation? I work. I work as much as I can during my good times. I give everything to make sure I will have something to hold on to while I am navigating through the storm. And, of course, I find support.

There are thousands, millions of people out there enduring this misery. There are communities dedicated to help and offer support. I do help when I can, because it is necessary. I know depression is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life, but I can’t wait for it to go away to start living my life.

So don’t let it win the war. This, today, is just a battle. It might go better or worse but what really matters is that you tried and that tomorrow you will keep striving. Never give up. Give your 100% each day, even if today’s 100% is just breathing and taking a shower.

You are worth living this life.

More by this author

A Sorry Letter To Myself, Though That “Me” Doesn’t Exist Anymore What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression 5 Reasons Why Youth is a Time of No Regret Step-By-Step Guide: How To Manage Your Anger

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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