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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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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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