12 Real Experiences of People with Depression They Wish You Knew

Depression is a complex and often misunderstood condition. People bravely shared their struggles with depression, so we get to see their perspectives.

We aim to shed light on what depression truly feels like and what those suffering from it wish others understood. Hopefully, this can be a beacon of empathy and understanding for those who are trying to support loved ones with depression.

1. The Misconception of Therapy as a Quick Fix

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“This is a really important one. You have to be willing to put in lots of work for therapy to actually pay off, which is incredibly hard to do with depression.”

Many people believe that therapy is a magic cure for depression. However, the reality is far more nuanced. Therapy is a process, not an instant solution. It requires time, effort, and patience, both from the individual and their support system.

Understanding this can help set realistic expectations and provide better support to those undergoing therapy.

2. The Constant Battle with Exhaustion

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“Just how tired I am. Even if it’s one of the rare times I get a decent night’s sleep, I’m still so tired.”

Depression often brings an overwhelming sense of tiredness that sleep can’t alleviate. This chronic exhaustion affects every aspect of life, making even simple tasks seem impossible.

It’s essential to recognize that this fatigue is a symptom of depression and not a sign of laziness or lack of effort.

3. Altered Perception of Time

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“Like when you go to the emergency room or urgent care, and you end up waiting for 6 hours. It’s like that, but months to years on end. Plus, I don’t even know what I’m waiting for. I’m just waiting, and time moves extremely slow.”

For those with depression, time can seem to move differently. Days may feel longer, and waiting for relief can seem endless. This altered perception can make coping with daily life particularly challenging and contribute to feelings of hopelessness or frustration.

4. The Complexity of Emotions

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“It’s not the same as being sad. Depressed people are not sad all the time. When it was really bad with me, sometimes I simply felt nothing. Like, I was just there, no sadness, no anger, nothing. Just emptiness.”

Depression isn’t just about feeling sad. It can manifest as a range of emotions, including numbness or emptiness. Recognizing the diverse emotional landscape of depression is crucial in understanding and empathizing with those who are experiencing it.

5. The Struggle to Care

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“It’s not that I don’t care about you; I just don’t have the energy to care as much as I used to. I don’t even take care of myself, so how can I take care of you?”

Depression can diminish a person’s ability to care for themselves and others. This isn’t a reflection of their feelings towards loved ones but rather a symptom of the illness.

Understanding this can help in reducing feelings of guilt or misunderstanding in relationships affected by depression.

6. The Ever-Present Nature of Depression

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“For me, it’s always present. Depression causes you to lose your vitality.

It’s sort of like ocean waves; some days, it comes crashing in – other days, it’s more calm. It’s always there, and you have to pay attention to it and try to deal with it the best you can.

When your symptoms are more mild, you try to get things done like laundry and cleaning the house because when symptoms get bad, you cannot compel yourself to do the simplest of things.”

Depression is not always a constant state of despair; it can ebb and flow in intensity. On better days, individuals might manage basic tasks, but during tougher times, even these can become impossible.

Recognizing this fluctuating nature can aid in providing appropriate support and patience.

7. Physical Pain Accompanies Emotional Struggle

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“To me, it’s like an ever-present weight holding me down almost.

Sometimes, it feels very slight, other times, it sits on my chest or even keeps me in place for long periods of time.

It also is like nighttime, where it is a presence that is blanketed over me and controls me to a point where I can actually FEEL it. It’s nuts when I say it like that cos it’s as if I’m saying a ghost or a supernatural thing is doing this to me, NO, I’m saying it’s THAT powerful a thing that it is too much to handle for one person all on their own…”

Depression is not just a mental or emotional condition; it often manifests physically. The physical pain that accompanies depression is real and can be as debilitating as the emotional symptoms.

8. Absence of Excitement Does Not Mean Absence of Interest

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“I genuinely do not feel excitement for anything anymore, but just because I’m not excited about something doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to it.

I’m going on vacation in less than 2 weeks, and I wanna go, and I’m really looking forward to it, but I literally do not feel a single ounce of excitement or happiness about it.”

Depressed people may not feel excitement or happiness about events they look forward to, like a vacation. This lack of excitement is a symptom of depression and does not reflect their actual interest or desire to participate in these events.

9. The Irrational Nature of Depression

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“We’re also painfully aware that it’s not rational. ‘Tell your brain to shut up’ is great and all, but if there were any reasoning with depression, I’d have done it ages ago.”

Depression is not a rational experience. It cannot be resolved simply through logical reasoning or persuasion. Understanding this can help in avoiding futile attempts to ‘talk someone out’ of their depression.

10. The Stigma and Shame

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“If it ever got out that I cry for hours some days, or that I can barely muster the energy to get out of bed for entire weekends at a time, or some of the truly dark places I’ve been, I would be absolutely black-listed and ostracized in my field.”

Many individuals with depression struggle with feelings of shame and a desire to conceal their condition. This stigma can be a significant barrier to seeking help and support.

11. Misunderstood as Laziness

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“Nobody is intrinsically lazy. They have done a ton of research on that. It stems from depression and anxiety. Circus animals will refuse to perform after
years of abuse. It’s not because they gave up, it’s because they can’t fight back, and there is no way out.”

A common misconception about depression is that it equates to laziness. This is far from the truth. The lack of energy and motivation is a symptom of the illness, not a character flaw or a choice.

12. Desensitization & Disassociation

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“Being desensitised and disassociated from reality, I don’t care about people’s opinions on me anymore, I don’t care about doing things anymore, nothing excites me, I’m just tired.”

Depression can lead to a state where nothing feels exciting or worthwhile. Individuals may become desensitized and disassociated from reality, caring less about others’ opinions and losing interest in activities they once enjoyed.

This symptom reflects the depth of the impact depression has on one’s emotional state.

It’s A Widespread Issue

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Major depression is a significant public health concern in the United States, affecting a vast portion of the population across various age groups. In 2021, an estimated 21.0 million adults in the U.S. experienced at least one major depressive episode, accounting for 8.3% of all U.S. adults.

The prevalence of depression is notably higher among females (10.3%) compared to males (6.2%). This gender disparity in depression rates highlights the need for gender-specific mental health strategies and support systems.

Additionally, young adults aged 18-25 showed the highest prevalence rate at 18.6%, indicating a critical need for targeted mental health services for this age group.

The Impact of Depression on Adolescent

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Adolescence is a crucial developmental period, and the impact of depression during these years can be profound. In 2021, about 5.0 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode, representing 20.1% of the U.S. adolescent population.

The higher prevalence among adolescent females (29.2%) compared to males (11.5%) indicates the urgent need for early intervention and support tailored to young women.

Depression in adolescents can lead to significant challenges in academic performance, social interactions, and overall development. It can also increase the risk of substance abuse and suicidal behavior, making early detection and treatment essential.

Seeking Treatment for Depression

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Despite the high prevalence of depression, there remains a significant treatment gap. In 2021, only about 61.0% of U.S. adults and 40.6% of adolescents with a major depressive episode received treatment. This gap can be attributed to various factors, including stigma, lack of access to mental health care, and unawareness of depression symptoms.

Among those with severe impairment due to depression, 74.8% of adults and 44.2% of adolescents received treatment, indicating that those with the most severe symptoms are more likely to seek help.

These statistics underscore the importance of destigmatizing mental health issues, improving access to mental health services, and educating the public about the signs and symptoms of depression.

Understanding depression requires empathy, patience, and a willingness to listen to those who are experiencing it.

By considering these insights from real-life experiences, we can foster a more supportive and compassionate environment for those battling depression.

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Life is an amazing adventure, filled with times of happiness, tough hurdles, and chances to learn about ourselves.

These experiences offer precious lessons, helping us see life’s complexities better and showing us how to develop and find wisdom.

These lessons guide us toward becoming better, more enlightened individuals on our journey through life.


sources 1 2
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/DepositPhotos.
  1. nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression
  2. dbsalliance.org/education/depression/statistics/
  3. reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/17l1xdp/people_with_depression_what_is_something_you_wish/

This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.