Depression is a monster. I was originally going to go into more detail with that statement, but I don’t feel that there needs to be anything more said. Depression is one of the cruelest monsters that over 300 million people have to deal with. These are just the people that are diagnosed – there could be so many more. People with depression are genuinely suffering. Often times they just seem like they’re sad and unfocused. The question, “What’s wrong?” gets overwhelming and it can be purely frustrating. There are quite a few things that people with depression do that just seem like they’re “sad” or they’re “out of it” or “having an off day.” Let’s get straight to it.
1. Someone with depression may sleep far more than usual. They might just want to sleep so that they don’t have to focus. They might be sleeping to avoid life in general. It’s hard to get through life when you don’t want to be there – a lot of the time that’s the case. Someone might be sleeping just because they don’t want to be awake. Sleep is a refuge. It’s a sanctuary. It’s safe. Things don’t get messed up when you’re sleeping.
2. Not answering texts is another thing. Read above. Someone with depression might be asleep at weird hours. If awake then maybe they’re just exhausted. Or anxious. Believe it or not, many, many people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Even sending a simple text may seem like too much for someone to handle. They just don’t want to do it because they’re terrified that the answer is going to be wrong.
3. On the contrary – they might text too much, but good luck getting them to answer that phone call. Answering a phone call is even harder than a text. With a text someone can at least look back and see what they were talking about. It’s easy to space out during an actual conversation. It’s so easy to zone out and think about everything else, but then often times there’s no idea what’s going on in the actual conversation. It gets embarrassing to have to ask people to repeat themselves frequently.
4. There’s a dark cloud following them around. Not a physical dark cloud, of course. The answer to questions is generally negative. The outlook is considered “pessimistic” and when told that, it can cause the person to clam up more than before. They won’t want to talk after being told so many times that things are pessimistic.
5. A person with depression may begin to recluse. They don’t want to leave the house. They won’t want to go somewhere with a big group of people. Or a small group of people. Actually, to be honest, they may just not want to see any people in general. A person with depression may constantly struggle just to get up and do normal things like go to the grocery store. It’s stressful.
6. On the contrary to sleeping all the time, a person suffering from depression may not sleep enough. They’ll be up at all hours of the night, their mind racing, thinking about every interaction that they were forced to have that day. They may not know how to handle the simple things that were going on and maybe questioning everything that they did, everything that they said to every person that they encountered. It’s a beast that no one needs to face- unfortunately, some of us do.
7. Mood swings can come and go. One minute a person with depression may seem to be fine, they may seem to be happy and having a great day. That doesn’t mean that the depression is gone. It just means that they’re having a good day. Having a great day doesn’t mean that depression is cured. You may also see them go from a brilliant smile to a look of sadness with no particular reason. It’s not like they’re doing it on purpose, but it absolutely happens.
8. Overthinking is a common thing when it comes to depression. We’ll wonder why things happened the way they did. Why did this friendship end? Why did this person leave? Why are things the way that they are? What did I do wrong? What’s wrong with me? And they will fixate. It’ll be in the front of their mind for weeks. No explanation, just there, sitting at the front of their mind for no reason. It’s torture.
9. “Everything is my fault” – it sounds nonsensical, but it’s a common thought. It’s also a completely irrational thought, but depression will let you know that it’s not. Depression will feed this thought every chance that it gets. People with depression can blame the worst things in the world on themselves, when it’s very, very clearly not their fault at all. They’ll apologize for something that makes no sense, whatsoever.
10. Pushing away friends and family. It’s difficult to maintain a friendship with people, or it can be difficult to talk to family members because it feels like this is something that you’re going to transfer to them. Depression feels like something that can spread to everyone. Even while being depressed, no one wants anyone to feel that way. A person with depression doesn’t want others to feel the way they do so it seems like the best option is to push others away.
With all that said, remember that depression is a monster, but it’s a monster that can be tamed. It can be temporary, it can be seasonal, it can be constant, but it can be tamed. If you or someone you know is considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re uncomfortable calling, there is also a chat line. No matter the situation, if you’re considering or thinking about suicide, please reach out to someone.