There are numerous websites on depression, each one is unique. I’m going to elaborate here but what people may not exactly realize, is there are many faces within the depression. The following is what I have experienced in my 10-year marriage.
Face #1: Sadness
Sadness is the most frequent symptom and is a most discussed feeling related to depression. You see someone sitting, holding their head, is what you would usually see pictured in the media. Depression symptoms are like a dark cloud which follows you and prevents you from feeling positive thoughts and feelings; the negative thoughts it leaves stays with you.
I used to feel like I’m just there. Everything would feel numb and dull. I used to feel nothing. I would get up and there it most likely be, waiting to take over my head once more.
Face #2: Loneliness
Now I have an amazing partner, a great family, and supportive friends. I have a great support network of folks who have shown concern for me. Before I would be in a room packed with people familiar to me and I would still felt alone. Depression makes you feel isolated and alone, even if it is not the way it is.
Face #3: Irritability
When I experienced depressive symptoms, I felt very on edge with everyone. I felt I was ready to explode. I preferred to spend a great deal of time by myself, which was my defense mechanism.
If I did freak out at people I often felt awful afterward. So rather than spending time with people and being irritable at them, I avoided them. I could feel anger gathering up inside from the smallest situation.
Face #4: Physical Aspects
A lot of depression based articles are starting to give attention to the physical areas of depression. Depression impacts the body and not just affecting the mind. For me, personally, the effects were exhaustion and lack of strength. Unless you have been there, it would be hard to comprehend.
Sometimes it was a chore just to shower, once a week at the most. Doing anything that uses body strength is very difficult when you feel this low.
Face #5: No Motivation
I did not feel like doing anything; I discovered working was difficult while I was depressed, it does lead to frustration. I would not feel as if I could go outside, I did not feel like talking to people, I did not want to go anywhere.
Face #6: Being Fake
I found faking hard to live with. It would seem I was fine when I was really not. If I did go out, I would wear nice clothes, brush my hair, makeup and smile. Someone may be smiling and laughing, it does not mean everything is okay.
Face #7: Fear
Imagine waking up but not feeling anything, not sure why you are here. For me, it was a 10-year relationship I tried, often, to get out of. That is scary, feeling blah most of the time and not knowing if and when you will be happy again. My only thoughts were, “Will it ever gets better?”
Face #8: Numb
Feeling numb is the worst type of feeling and symptom of depression, that I have felt. For me personally, I could not feel love; for my ex husband, or anyone. Absolutely nothing is there. I did love my partner but could not feel what it was like. Things I used to like reading, listening to music, there was no interest anymore. I was completely lost in myself.
Face #9: Happiness
A lot of people assume that someone who is depressed is never happy. I did feel happy at times. Cuddling my dog and cat, an embrace from my daughter, walking along the beach; all these things did make me happy. I had worn a mask, pretending I was happy.
You never realize how little you knew about depression until you experience it yourself. I did not know depressive symptoms could affect your energy, your concentration, and your motivation.
It is scary when depression makes you feel lifeless. I felt like I had no control.
The best way to explain feeling numb is an empty feeling, you don’t care about what is going on around you, you have lost interest in everything. This is how I felt for the last few years of my marriage. I did not care what people thought of me, did not care how I dressed or looked, did not care if I left the house or not; I preferred to stay home.
I had a hard time concentrating on my web design business and my home daycare; I even lost interest in the kids. I was also having constant crying fits for no reason, broken sleep and I felt like I was not important to anyone. I was constantly wearing a mask so people would think everything was okay with my life. I felt so alone.
I was living with a man who was emotionally abusive; gaslighting, always arguing and it would always be made out to be my fault. My ex-husband was jealous and paranoid; if I wanted to work outside of the house, excuses would be made as to why I do not need to. Before the numbness, my teeth would be clenched, my heart would be pounding so much I thought it would explode and my stomach would churn.
Every time we had a conversation, it would turn into an argument and an attack on me. I always thought everything was my fault and thought of ways I could change but it was never good enough.
This is how the numbness linked to the depression. The best way to explain it is, experiencing emotions becomes exhausting. I did not feel outraged at the same things I would get angry about; I was done with everything. I didn’t want to feel anymore. I had felt like just a body, a shell, walking around the house.
When nothing in life seems meaningful, it is a scary feeling. Your relationships and work suffer and people around you will feel that you are distant.
To have his feeling of nothingness is the worst feeling.
Looking back now, I see that this feeling of emotional numbness was my defense mechanism and my way of coping with the emotional turmoil I was experiencing.
I had my daughter, mother, brother and a few close friends help me find feeling again.
My boyfriend, now, taught me how to love myself, helped me build my self-esteem, helped me see I am worth something, I am needed.
When you are in that dark place, try to remember that things will get better. I know it is easier said than done, but if you have a great support system, that makes all the difference.
There will be that one thing that will help you get out of that numbness, whether it be watching your favorite show or visiting a close friend-I hope you find it.
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