There is an initial stigma that already surrounds the diagnosis of clinical depression, one that infers they can simply ‘snap out of it’, that it is simply an overreaction to a bad day. This of course is a myth that perhaps the more healthy minded won’t ever understand; depression is an illness that truly and completely overwhelms an individual through to every ounce and cell of their existence. It is waking up in the morning and feeling as though you are paralyzed, as though the laws of gravity have magnified and you can no longer push against it, no longer pull yourself up out of bed or off a chair because the smallest task is incomprehensible.
It can be near impossible to see on the outside, depression may not show itself 24/7, so when one can muster the energy to interact, force a smile then the society that observes them will see nothing but a normal person who has bad days. Yet the shame to admit that one suffers from such demons behind closed doors can prevent them getting the help they need.
Depression becomes a cloud, a muggy fog of poison that covers and infests you. The problem is that along with the less known physical symptoms of nausea, headaches, fatigue and indigestion there is a manifestation of negative thoughts and overthinking. Through the day, depression can prey on those with already shattered self esteem and cause doubt through the mind, judging every action and every thought which quickly turns into a dangerous and overwhelming over analysis of ‘Should I have done that?’, ‘What if everyone hates me?’, ‘What if it’s not good enough?’, ‘It’ll be all my fault’, ‘I’m a bad person’. Depression creates a world of misery, anxiety and isolation for the sufferer, an internal battle that is near impossible to explain to others when one is caught in the thick of it. Outside noise can cause frustration because on top of the internal noise of thoughts, this can become a horrid whir of conversation that one can’t concentrate on, mixed in to the inner voice of negative thoughts fed by depression. It is easy to become irritable because one loses touch with reality to a degree, becoming lost in a world of their own so when something, however small happens around them such as an item out of place or a change of plan then the sufferer can feel great anger which is followed by more guilt and confusion to why they feel such extreme emotion that further consumes them in the negative cycle.
Anyone with the mind monster of depression can experience it differently and in different severities but if you can take anything from this, it’s that depression is physical and emotional, it is not just sadness; it is a clinical illness that can destroy the very identity and life of a person.