What is depression?

This is the best compressed explanation I’ve ever seen, so I wanted to share. I found it on Tumblr, but didn’t manage to find the original source. If you’ve never been through depression, you’ll never truly know what’s it’s like to be depressed, but maybe – just maybe – this’ll give you an idea:

“Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognisable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation. If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life.

It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.

In other words:
1. Depressed people are sick, not stupid.
2. Depressed people need help, not judgement.
3. Depression isn’t chosen.
4. Depression isn’t a phase.


4 thoughts on “What is depression?

  1. Hello, there. I’ve just come across your blog, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me to see others out here who are helping to shed light on the issue of depression. As a recently diagnosed sufferer of major depression, I’ve been amazed, in learning about my condition, about just how stigmatised depression remains in today’s society- that’s why I’ve started a blog of my own, in fact. So thank you so much, and my the good Lord bless you for your compassion and understanding. It’s people like you that help keep me (and everyone, really) going when we’re feeling down!

    xxx Anne

    • Thank you, Anne! It means a lot! It’s a good thing you’re researching about it, because in understand it you can also overcome it. 🙂 God bless you too! I’m here if you need someone to talk to!


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