Until experiencing depression myself I never would have realised the huge difference between actually suffering with depression, and feeling generally sad. Not everyone, but some people have a couple of days or a week or so where they are very down and alone, and say they are ‘depressed’ or think they have depression. The thing is Depression isn’t something you suffer with for a week or so then return to your happy self, and its also not just being a little bit unhappy with life for a while. We all have ups and down and patches in our lives where we feel lost, alone, upset and like our lives aren’t going to plan, but depression is different. Its not say falling out with a friend or breaking up with your other half and not being able to stop crying for a while. Depression is something that usually takes a long time to recover from.
There is a drastic difference between normal sadness everyone experiences and depression. No I didn’t sit around every day and cry, but it did make me susceptible to crying over things would be seen as trivial. Some days I felt ok and like I was on the mend others were just awful, but I never felt truly happy, just less down than other days. You feel like there’s a black cloud floating over you. My mind felt gloomy like I couldn’t process anything and nothing could change it. Some people also experience suicidal thoughts or attempts and self harm whilst suffering with depression. Check out my blog post The Controversial Topic Of ‘Attention Seekers’ to read more about a topic related to that.
I used to get so frustrated with the way I felt like doing nothing at all, I couldn’t understand why most people get tired or down and manage to carry on as normal. It made me so angry that I couldn’t just carry on like other people did. No matter how upset and worried everyone around me was about the way I was acting, I couldn’t seem to bring myself to do even the smallest things. Which I think is a big difference, normally sadness doesn’t effect your life that much, you are still able to hold down a job and carry on with things. Although its important to add people with depression aren’t completely emotionless. Everyone is different but someone can laugh, have some fun or smile etc with depression. Its just not quite the same because the depression is still there, like I said you just feel less down. You might have some ‘good times’ but looking back at them you didn’t really feel that good deep down.
Another big difference is, people with depression usually don’t go out for fun things or for boring things. I would have so many chances to get out, see people and do fun things but I just didn’t want to. I didn’t just choose not to do boring things like go to work or cleaning etc I literally didn’t want to do either. Like in my picture above, normal sadness is where an annoying cloud is temporarily blocking the sun. Once the cloud passes the sun will be back out again. Unlike the person with depression they have a cloud above them with no sun behind it. It stops raining every now and then but the cloud is always there. I hope that makes sense to you? It did to me!
Its taken me at least 3 years to finally feel like I am getting over depression, although I am still on Anti-depressants which do aid the way I feel. If you think you or someone you know is suffering with depression contact a doctor and get help. Its one of the hardest things I have had to deal with along with my OCD. I hope this blog post helps people understand the differences between normal sadness and depression and I really do hope it made some sense! Check out my blog post Depression – My Story to read more about my experiences. Don’t forget to check out all my other blog posts about OCD, Anxiety and Depression!