What does depression feel like?
PUBLISHED: 12:17 05 September 2018
Charlotte Underwood shares her experience of depression and what can help
Do you ever have those days where your whole body feels heavy, a bit like when you’ve done more exercise than you can handle but you also know you’ve not broken a sweat in years, by choice. It can feel a bit like your whole body is starting to fall apart and your mind just can’t keep up with it. Nothing feels real and those feelings that created you so perfectly, have begun to fade. You no longer know who you are, or what you stand for, you’re just sort of existing.
Sadness is entirely normal for all of us, it’s pretty primal and deep routed into all of us. But depression, that’s a whole new kind of bag, the feeling you get after a really bad day, a breakup or any traumatic event, that feeling just won’t leave, sometimes you’ll recover and other times, it’s just something that you have to live with.
I wouldn’t say that I have always been depressed but it’s been an on and off battle that I have fought for a very long time, even though I am only 22, I feel a lot older because depression just does that, time becomes both never-ending and also, so short that it leads to a quarter-life crisis in my case.
I recently came out of a heavy battle with depression that left me under the care of my local crisis team. I remember feeling so frustrated because I had spent the prior year working so hard to be the best version of myself, so having a relapse, that made me feel like a failure, like I was just too broken to be fixed.
Depression can tell you some awful things, it is your worst enemy and critic that thrives on every bit of energy and emotion that you have inside. It can be hard to understand as it is all so different for the individual, but it’s also hard for those around us, who haven’t experience what it’s like. I’ve lost friends, family and so many people that I cared about because my depression made me out to be this monster, which was so far from who I was, all I wanted was to be loved and supported but I couldn’t voice it. The monster inside me wouldn’t let me, it made me feel like I would only be safe alone.
Though I am now doing so much better in myself, I still have days where I cannot leave my bed, or I cry into a pillow listening to the same songs that I did a decade ago. But the important thing is that I am allowing myself to feel emotions and I am fighting for a life, that I now am excited for, for the first time ever. Depression is cruel, but it does not mean that you are, it does not define or control you.
I learned through my writing and support from others, that I deserved respect, love, and support. It changed everything. The thing that saved me was acceptance of myself, acceptance of my past and present. There may be no permanent cure for depression but you can live with it, manage it, I do and so do thousands of other brave people out there; allow yourself to deserve help and things, in my experience, do get better.