40+ Things People Dont Realise Youre Doing Because Of Your Depression

Depression affects millions of us, and while we are slowly opening up about mental health issues and beginning to banish the stigma that surrounds them, it is critically important to keep open the conversation to foster understanding and empathy for those who may be struggling.

Sarah Schuster is the mental health editor at The Mighty, and she decided to find out how depression manifests itself in ways other people can’t see.

“While most people imagine depression equals ‘really sad,’ unless you’ve experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that,” she writes. “Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it’s different for everyone.”

Asking community members on The Mighty Facebook page the question: “What’s something people don’t realise you’re doing because you live with depression?” The response was eye-opening. Below is a list of some of the things that people had to say. Scroll down to check it out.

Struggle to get out of bed, sometimes for hours. Then just the thought of taking a shower is exhausting. If I manage to do that, I am ready for a nap. People don’t understand, but anxiety amd depression is exhausting, much like an actual physical fight with a professional boxer.

Agreeing to social plans but canceling last minute. Using an excuse but really you just chickened out. It makes you think that your friends don’t actually want to see you, they just feel bad. Obligation.

I don’t like talking on the phone. I prefer to text. Less pressure there.
Also being anti-social. Not because I don’t like being around people, but because I’m pretty sure everyone can’t stand me.

I can deal with depression, I can’t deal with people who say “we all get sad at times, get over it” “I’m depressed too, I get on with my life” depression isn’t the same for everyone. I’m glad some people can cope easier but I can’t.

Going to bed at 9 pm and sleeping throughout the night until 10 or 11 am. Then getting out of bed is the hard part. Showering is also a struggle. Trying to keep the house tidy. Watching hours upon hours of Netflix but not even interested in what I’m watching because nothing really interests me anymore.

Sometimes I’ll forget to eat all day. I can feel my stomach growling but don’t have the willpower to get up and make something to eat

Hiding in my phone. Yes, I am addicted to it, but not like other people. I don’t socialize, I play games or browse online stores to distract myself from my negative thoughts. It’s my safe bubble.

In social situations, some people don’t realize I withdraw or don’t speak much because of depression. Instead, they think I’m being rude or purposefully antisocial.

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Purposely working on the holidays so I can avoid spending time with family. it’s overwhelming to be around them and to talk about the future and life so I avoid it.

People think I’m lazy and a freerider because I haven’t had a job since leaving uni. They don’t realise that I want to work more than anything, but have an endless stream of negativity constantly running through my head that terrifies me out of even printing out an application form.

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Say that I’m tired or don’t feel good all of the time. They don’t realize how much depression can affect you physically as well as emotionally. I have a hard time finding energy when I’m in a depressive cycle. That means I don’t stay on top of stuff & let things slide (like house work) because I use all of my energy for what absolutely has to be done. Then I have none left for anything else. When I’m depressed, we eat out more, my house chores fall behind, & I binge watch TV or read to escape. But the energy, that’s just gone.

Isolating myself, not living up to my potential at work due to lack of interest in anything, making self-deprecating jokes. I’ve said many times before, “I laugh, so that I don’t cry.”
Unfortunately, it’s all too true

Being angry, mean or rude to people I love without realizing it in the moment. I realize my actions and words later and feel awful that I had taken out my anger on people who don’t deserve it

I just sit all day, getting up only to use the bathroom. My chair is also my bed. I have a bed, but i just stay in my chair. I don’t sleep well, and I eat very little. The TV is on, but I may or may not be watching. I just sit.

Depression to me was like having an evil person as my puppet master telling me that I will feel no joy, have no desire, have no energy, no appetite, no light. Like something steals your soul. Until you have experienced it, you will not understand it. I wouldn’t wish this feeling on my worst enemy.

The excessive drinking.
Most people assume I’m trying to be the “life of the party” or just like drinking in general. I often get praised for it.
But my issues are much deeper than that.

For me, specifically the things I wish people would realise are due to my depression are my apparent “laziness”, virtually not keeping in touch with anyone, bad personal hygiene, and extremely bad reactions to seemingly trivial things.

Fighting day to day with not wanting to give up and trying to show myself my own self worth.

When I reach out when I’m depressed its cause I am wanting to have someone to tell me I’m not alone. Not cause I want attention.

I don’t talk much in large groups of people, especially when I first meet them. I withdraw because of my anxiety and depression. People think i am ‘stuck up’. I’m actually scared out of my mind worrying that they don’t like me, or that they think I’m crazy or stupid, by just looking at me…

Neglecting to do basic things like laundry, not wanting to cook a meal or eat. They think I’m being lazy.

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I used to live with depression. People didn’t seem to notice it because I was always smiling while talking to them and making jokes which made my personality look bright and joyful, while I was actually dark inside, full of sadness and lost hope.

I over compensate in my work environment…and I work front line at a Fitness Centre, so I feel the need to portray an ‘extra happy, bubbly personality’. As soon as I walk out the doors at the end of the day, I literally feel myself ‘fall’. It’s exhausting! Then my night is a constant battle in my head fighting my desire to ‘shrink’ and anxieties. Most people that I interact with would NEVER know I live a daily battle of major depressive disorder, PTSD and anxiety. I am a professional at hiding it.

My house is a huge mess.

The struggle to get out of bed and get off the couch is hell. The physical pain that exists. The house always a mess because no one else will or can do anything and I get blamed which all just makes the depression worse. The thinking about what I need to do makes me anxiety paralyzing.
Not having a job and physically not being able to even look for one after all the rejection.
People think I’m lazy.
I know a clean house helps me feel better, helps me socialize, causes peace and calmness, I want to and I try, but I just can’t. I know a job will give me purpose and reduce stress by adding some financial stability to my family. I really want one and perhaps that is why it is so heartbreaking every time those phone calls don’t come.

Cancel plans because of anxiety. Stay home and hardly ever go out. Struggling to get out of bed everyday. It’s exhausting. Getting ready for work is a struggle. There is so much. Been dealing with this for 35 years

I wake up feeling like I’m a failure. I have to coach myself every morning into telling myself that I’m good at my job, my kids love me, my husband needs me…and if I don’t go to work everything gets shut off… it’s like I can’t move…

That I’m fighting through a wall of separation when I talk to them. That sometimes I blank or delay in answering because I’m still trying to process what they’re saying.

That when I reach out to them it’s after an agonizing period of trying not to. I don’t want to burden people with my shit, but sometimes I just need to hear someone’s voice.

That my everyday is marked with extreme fatigue and exhaustion. That everything for me takes much much longer.

That I am completely envious of people who are full of life and genki af. That I wish my life was nothing but optimism and bliss, that I felt a zest for life and was overflowing with energy. That that is who I really am behind all the junk they have to see and put up with. That I wish I could just ignore it all and have fun.

Sometimes I’ll go days without speaking to anybody. People tend to believe I’m ignoring them on purpose when really I am just lost within myself. I don’t mean to seem like I’m pushing people away. Some days it’s hard when my thoughts consume me and when I can’t find the motivation to simple things that others do on a daily basis.

Keeping the house dark is a comfort thing for me. People always point it out, like “No wonder you’re so depressed. You need to let some light in.” Darkness in my living space makes me feel comfortable, almost like I’m not alone, on my bad days. Good days, I’m all about the sunshine!

People don’t realize that I say sorry before I even think about expressing any opinions because that’s how worthless I feel. I’m apologizing for feeling anything about anything because that’s how little I feel I matter. They don’t just know I feel like apologizing for even breathing in their general direction. I even say I’m sorry before asking to use the bathroom no matter how long I’ve held it. I feel like a burden for biological needs I have no control over.

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I push away/cut off everyone that I care about because I can’t bear to be hurt by them! Everyone just thinks I’m mean and anti-social.

Sleeping, anxiety, not eating, feeling worthless, directionless, not wanting to impose my worthless directionless self on other people, being completely exhausted by having to keep the outer mask in place (which is why I’m antisocial– simply being upbeat enough to order coffee at Starbucks will sometimes rinse me for the afternoon).

Some very universal themes in all the examples. I remember my days, twenty years ago, before medication and therapy well. Realizing that my feelings were not unique was part of the key; overcoming isolation was another. It cannot be fixed alone.

Answering slowly. It makes my brain run slower and I can’t think of the answers to the questions as quickly. Especially when someone is asking what I want to do – I don’t really want anything. I isolate myself so I don’t have to be forced into a situation where I have to respond because it’s exhausting.

Hiding out in my room for hours at a time watching Netflix or Hulu to distract my mind or taking frequent trips to the bathroom or into another room at social gatherings because social situations sometimes get to me.

Overthinking everything and over planning. The need to make everything perfect and everyone happy even if it’s taking all my energy. As if validation from someone else will make it all better. Sometimes I start out on high power then just crash and don’t even enjoy what ive spents weeks/months planning. And none will see me for months after, as I retreat into my safe bubble

I have often been accused of having “no sense of humor”. So wrong. Before depression took over my life I smiled, and laughed, as much as the next person. Now, having lived with depression for over 15 years, the humor I find in a joke, or situation, is rarely visible on my face or heard in my laugh. I feel humor, but it’s just too much effort to express it. I don’t have the energy.

I find that after so many years I just can’t believe in people at all anymore. My vision of myself and the world is so negatively distorted that no matter how much I want to believe when people are nice to me, I can’t.

People who say I’m not ugly are lying and laughing behind my back. People who act like they like me are just going with the flow and don’t really care.
Even if they aren’t being mean, they’re just being polite, and it’s not like they care about me personally. Being a part of a group actually means that you’re just one more and don’t individually matter.

People are not honest, people are always just “polite” – kindness is a lie to look good to others and to feel good about themselves.

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I volunteer for everything from going to pto meetings to baby sitting to cleaning someone else’s house for them. I surround myself with situations and obligations that force me to get out of bed & get out of the house because if I’m not needed, I won’t be wanted..

I think its hard for people to understand me when i may sound negative because i live with depression. They might question my motivation n even determination to do something but they dont realize its a battle to wake up everyday fighting my own thoughts n suffering from low energy.

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I’ve dealt with depression most my life. Most my symptoms are manageable as long as I’m being mindful of my attitude, thoughts, and behavior. I don’t ignore people and I let them know when I need alone time or if I’m not feeling well. When life gets boring or mundane I remind myself that this is not my last stop and I continue dreaming. These are some of the ways that I manage depression.

I get obsessive over things. Things like I’m worthless or I’m a bad person or I’m secretly just like the people I hate most. Sometimes I can’t tell if what I am thinking is true or not. I get anxiety at social events. I feel like people hate me or just don’t care about me. I cling to certain people and want them to love me. My brain sometimes goes into overdrive and I can’t turn it off and it causes a downward spiral that is hard to pull out of.

I don’t tell people because I don’t want to be labeled. I don’t want them to see me as broken and depressed or that I’m just being silly. But at the same time people get upset at me or mad about things but they don’t understand what I have to deal with.

I listen to music a lot. I read tons and tons of fantasy books. I like watching movies. All of these take me away from reality for a while and puts me into amazing worlds where I know things are going to end happily. I love being in plays and musicals because I get to be someone else entirely and I know how things are going to end and it makes me happier.

I CAN RELATE TO EVERY COMMENT I HAVE READ WHICH IS SO SAD. SO MANY OF US HURTING AND LIVING WITH THE FEELING WE ARE ALONE. I EVEN FEEL GUILTY TALKING TO MY COUNSLER THINKING SHE IS GETTING SO TIRED OF ME TALKING ABOUT THIS STUFF. I BEAT CANCER A FEW YEARS AGO AND YOU WOULD THINK THAT WOULD HAVE GIVIN ME A NEW LEASE ON LIFE BUT IT ONLY MADE ME MORE DEPRESSED THOSE WHO HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH DEPRESSION FOR A LONG TIME WILL UNDERSTAND WHY.

Going for late night walks by myself. My depression keeps me awake at night and my thoughts can get so overwhelming I feel physically crowded inside. Late night walks help me quiet the screaming in my head.

I always say I’m going to do something with the guys and when it comes time to do it. I back away. Also sleeping for hours not because I’m lazy but because dealing with all the thoughts in my head from anxiety along with depression is exhausting. Feels like kind of when your in winter and the cold air is blowing and you find it hard to breath. It’s like that daily for me.

I’m currently feeling some pretty deep depression because of what I’m going through. Between the stress and depression all I can do is sleep because I’m so worn out. In some pretty dark places right now and pushing everyone away. I hope it will end when I face the monster that is trying to kill me at the end of the month. I’ve lost everything in the last 2 years because of this person and their agency. I can relate to just about everyone of these and have lost friends over it. I had one friend tell me that my friends don’t like hanging out with me because I’m negative. Well a chance to loose your life is pretty negative. Just saying.

People think I’m really flaky. I say I’m busy and I can’t do the thing I said I’d do but I’m busy hiding. That’s depression. The great need to be busy until you’re so totally physically exhausted so you don’t have to be afraid of your own thoughts: that’s anxiety.

I have tendencies towards a lot of what’s been described here: I wake up sometimes and think: ‘Ugh! How am I going to get up today?’ I have times I want to avoid people, where I become very introverted, where I want to drink every night, where I don’t feel like making any efforts to try to address my difficult financial situation (I can’t find a good job just yet).

I can’t speak for everyone, but what works for me, and I think will work for some, but certainly not all others, is that I work against these things one at a time, with simple but effective rules: 1. I will not let myself sleep more than 8.5 hours (assuming I’m not recovering from some serious sleep deprivation) 2. I will not let myself buy alcohol at a store or go to a bar until a weekend night. 3. I will require myself to do at least a few job applications, or application follow ups or go to some networking thing at least a few times a week. 4. I will exercise at least for a half hour 5-6 days a week. 5. I will write one more chapter of my novel manuscript today. 6. I will tidy up my room for 10-20 minutes as I play my favorite music. 7. I will enjoy a little indulgent food like dessert but I won’t go crazy on dessert.

Ask yourself this: can I put my more intelligent self in charge, one simple step at a time?

I relate to so many of these. It’s helpful to know I’m not the only one. But reading all these makes me think of my own issues and makes want a drink in the the middle of the day.

It’s not just social anxiety and depression keeping me from a job. I’m afraid if I have a steady income I really will be an alcoholic. Right now I only buy some when my dad sends me money every now and then. Or the rare occasion when my mom (who I live with and rely on for everything) wants some.

I only have one friend and she lives in a different state. She also suffers from depression, which might be worse than mine cos she rarely responds to my emails and we haven’t talked on the phone in something like as year. She has a job and is busier than me and I know she’s struggling. But my anxiety makes me think she just doesn’t want to talk to me. Even though she sent me a Christmas present which is the only verification I’ve had in the last six months that she’s alive. And I think or my anxiety does, that she only did that because I sent her a card and reminded her of my existence.

There’s just so much pain all around. And I don’t know how to fix it.

I thought I was really bad at hiding my anxiety until one day a friend came to tell me that she wished she lived her life like how I did mine , cause I am always happy and take everything with a pinch of salt. Now I know that I’m an ace at covering up .

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I’m always alone until someone in my family needs something. And I’m up all night trying to figure out how to solve everyone else’s problem. After their problem are solved, they’re gone…no thank you, and they may even talk about me behind my back about how they used me again. But If I don’t help, I’m the crazy sister, aunt,etc.. If family does this to you, I’m afraid to meet strangers. No one cares that I’m alone all day at home hiding in the house with burns all over my body, I’ve been told that I’m too depressing to be around, until they need help again. I need to drop my family and find people like me. But where do burn victims hook up? Heaven I guess!

I want to talk about it. I want to scream. I want to yell. I want to shout about it! But all I can do is whisper “I’m fine.”

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I know what should I do to get rid of depression, but I can’t. I’m in a lake, I know how to swim, but I’m paralyzed. I think that’s it.

Agonizing over tiny problems for days because I’m too afraid to talk to the person who hurt me. Then being told I need to “get over it” or “calm down” or “stop dwelling”. Yes, I know this is not a big deal. Yea, I know I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. Yes, I know I’m difficult, impossible, frustrating and annoying… but I’m also just trying to get through my day. All I need is that reminder that I’m actually okay, not someone demanding that I BE okay.

Almost all day every day I am on the internet reading science fiction short stories and going through sites like this for a sort of escape. When there is company I keep to myself more, unless my sister and her family are visiting.

I smile all the time even though I don’t really want to but I do it because I don’t feel like I’m allowed to be sad when I’m with other people. I also do whatever it takes to make someone else happy, because since I don’t feel happy most of the time, it just makes me feel a little better seeing someone else happy. I also isolate myself even though sometimes I really just want someone around.

When I have no energy for socializing or even housework because just getting through the workday takes all my energy.

I feel like a stranger in my own life. Having had surgery, off work, no savings, short term disability behind, water frozen, kitchen full of dirty dishes, but I am alive and taking meds.

I’m an introvert and I’m being forced to work with customers. I find it extremely hard to just be outgoing with strangers. Being put in that position constantly has caused me to withdraw from my friends as I’m being left so drained from these interactions at the end of the day that my recharge period takes up more time than I’d like. I’m so depressed I’ve started eating and can’t seem to stop. My life is a nightmare. Everyone keeps telling me to try and find joy in what I do, but they don’t understand the effort it takes just to get up in the morning, knowing I’m going to have to face whatever lies ahead for the day. I live in an extremely small town (moved here due to circumstances beyond my control) and jobs are really scarce. I feel like I have nothing to look forward to at all and my spirit is completely broken. Everyone thinks I’m just being negative, but they don’t realise the amount of times I’ve thought of just ending it.

People will always tell you “When you’re feeling like that, reach out to someone”. But I don’t want to anymore. Any time that I try to, I’m told I’m too negative, or to get over it, or SOMETHING along the lines of “How dare you have told me this?”. Every time I try to open up to people they either tell me off or just outright block me.
It’s come to the point where when I hear people say “I care about your happiness”, I interpret it as “I only care about you when you’re happy”. Talking through these kinds of emotions are usually a great help, but how can I get said help if nobody cares enough about me to talk to me about it at all? I’m grateful to have a therapist, but a lot of people don’t have the money or other resources for such help.

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Suddenly the world has become a dangerous and unhappy place. I fear for my children and grandchildren’s future growing up in a world like this. There won’t be any jobs left because machines will take over, so what future do we have to look forward to ? Over populated, under resourced, unaffordable and extremely violent.

When people rely on you, you keep a mask of the other you tightly in place. The smiling, happy, outgoing, social you. My mask was so tight, I didn’t realize that my exhaustion and lack of drive, the fact that a load of laundry would somehow become ten loads, was in fact a very well concealed depression. It took a friend who was also suffering and knew the symptoms to point it out. Life isn’t much easier, but I’m still alive. I can’t say how much longer I would have been if she hadn’t spoke up.

Most people with anxiety/depression flee social settings and commitments. I CRAVE them. If I have any free time during the day, that’s when the thoughts and darkness sets in. I put way too much on my plate and I’ll get anxiety over it. If I have anxiety over the small things, I won’t have time to think about the dark thoughts that are always in the back of my mind.

I prefer to be awake through the night because I can just stay in bed without anyone getting mad. I sleep up to 15 hours a day during bad periods. When I’m awake, I live in my head, I often don’t even move.

Endless negativity towards yourself and everyone else. Feeling like a continuous failure because you don’t have the energy to do the right things in your life. Constantly telling yourself you’re worthless and people around you will be better off if you’re not there. Panic attacks that happen at night and keep you awake. Wondering if it will ever get over.

I get very apathetic. And I’ll refuse (read: I can’t) to make any decisions. Even tiny ones like what to eat. I physically won’t be able to make a decision. So if there isn’t someone around to tell me to eat something and what to eat, I won’t eat. If there isn’t someone to tell me to go to sleep, I won’t. It gets to the point where if someone asks me to make a decision or tries to force me to make a decision I’ll just curl up into a ball and cry.

I can’t sleep at night because thoughts of failure run through my head

Everyone here is not alone, This thread is proof of it. There are people out there who can help work through a lot of theses issues, being medication or conversation, relationship or companionship. The point is, It sucks. This disease really sucks. But to help and fix this disease we need to speak up, Most friends and family and doctors won’t know until we tell them. It also helps to push myself daily, to challenge myself, even to scare myself. Maybe to set a time to get up or shower or eat. After awhile it becomes routine. Routines can help move to a better position. Just my 2cents.

My emotions overwhelm me. I second guess everything I do or don’t do. I feel like no matter what I do it will be wrong. I am constantly exhausted and want to escape into sleep to avoid life. I feel hopeless and helpless and I don’t think anyone understands. I want to scream for help but no one knows how to help me and I feel like they don’t want to hear it and they’re trivializing my struggle. I want to physically cut it out of myself.

Sometimes I can’t breathe

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I am depressed, have GAD and really bad OCD. I am in therapy and on meds, with a good support network around me, but I still have my episodes. Each time I think that I’ll see it coming next time. Although I’m much better at seeing the red flags, it still happens. It’s going to keep happening.

The biggest struggle has been realizing that I guess there are limitations to what I can do about this and that I need to accept it. The end result is always the same: I can’t sleep for longer periods of time, I am so tired, like completely exhausted to the point, where I can barely keep things afloat in terms of showing up for work and paying bills, let alone socializing. My OCDs go off the rails and the simplest tasks like doing the groceries or speaking to people freak me out to a ridiculous extend. The worst part, however, is the fact that I am simply unable to see all the good things in my life. The loving, supportive friends, an understanding boss, kindest, most patient boyfriend. And I feel so guilty. So undeserving, worthless and pretty much a bad person. It’s like my body and my skin are the barrier between me and all of these good things in my life that I can’t reach out to and touch. That’s the worst part.

I am not in a good place right now, but I’m trying. Baby steps. I’d like to reach out to all of you and say thanks. All of you are awesome for sharing. Keep on keepin’ on. We got this. xx

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People dont understand why im always tired. They tell me to get more sleep as if getting more than 10 or 12 hours while having a full time job is even possible. They dont understand why Im worried about starting grad school and getting less sleep. They dont understand that school has wound me inpatient before and a decrease in sleep can quickly result in suicidal thoughts. I get told im overreacting, attention seeking, or otherwise being ridiculous. It hurts.

How do I know if I’m depressed ? I definitely have the symptoms, but have no reason to be depressed. I have a life that anyone could feel grateful for .

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Running a business not answering the phone for years … still works, though …. cancelling all the jobs that makes it neccessary leaving my home … can‘t leave my cats alone … I am turning into this crazy cat lady … at least I don‘t miss anything – I really enjoy my own company … people empty me .

This describes my life so much and it’s to the point where I even cancel Dr’s appt. knowing I needed to go that day. But good to know that someone understands. I pray things get better for everyone that deal with depression and anxiety I the Name of Jesus!

The worst part is feeling like my kids deserve a better mum but at the same time, knowing how much they need only me and that no one would love them like i do.

Just getting in the bath or making a cup of tea is a major achievement. Having my dog has made me get out of the house at least twice a day, have to take hours to get motivated sometimes though. But if I didn’t have him, I probably wouldn’t leave the house unless it was for work.

Smoking all the time, no light in the room, lots of sleep, smiling for your familly so they don’t know how worthless you actually feel. Building a Universe around your own bed because you want just to stay there … thinking that everything you do is wrong and that most people would be better without you …

When you watch tv, listen to the music, play some online games, chat with strangers, all at the same time – just to create flood of informations in hope to sank depressive thoughts.

When you excessively masturbate, ten times a day, or more – just to provide enough dopamine kicks to cope with depressive thoughts.

When your legs just cant stop prancing, restlessly pounding up and down, when you twist your fingers in every possible way – just to redirect your focus from depressive thoughts.

When you are sarcastic as hell, when you sting people like a wasp with your words – just to hide the fact you are dying out of fear from depressive thoughts…

You do lots and lots of stuff… Weird, repetitive, harmful. Because you are facing opponent, who cannot be defeated – only subdued, from which you cannot run out – only hide.

I avoid social interaction because I feel people tolerate me only to be polite to my husband or my son. When friends invite us over I stay at home for I don’t believe they really want me around.

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Listening to ASMR: “You are good enough.”

Always having to be around someone. I have a total inability to be alone. I don’t even have to talk to a person…as long as I know they’re physically there, I’m content. Otherwise, depressing thoughts creep in and I end up driving myself crazy. It’s less effort to put on the facade that I’m fine in front of other people, than it is to face myself alone.

Every night I look at all the pictures of dead relatives I have and asking them to please come get me I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m 71 and have been suffering from depression on and off in my life since I was 18. I truly am done.

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/people-share-what-is-like-to-live-with-depression/

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