You may know about some of the common symptoms of depression. But what about some of the emotional effects, the pain, that no one really talks about? Depression is a complex, consuming illness that can take over the mind and body for long periods of time. So, logically, it can bring about effects that go beyond diagnostics.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, nor does it apply to everyone with depression. If you think you are suffering from depression, please seek the help of a mental health professional, as this is only intended for educational purposes.
With that, here are 6 painful things about depression that no one talks about.
1. Feeling like an observer of your life
Have you ever felt like you were just an observer of your life? Instead of actively making choices, do you find yourself surrendering to what goes on around you?
For those with depression, it can feel as though you are constantly on the outskirts of your own life. As much as they may want to take an active part it can often feel like the world continues to turn, leaving them behind.
2. Can’t get out of bed
Have you ever felt stuck in your bed? Like even if you want to get out, you just can’t?
Sometimes with depression, people may feel stuck in their bed. It’s not so much about being tired, as it could be the anxiety that comes along with it, the rumination, physical symptoms or other factors that may make it feel impossible to get out of bed, despite the desire to start their day. The feeling of being ‘stuck’ can be so painful with the constant tension of wanting to get up, but simply not being able to.
3. Social withdrawal
You may know that social isolation or withdrawal is a common effect of depression (Ellis 2019). Though it may seem voluntary, it is often the case that those who socially withdraw do so painfully.
Depression can make people feel isolated, which can in turn worsen other symptoms. Isolation can turn painful when people lose their sense of belonging and purpose, and deprive themselves of the fulfillment that only social interaction can bring about (Real Life Counseling).
4. Crippling exhaustion
Has your exhaustion ever gone past ‘just tired’? Did it feel difficult to do things you normally enjoy?
The exhaustion often brought about by depression can overtake the mind and body. The Real Depression Project described this exhaustion as “debilitating”, making it difficult to do the simplest of tasks such as drinking water and taking a shower (The Real Depression Project 2021).
If you are experiencing this, know that you are not alone, nor are you lazy or doing anything wrong. Depression can consume so much energy from you, and any level of exhaustion you may feel is totally valid.
5. Overcrowded mind
Do you know what it’s like to feel scatterbrained? It’s almost as if your mind can’t sit still and those inner thoughts keep coming at increasing speed.
Depression can make this feeling frequent, if not constant. You may have heard of this as “racing thoughts” or “rumination”, but in any case, it can be painful to feel like you have no way to turn your mind off or to allow yourself to relax. The chatter can make someone feel anxious, out of control, and helpless towards the potential torment of constant thoughts.
6. Stigma and Guilt
Even now, it’s almost impossible to talk about depression without talking about stigma. Though we as a society may have grown in our acknowledgment of depression, that’s not to say that stigma is fully eradicated around the world.
Often, stigmas can make people with depression feel guilty, ungrateful, or ashamed (Capper 2018). This could increase the negative self-talk that depression already brings about, and can make those with depression feel like they have to suffer in silence. Stigmas can hurt. Know that your feelings are very real and very valid no matter what has been said to you or around you.
We hope this helped you learn about some of the painful things about depression that people don’t often talk about. Could you relate? Did we miss anything? Let us know. Thanks for reading!
- Capper J (2018, Feb. 20). “Mental Health Stigma Causes Shame and Guilt We Don’t Deserve”. HealthyPlace. Retrieved from www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalhealthforthedigitalgeneration/2018/02/fighting-back-against-the-mental-illness-stigma
- “Don’t Let Depression Lead to Isolation” (N.d.). Real Life Counseling. Depression Issues. Retrieved from www.reallifecounseling.us/dont-let-depression-lead-to-isolation/
- Ellis ME (2019, Oct. 10). “Depression Isolation: What To Do When a Loved one Becomes Socially Withdrawn”. Bridges to Recovery. Retrieved from www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/depression-isolation-what-to-do-when-a-loved-one-becomes-socially-withdrawn/
- “People Describe the Most Painful Depression That Aren’t Talked About Enough” (2021, May 19). Real Depression Project. Retrieved from www.instagram.com/p/CPEpu7jhYwa/
- “What is Depression?” (N.d.). American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved from www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression