What Does Depression Feel Like?

20 08 2014

Depression is something I’ve dealt with for many years, having been diagnosed originally in 1997. Since my original diagnosis, I’ve come to believe that I suffer from dysthymia, a mild but chronic form of depression. With this type of depression, certain situations can exacerbate the situation. For example, I’ve been more than mildly depressed every day since hearing about Robin Williams’ suicide. Yesterday was different, however.

I was working and feeling fine. I finished a project at about 11:30 AM, then poked around the internet for about half-an-hour. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an almost overwhelming feeling of despair hit me. I lost focus on anything external, and could only focus on me, and how I was feeling – which was pretty hopeless.

It was confusing in the extreme, since nothing had happened to spark such an episode; at least not consciously.

I took a short walk. I tried to resume work. I tried to watch the LLWS. I tried to read. I tried to nap. Nothing helped. All I wanted to do was sit down and cry, but I had nothing to cry about.

Episodes like this are unusual for me, which made the moment difficult to process. The good news is, I had no sense that I wanted to harm myself; I just continued to experience a sensation of feeling miserable – of being miserable. The best way to describe it is with a word that is not a word – BLECH!

The bad news is, such feelings tend to force a focus inward, which only seems to prolong the depression. It’s a bit like having a tooth ache, and worrying at it with your tongue until it goes away. It only makes the pain worse, as did the inward focus.

Yet, I simply could not concentrate on anything else.

I draw no conclusions from this. I have none to offer. I am simply trying to describe what happened, in the hope that it will bring clarity, for me, and anyone reading this and wondering what depression feels like.

It ain’t fun, believe me.




2 responses

20 08 2014
Patricia O'Connor

Thinking of you and praying for you, Richard.

21 08 2014

Thank you, Tricia. You’re very kind. I hope all is well with you and your family.

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