There are a lot of people who know I have depression, because I’m pretty open about it. However, there are probably only a handful of people who know it’s really bad right now. And my wife is probably the only one who has a clear idea of what that really looks like and what it means.
When I say my depression is really bad right now, I mean I’m exhausted. I’m more than exhausted, but that’s the best word I can think of. All I want to do – and all I have the energy to do – is sit on the couch or be in bed. If possible, I take at least one nap every day. Sometimes two.
When I say I’m really struggling right now, I mean my emotional reserves are completely empty. I’m crying every day. Everything overwhelms me. Any little obstacle becomes a catastrophe. Normal social interactions are almost impossible. Faking a smile takes more emotional energy than I have available. The only way I can get through the day is to check out. Be numb and just go on autopilot.
When I say that things are hard, I mean it is extremely difficult to motivate myself to do anything. I know there are things I need to do, but I can’t get myself to do them. It’s not that I want to be unreliable – I frequently have a lot of guilt about this – I just can’t.
When I say I’m severely depressed, I mean I’m having suicidal thoughts. I don’t really want to kill myself, but the thoughts come anyway. And with them, the small fear that things could get bad enough I’ll lose sight of the fact that I really do want to be alive.
Depression affects so many people, and it looks different for everyone. This is what depression looks like for me.
Originally published on The Mighty.