Those who struggle with depression are probably familiar with ‘the impossible task’
Depression symptoms vary from person to person. What one person struggling with a bout of depression may endure on a typical day may look wildly different for another person — it’s so much more nuanced than just “sadness.” One Twitter user highlighted an important symptom of depression that doesn’t get as much focus as other symptoms — the “impossible task.”
Author M. Molly Backes shared a thread about the “sneaky symptom” of depression many of us can relate to but one that is rarely, if ever, highlighted in mainstream discussions about depression.
While commercials about depression (and even more so commercials advertising anti-depressants) aren’t the end all, be all for how we talk about our mental health, it would be beneficial if they didn’t just skim the surface of what living with depression is truly like for millions of people.
Take the Impossible Task, for instance.
Personally, my Impossible Tasks fall on a sliding scale depending on where I’m at in my state of depression. There’s Impossible Lite, which is when I put off replying to emails or text messages and communicating with people in general. Then there’s the other end of the scale, which is when my household organization is a giant dumpster fire metaphor for my mental health.
It’s probably frustrating for outsiders looking in. We know this. We still can’t help it.
BINGO. This tends to create a snowball effect for some of us, and it feels even more Impossible to find our way out of it.
Earlier this year, I found myself teetering on the edge of a deep depression. A lot of personal issues were exploding simultaneously and years of not making myself a priority began to really bite me in the ass. My Impossible Task was getting myself in a therapist’s chair. My sister made a list of some in my area, sent it to me, and offered to call them and make an appointment around my schedule. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to not have to do it for myself.
Backes’ words resonated with many people — some of whom thanked her for being able to articulate what they couldn’t.
Others found her words validated their own struggles — whether they’re depression-related or not.
Trying to explain yourself to people who don’t totally “get it” feels humiliating. If you’re someone who doesn’t entirely understand why a depressed person in your life can’t pay bills on time or run errands or clean their house — offer to help them with those things. If you’re someone who can relate to this thread, please know you’re not alone. You’re not less than, you’re not a screw-up, and you’re not lazy.
Sharing experiences with one another — like this thread and everyone responding to it — just helps us all be better humans, period.