Many people have the misconception that depression just feels like sadness. This is not the case. Depression can feel like a complex web of differing negative emotions. It’s important to also keep in mind that men and women are socialized to express these differently. For example, a female could cry to show her pain, whereas a man could get angry and /or aggressive in hopes of getting the hurt out. Here is what depression actually feels like:
- It can feel like complete and utter emptiness or self loathing. You could have a hard time looking in the mirror , or feel extreme hate or disgust with yourself.
- Depression can become so debilitating that you can go numb and feel nothing. This numb feeling could also arise if you are prescribed medication like an SSRI ( selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and are on too high of a dosage or are prescribed a combination of medications that do not work well for you . If this is happening, contact your psychiatrist or doctor immediately and report this and any other side effects so they can properly adjust your medication.
- Depression can also be experienced with anxiety; this commonly feels like a rollercoaster ride with substantial mood swings. You find yourself stressed and feeling stressed out and later find yourself feeling withdrawn and depressed. These mood swings drain your energy and leave you emotionally and physically exhausted.
- Some people who experience depression isolate as well and try to hide from their friends and loved ones. You would do things such as stop answering your phone, calling off of work and avoiding sunday dinners with your family.
- Guilt can be marked by depression as well. This could be branched from the stigma that is attached with having moments of “mental illness”. The truth is that there are 16.1 million American Adults ages 18 and older, according to NIMH ( National Institute of Mental Health), who have had at least one major depressive episode within the past year.
If you are feeling down, you are not alone ; you can get better and there is help.