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What Does Depression Feel Like?

We’ve all heard the word depression thrown around in movies, in talks with friends & family or on the news. Yet we don’t really know what depression is or what it feels like to be depressed.

Firstly, depression is not a choice or a lifestyle or a personality type, it is a disease. Just like diabetes is not a choice or a lifestyle or a personality type, it is a disease.

One of the common misconceptions of depression is that it is just a form of sadness. Please know that while one of the manifestations of depression is sadness, it much more intense than the kind of sadness you may have felt during your life.

According to Mayo Clinic, "Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems."

Depression can last for weeks or even years and may make carrying on with daily life activities almost impossible.

Below is a list of a few manifestations of depression so you can better understand what depression feels like:

  • Lack of interest in things that once brought you joy. A person with depression may feel like nothing makes them happy anymore, not even the things they used to enjoy.

  • Inability to concentrate for long periods of time. Any task that requires concentration and focus suddenly seem impossible to do. Even things like watching TV or reading a book may begin to overwhelm someone with depression because people can’t think clearly or follow what’s happening when they are depressed.

  • Unshakable feeling of hopelessness : Everything might seem hopeless, as though there’s no way to feel better or make the sadness stop.

  • Self-esteem issues crop up: A person with depression may feel as though he is useless and his life is worthless. He may feel like his life has been a series of disappointments.

  • Inconsistent sleeping patterns: A person with depression may indulge in excessive sleep or may avoid sleep completely. In both cases they are constantly tired due to disturbed sleep patterns.

  • Troubled relationship with food:. Some people may feel like they can’t eat anything while others crave unhealthy food as form of coping mechanism.

When should I reach out to a doctor?

If you have felt the above symptoms consistently for more than a week or if you reach a point where you feel like you can no longer deal with your symptoms by yourself, which ever comes first, please reach out to a medical professional.

You may do so by visiting a general counsellor who can evaluate your situation and them recommend you to a specialist based on your unique situation or you may use an online telemedicine portal to have your initial consultation remotely from wherever you are most comfortable.

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