I feel like I spend a lot of time writing about depression and my experiences with both depression and anxiety. But to be completely honest, a lot of that is contributed to the fact that both impact my life in such a massive way. It’s something that I constantly deal with everyday. Dealing with depression has a hell of a lot of drawbacks – from the actual physical and mental things depression constantly throws at me to the social stigma of actually having depression.
I think it’s so important for people who don’t struggle with depression to understand what the mental illness feels like on an everyday basis. Everyone’s experiences are different with depression but there are so many wonderful people who have shared their own experiences online.
Laurel Hermanson wrote about her experiences with depression and how we need to start taking the stigma out of living and struggling with depression. Allie, the artist and writer of Hyperbole and a Half, wrote a few posts about her own experiences with depression (adventures in depression and depression part two). Wiley Reading also wrote about the 5 things to do and not do to support someone with depression, saying that:
Even if your depression is manageable enough for you to leave the house, it can affect everything in your life. It can interfere with your productivity, or even just the way you seem to your superiors at work – which has consequences for your performance reviews and ultimately the stability of your employment.
It can make your loved ones and friends want to be around you less because many people dislike the kind of negativity depressed people can become steeped in. In its worst form, depression can lead to death. It’s a serious and draining disease to live with.
And honestly, there’s so much more that plays into this conversation. Race, class, etc. I’m personally privileged to be in a position where I am able to not only go into therapy but also be on antidepressants and mostly afford both. I’m causally self employed as a dog walker and pet sitter, a job that allows for me to not only not spend a whole lot of time interacting with people but also allows for me to hang out with animals on a regular basis.
I still struggle with depression though – from not feeling like I’m productive enough to not being able to leave my house sometimes to feeling hallow and empty for days on end. I get irritated over practically nothing some times and things that might have others go “oh dammit” and move on, have me stuck in a grumpy and foul mood for hours and hours.
It does really help to know that there are other people out there who are going through similar things that I am – who are all facing depression, anxiety, and other struggles. If others hadn’t been open about how depression impacts and manifests in their lives, I don’t think I would have even acknowledged the fact that this is something I struggle with.