Monday, May 15, 2006

A Look At Depression - By Kathy Brewis

People with depression often times have family members or friends who know their loved one is ill but simply don’t know how to help that person. They basically feel helpless. In this short article I will be explaining to you how depression feels. For a person who has experienced depression and lived through it I feel I can provide an accurate description of the illness.

For those who have never experienced clinical depression, it is very hard for them to understand how it is for people who have. Clinical depression is not your typical “feeling blue” or “under the weather” feeling. It is so much more than that. People tend to use the terms “depressed” or “feeling depressed” very loosely when in conversation. But clinical depression needs to have more respect and understanding than what is conveyed in those conversations. Clinical depression is an illness, which affects both the mind and the body, meaning that you have both the mental effects and also physical symptoms of the illness. This was taken from the National Institute of Mental Health’s website



•Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood

•Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism

•Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness

•Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex

•Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"

•Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

•Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

•Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain

•Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

•Restlessness, irritability

•Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

According to doctors, you must experience a lost of interest in daily activities or a depressed mood for two weeks before depression can be diagnosed.

Depression deadens everything about your world. Everything seems to be lifeless or dead. You feel like there is no hope at all that things will ever get better. You see no light in sight. Basically you are surrounded in darkness in a light filled world. The light of other people bothers you. You can really irritated at people who seem so happy and you feel so unhappy. For you, there is nothing to laugh or smile about. The whole future seems hopeless and void of meaning. Everything becomes a matter of survival. Trying to get through each day with the least amount of pain and effort. You avoid people, but you also feel these people have something against you regardless of whether that person has done anything wrong. You tend to pretend everything is okay. You go to work and put on a smile and just try not to let on to other people that there is something wrong.

Self esteem is another big issue for me in my depression. I have never had real good self esteem. When I am depressed, my self esteem is shot to hell. I feel like I am not good enough. I feel like the biggest failure in the world. You just feel totally worthless. Nothing you do feels right. You feel people are looking at you and judging every move you make.

People with depression have this dark void inside themselves. Nothing that they do can fill this void. People use a lot of different things to try to fill the void. Some people use alcohol. Others use drugs. And there are those that use sex and food as something to feel the void. When people are trying to fill this void, they are also trying to find something that will help make them feel better.

These are just a few of my thoughts on depression and also some facts about depression. I still am dealing with this to this day and I have come to the conclusion that I will be dealing with it for the rest of my life. But, it does get better.

Kathy Brewis is an author on which is a site for Creative Writing.

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Berkeley G. said...

I came across this blog through blog searching, and I think it is very true and helpful. I have battled with depression since I was young and I am now in college and am having a relapse of depression and it's just horrible. One of the most prominent things I struggle with is trying to make those close to me understand what depression actually is.

It seems, however, that no matter what articles I get them to read about it, or how I explain how I feel to them, they just don't get it. The problem is, indeed, what you said: people talk about depression casually, and most people have an elementary definition of the word, taking it to mean "sad", when actually it is much worse.

I enjoyed reading this article.

Anna A. said...

Thank you for posting your comment. Yes, it is sad when family or others in general do not understand the seriousness of depression. My heart goes out to you my dear and I hope and pray you can find the help you need to get through all this and your pain is eliminated soon. I will do my best to keep this blog filled with helpful, informative articles and resourses.

Thanks again,