I was asked so many times.
I don’t believe there is one way to describe the feeling generated by a depression. There are a few which are mostly felt; nothing really matters, nothing is interesting anymore, crying a lot, dark thoughts, not sleeping well and wanting to sleep most of the time, messy, lack of personal hygiene, incapable to do anything, these are just a few.
The inner feelings vary tremendously from one person to another. The way depression interferes with our brains and thoughts generates different pains, mental and physical. We have different descriptions of how it feels and affects as a whole and with our daily activities. How do we deal with it is also very unique and different (therapies, medications etc). Exogenous factors also have strong impacts during our battle with depression and in the recovery period.
I can honestly say that when my doctor told me that he was putting me on a six-month medical leave because of a severe depression; well, I was floored. I didn’t see it coming and apparently, I was a real mess and I had no clue. This first depression felt like it struck me overnight. Even though it felt that way, it takes many years to develop a full-blown depression, in today’s term a burnout. My Doctor reckons it took five to ten years to reach this level. He also made a very pertinent point; you cannot expect to cure something overnight or in a week when it took five or ten years to create.
After a few hours or days, when you realize what hit you. Is when some or more of the feelings described above will come and haunt you. It is likely to be brutal. The stronger people seem to have the most devastating depression as they refuse to see the signs and carry on, doing their business until “D” day. It is a bit like gaining weight. You put on half a pound here and there and before you know it, you’re overweight. Depressions function like an extremely slow steamroller. It will crush you bits by bits, your spirit, your motivation, your patience, your strength etc. until you are totally broken but hopefully still alive. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is one suicide in the world every 40 seconds due to depression.
Relapses generate the most horrible and terrifying feelings. You know you are about to enter into this world of pain, you see the signs and yet you are powerless. For me, it felt like I was on a slippery slope made out of black marble, slightly inclined and covered with oil. There was nothing to hold on to, just the walls which were made out of marble as well. All you can do is watch yourselves going deeper and deeper into the darkness. The light dimmed. I didn’t know when it was going to stop. I was hearing voices and noises of demons and gargoyles. The fall stopped. I was lost. I couldn’t see the light out anymore. It was cold as well. I was crawled up in bed, shaking, trying to warm up. I couldn’t stand any noise. These creatures were omnipresent and relentless in my head creating total chaos. I couldn’t catch a break. They managed to insert a black marble ball in my sternum, filled with anxiety and fears. They loved to put more or less pressure on it as if it was a game for them. In the meantime, you endure the pain this ball is causing. Sometimes it prevents you from breathing, makes you want to vomit and more… I felt I was doomed this time around. After quite a long time, with the help of medication and therapy. I came back very slowly. This second time around was by far, worse than the first, even though the doctors claimed that it wasn’t as strong as the first one. But for me, it was pure hell.
Peace and serenity