Recently, I was asked how it felt to be depressed. It really lit a spark in me, because I never thought about how I physically felt. I got so wrapped up in that question and I'm going in on my personal experience with depression.
I believe I was depressed before I even knew there was such a thing. I rememer going through a very traumatic situation between the ages of 4 and 5 years old. I was verbally and sexually abused. I didn't understand why this grown man was so mean to me but I knew I didnt want to be around. I would beg and plead with my family members to take me with them but they worked so I had to stay home. That is my earliest memory of feeling totally HELPLESS.
I felt bound and gagged because I didnt know who or how to tell. So when my situation was discovered, I rememer feeling NUMB. I was still not able to speak about it in detail.. So I didn't. Even though the abuse stopped there was no relief.
Then at age 13, I realized I was so SAD and ANGRY. Everyone around me just didnt understand it. My family thought it was just a phase and all teenagers go through it. But, for me, I was in so much PAIN. I would sit in the dark and cry everyday. That lasted about a year. Then, it was back to being NUM.
I finished high school and also had a baby. So I knew i had to work and go to school and keep busy so my thoughts of sadness wouldn't take over. That only worked for a short time. I began to behave in a very risky way. Sex was an escape for me. I didnt feel loved but with sex i felt good in the moment. Until it was over and SHAME rushed over me.
I settled down and had 2 more beautiful babies a grand total of 3 by the age of 25. I had gotten married and I ffound myself having LOSS OF TIME. I couldn't figure out how I ended up in certain places. I had this obssession with being the perfect wife and mom. I ignored the nightmares and flash backs and something triggered me into wanting to "NOT BE HERE". I started feeling like I wanted to hurt myself. There were days I couldn't get out of bed the physical and mental pain took over me. I would be so cruel to myself. In my head, would be beating myself up. Sometimes, I would wake up and the first thing on my mind would be "WHY DID I WAKE UP ". Thats when I knew to get professional treatment.
So to answer the question, depression feels like Im in a fight and I am mentally beating myself down. Each blow causes me physical pain. Its something that comes and goes for me. I still have bouts with depression but I continue to practice different coping mechanisms.