What is depression? What does it feel like?
We live in a world where we don’t know our future, yet we hope it will be a good one. Isn’t that nice? We have hope for better days and this hope maintains our way of life. If I knew I was bound to be homeless by the age of forty, would I bother to continue my academic advancement? If I knew I would end up marrying someone I didn’t love, would I bother to continue pursuing a romantic partner? And if I knew my child would die before their eighth birthday, would I bother to have them in the first place? I don’t believe I would.
The nice part is that I don’t know how things will end up for me. Because of this, I do plan on graduating college, I do plan on marrying someone I love, and I do plan on having children (well… I might). Hope is the motivation to push through the rough times so that you can once again reach the great times. It is the feeling that allows us to be optimistic about the future, which gives us the courage to try to find and maintain happiness. I feel that this hope is what pushes me, and everyone, every day to feel we can succeed and have a great life.
Yet, some people do not have hope. Some people cannot feel hope like the rest of the world does. They feel trapped when they are outside. They feel alone in a crowd of people. They feel empty when they do the things that make them happiest. These people are in danger every day yet look safe as can be.
Many of these individuals have depression. Depression is not just sadness like many people think. It is a deep-rooted feeling of emptiness that consumes all other emotions and replaces them with a feeling of death.
Most of the time when people are sad they know that they are sad and hate how they feel. And a lot of the time they just want it to end so they can move on. This is not how depression typically works.
Depression is a feeling that appears to never end. It creates the illusion that this deep-rooted sadness one feels will never stop because they believe it is who they are rather than what it is happening to them. Their life becomes sadness, rather than the sadness infecting their life. True darkness is not when a room is without light, but instead when that room has no light ever coming back. When the Sun will never rise. When the light switch will never be flipped. When one’s eyes will never open again.
Depression is a disease that kills. It kills how the person thinks, feels, acts, and whatever else that lets them feel human. Eventually, the idea of doing anything seems too painful, too time-consuming. Going to work, showering, eating, and simply getting out of bed seems like too much work in such a dark world. In a world without hope what is there to push us, to better ourselves? What is there to make us be how every human should be? There isn’t, there wouldn’t. Society would not function because nobody would function.
Depression is a very real and dangerous disease. It is one that should not be taken lightly, and it is one that should be understood. We should try to understand what our neighbors, our co-workers, and maybe even our loved ones go through every day. I am not saying they all have depression, but the stigma for this disease is enough for millions to go untreated every year. Millions of people suffer through this darkness alone every year, and they will continue to if we don’t talk about it. So please do. Please show these unlucky individuals how to have hope once again. Show them the light that they could not find. Open the blinds, flip the light switch, and let them open their eyes to the beautiful world around them.