Living With Depression: Why You'd Never Guess

Hey there. This is my first myTake, so I thought I'd make it about something that hits very close to home.

You're Not in Control:

First off, I suffer from clinical depression. I always thought it was a possibility, but I was not diagnosed until I attempted to commit suicide. Now, I'm one of those people that can take a joke, but sometimes when I see comments that reference depression or suicide in a playful or joking matter, it takes everything to hold my tongue.

See, some people do and some people don't understand that depression is a real mental illness that actually affects what goes on in your brain. And no, it doesn't always mean you're constantly sad or full of self-pity. Half the time, you don't feel anything. Sometimes, you feel anxious, guilty, angry, hopeless, etc. When I made my attempt, I didn't feel sad. I felt nothing. It was like I was taken over by the Imp of the Perverse.

Depression can also take quite a toll on your daily life. Yes, sometimes this means you don't want to get out of bed all day, or you haven't had the urge to eat in days and your body has convinced you that you are not hungry. Sometimes, an episode can simply mean you don't have the energy to take that morning jog. My more serious episodes prevent me from feeling any type of happiness for periods of time, no matter what is occuring.

But people with depression can be crazy good at hiding how they truly feel. We can force ourselves to smile, pretend to be having fun, take risks, and perform at the same level as everyone else. The day before my attempt, I'd had the time of my life at a close friends birthday party. I literally felt like I was on top of the world, which could have been a sign that something was wrong.

Another thing is that depression can be completely random. Sometimes it's triggered, sometimes it's not. When I'm in the middle of an episode, literally anything negative, no matter how slight, can send me in a downward spiral. And I'm talking little, seemingly stupid things, like having typed a paragraph in a document and it not saving. And on any other day, I would be able to brush it off, but when I'm having an episode, it's like I'm no longer in control.

The worst part is half the time I don't know why I feel the way I feel.

Happiness Isn't Always a Choice:

As much as people might try to drill it in that you have to choose to be happy, it isn't that simple. It's a real internal battle that's so hard to win. Sure, some life choices may make you happier, but when you have depression, sometimes you become physically incapable of feeling joy. It's like a wall has formed, and so in even the happiest situations, like my boyfriend surprising me with flowers, I might still be upset on the inside.

I'm Still a Functioning Human Being:

So after everything that I've previously stated, the next point I'm going to make is that it's easy to prevent people from seeing those parts of you. It's sooo easy to play it off as being tired, or lie about something else happening, or to laugh at jokes your best friend told, excuse yourself to the bathroom, and cry your heart out. But I'll still go to school, work my butt off, socialize, crush on the cute boy in class, get straight A's, go to dance practice, text my friends after school, and do everything that everyone else is doing. It's not like people see me and go "Oh yeah, she's got depression." In fact, my best friend and my mom are the only people that know because of my attempt. But to everyone else, I'm perfectly fine. It can be so hard, but I don't let anyone know.

Anyway, thanks for reading! Sorry if I kind of ramble at times, but this was a spur of the moment thing. I probably didn't get everything I wanted to say out, but if you have any questions for me I'd be glad to answer them. Or if you just want to talk, that's cool too.

Also! I was going to post this anonymously, but I think this is helping me come to terms with the fact that this is my reality, so I'm choosing to be brave.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • First of all, wow. Just wow. I know what it is like to live woth depression (no I haven't been diagnosed) and to be suicidal as well, although I never really dared to attempt.

    I think that the way you talk about it, is basically amazing. It is straight from your heart and, as far as I know, haven't lied a single word.

    It is "good" to hear that you haven't succeeded in your suicide attempt. I hope you're getting the hemp you need and deserve. I'll hope you will do better soon.

    If you'd ever want to talk with someone, just let me know.

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    • Thanks! I got to therapy now and take Prosac and have been doing well so far.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. I have depression too, and I related to everything you said. Right now I'm somewhat fine, but it still got to me. I kept to myself about my depression for a long time, until I was ready to attempt suicide and I had like a moment of clarity and talked to my mom and my brother imediatley. Eventually I talked to my whole family. Now I have even told a few very close friends. It kind of helps to feel like I have nothing to be ashamed of, talking about it out loud. The thing I hate about it the most is not being in control of what hurts me and what doesn't. Like one day I can have an argument and be objective and assertive, and the next day someone forgets to bring me something from the store and I feel unloved and unworthy. I'm currently taking antidepressants and they help a lot, but side effects are really hard to endure :( I'm not in a bad place right now, but I'm having a hard time stopping the... numbness. Like you said, it's hard feeling happy. For example, a really good thing just happened with my long time crush, and I'm like 'meh'.
    Now, this may be sharing *too much*, but what the hell haha. I'm fearing the antidepressants also may be causing me anorgasmia, so on top of everything there's that. Or maybe I already had it beofre, I don't know.

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Join the discussion

What Guys Said 32

  • hope you well

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  • To those who think livestyle can cure depression:
    Everything I eat is natural and homemade. I take vitamins and supplements daily/weekly. I exercise. I socialize with good people in positive environments. I drink nothing but water and I haven't had junk food in three years. I am healthy as fuck. And I'm still depressed. Can those things help to an extant? Yes, in SOME cases. Are they going to cure your depression? No. Eating more vegetables and going on more walks can't make my brain produce the right chemicals at the right levels. Just like OP said, I can have a great day hanging out with friends at the club, going horsebacl riding, etc, and still come home and think about suicide. It's a disease, not a bad attitude

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  • Well written.

    I get that people can find this difficult to talk about, but I think that others should not stigmatise this kind of thing, the way they sometimes do.

    It's an illness, in much the same way as measles is an illness. The sufferer is not to blame for it.

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  • I’m glad, that you didn’t posted this anonymously. It’s…just better.
    Now…this topic is „very close to home“ for me too (well…it’s close, because it is my home. :-D ). I’ve read this in one take, basically one breath. Awesome article.
    I would have some questions for you, but you’ve kind of inspired me to write something similar. My take (got it? :-D ) on my life experience. We’ll see…
    Yeah, my questions. Eeeh…they are kind of personal. So…how many times did you attempted suicide, how did you do it and why it failed. Not very subtle, right? Straight to the point. Feel free to tell me to fuck off, or anything.
    Besides that…keep writing. I like, what I’m reading. Personal take on topic, which…sure, is kind of mainstream now, but it seems like this personal level adds something else to it.

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    • Thank you! And it's okay to ask those questions. First attempt was while my brother and mother were arguing in the room next to me. I took about half of a small bottle of Aleve. I thought it would it do something bad, but nothing happened. Second time, I took about 20 pills of Alegra allergy medicine, which has antihistamines in it, which can cause drowsiness and slow your heart rate. I started to fall asleep, got scared, and my mom woke up and asked if I wanted to go out somewhere. I tried to answer but I couldn't stand straight or talk. She asked me if I took something and I told her what and where it was. She took me to the hospital and I had to stay for four days in the psychiatric unit.

    • Some people don’t like them.
      Well…you used pills. They are unreliable for this purpose. I know, I know. I’m being just…cold, rational, again. I’m just saying. You did mistakes, thanks to which you are alive right now.
      4 days? How it was like?

    • It sucked the first day. I felt alone, like I'd been locked away forever. But I talked to others and they all shared their experiences and they became my friends and slowly things got better.

  • This hits home. I heard from another that my daughter thought of suicide at one point in her life. Who knows if it is not a regular thought in her head. I feel powerless to get to be closer to her a help cause she don t really let anyone in enough. Speaking for myself Id be crushed into dirt if my daughter committed. I often let her I love her and that I would do anything for her. You are doing the right thing by reaching out. People want to know and help. The pain that would cause those in your life if they lost you would be beyond imagine.

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    • Ha, this is one of those things that I read and it brings me to happy tears. My best friend recently told me she sometimes feels the same way as me and tried to tell her mother, only for her mother to give a sort of "Well, what's wrong with you?" type of response. I'm so glad to hear that you want to make sure she is alright. I've learned, however, that one of the best things you can do is ask your child if they feel depressed and/or suicidal. Using the actual words might be awkward for them for a second, but you'll be more likely to get them to open up.

    • Thank you for the tip. It is a difficult question to ask but necessary.

  • As someone, who had severe depression for 11 years and is still suffering from depression I must applaud you!
    Too many people if not most of them do not understand what depression is (maybe they never had it?) or don't even know, that depression is a real sickness and I am glad, that you are NOT one of them. You have described it pretty accurately.

    Depression consumes us!
    And it's common.

    Well done young lady!

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  • Never had depression so I can't judge.

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  • Can relate to this , have fought both depression & PTSD from my British Army service , was sectioned exactly 7 years ago & detained in hospital for 3 weeks. It does NOT make a weak person , far from it !!

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  • This seems to be a popular thing these days. And it seems to me stats are that some 40% of women over forty are on some kind of psychotropic drugs. What a fail.

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  • You wrote this good.

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  • I've had MDD for most of my life, I've attempted suicide twice and was stopped a third time.
    It really is hell sometimes

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  • Its annoying to hear ' i HAD depression' from people. obviously u were depressed, but if u got rid of it then u have no clue because unless u change ur bodies chemical make up u didn't have depression. i haven't felt happiness, etc since 1994ish. i can go on, but my points been made

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    • BS. Depression can go away on it's own. In my case meds helped me get through it, but eventually things got better and I didn't need them anymore.

    • @zagor because u were depressed, big difference. ur therapist n psych shouldve explained the differences of temporary vs permanent types. psychological depression can and usually goes away, the other doesn't unless ur body changes ur chem output. thats y people who r stuck w the shitty permanent depression usually get it at early teens, when ur body starts to change. it changes to ur permanent adult set up. if it doesn't get it right u end up w permanent problems, low\high testosterone, etc. so call bs all u want, if urs went away ur lucky that it wasn't the permanent version. the only ways to change the permanent 1 is sometimes through some very big physical changes like injury or insane workout n diet routines, resetting ur brain w shock therapy, n sometimes when ur body changes again when u reach old age.

  • Very true it isn't always a choice. You can try all day to find a girl to get into a relationship with eventually, but it doesn't guarantee it will happen. I'm a firm believer in happiness being a state of mind. It's kind of funny how I can be in a bad mood and finish the day off in a good mood, even though nothing has changed other than it's the end of the day and time to go home.

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  • I use to be depresed but then I found full time work with good money. Honestly A man needs to work. It's not good if he can't work.

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  • how i overcome depression: switch to atheism, make some friends in an atheist community, learn a programming language and make java games
    maybe will work for you too

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    • I don't think I'm going to abandon my religion in hopes of overcoming my depression.

    • i said maybe, try it, try to doubt things and think

    • That's funny, because I find that my religion helps me through particularly dark times. But you are right about finding a creative release. (I took up designing) Art therapy is considered to be highly effective for some in the treatment of depression. 👍🏻

  • I know it's not simple. I still believe that happiness is a choice but at one point u might lose the control. After that it's not much of a choice left

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  • I do hope you're feeling OK now. I've seen depression dominate people. I like to see people beat it.

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  • As someone that's struggled with depression for years I'm here to say that, yes, you are in control and yes, happiness is a choice.

    I know that it's not an easy one to make and I know that it's a struggle sometimes but that's no reason to put power over yourself in someone or something else's hands.

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  • I get how you feel. We're alike in that regard. I just push on. It's the hope of a better future that keeps me going. :)

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  • Lifestyle medicine can help with depression but you won't hear about it because there's no pills to sell to you.

    Treat the cause not the symptom.

    Diet, Sleep, Excercise, sunlight exposure (vitamin d), immersion in nature, social interaction.

    I guess those with depression are more likely to live an unhealthy lifestyle with low intake of a variety of vegetable, fruit, wholegrain and other whole food plant based sources

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    • I actually live an okay lifestyle food and excercise wise, since my mom makes me go on these long walks now and I'm so used to her buying vegan or vegetarian meals.

    • I sincerely hope you get better

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What Girls Said 15

  • I believe that you are my long-lost twin because I could have written this almost word for word. Thank you!

    One way that I try to describe depression is by using the word "malaria." It literally means "bad air"--it was named that when people didn't know about germs and thought that foul air from marshes and swamps caused it. Today we know better, but we still use the old name for it. Likewise with depression--the name is simply misleading. A better name would probably be something like "brain storm" or "brain disruption" or something like that.

    Another thing I like to point out when people just tell me to "just get over it" or "focus in improving my mood/being happy" is to ask if they would tell a person with a broken arm to just get over the fracture or focus on not having a fracture. And even then, some people say it's different, as if when dealing with the most complicated piece of matter in the entire known universe--the human brain--they're somehow suddenly the greatest experts in the world on the brain (my brain in particular) and my own struggle and life experiences and medical history.

    Anyway, if you ever want to commiserate, just pm me. Hang in there!

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  • Good job on a first myTake! My two cents is that there are different forms of depression, and the spectrum of those forms will vary. In my case years ago, I needed a pick-me-up. I was sluggish and uninterested in just about everything. I liked talking to people but in small doses and on my terms. It was as if my batteries were dying. I read some great books about depression just to understand it, and then I began reading books to find out what my core issue was. Once I identified that - I was coming to terms with what was taking all my energy away.

    Like most people, I hid it because it's easy to hide. Just do my hair and makeup and put on my best mood when going out, and no one ever knew. I found that when that went on and on, I was not helping myself. So I began to tell my friends and family, "I have depression.." and from there, their support is what started me on the road to feeling better. It's not like a broken leg, where you can sit at home and let it heal on your own. Mental illnesses often take self-awareness, acceptance, and then support from others so that it can be identified, much less treated! And in my case - I even denied it was depression because I simply didn't feel "bad" or worthless. I was just losing focus and interest in everything. I just figured it was the summer heat getting to me. Funny how we'll try and admit it's anything but a mental illness.

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    • Thanks! And I get what you're saying. It's definitely not hard to hide, but the less you hide it, the easier it is to cope.

  • Hi, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us xx mental health is still so mis understood and so often a person is ultimately in a place alone where they have to do their best to try to heal themselves. On a personal note I have found positive insights from this man,
    Alan Wilson Watts a British philosopher, writer, and speaker
    There are several videos on you tube who knows maybe his words could help other sufferers out there... xx

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  • Thank you for sharing this.
    Until recently I've had depression problems for years, and last year it got to the point where I took a bunch of sleeping pills to kill myself. I ended up falling asleep and then waking up within an hour feeling like crap. I was barely able to walk to the bathroom, and then I just sat there for two hours waiting to feel better. At the time I felt like I made a mistake, not because I took them, but because I didn't take enough to kill me. I know that sounds terrible, and it is, but at the time I felt like I was never going to get better.
    The thing is though, no one really knew it was that bad until I said something. I was always quiet and I never had many friends. I always tried to fake being ok. Even if I felt like staying in bed all day or if I felt like I wanted to cry, I tried to force myself to do what was expected of me and seem normal. I always did well in school, I joined a few clubs and sports teams, I often took care of myself like showering, but on the inside I felt really bad. It wasn't until I started making friends and asking them for support that anyone ever really knew.

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    • I had taken a bunch of allegra pills because they can imitate sleeping pills and I definitely remember waking up, not being able to walk, and having to vomit but not being able to. It sucked.

  • All points are true... Especially the last one. I've had depression for 10 years and when someone finds out... It's the last thing they would've guessed, since I hide it well! A lot of people ask me "why are you so nice?" Or "how are you so happy?" But little do they know how I feel inside.

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  • During Middle School and my last year of high school I suffered from depression. Not many people understand what depression is, so I'm glad you made this post.

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  • I agree. i feel like not many people in this society and western world are taking care of kids and teens in my age. Like they can commit suicide whenever? And it's hard for them to open up.

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  • Read The Bell Jar. It's a warning to all.

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    • I just read its summary on Wikipedia, and it sounds interesting, but what do you mean when you say that it is a warning?

    • If someone doesn't understand what true depression looks and feels like I have them read this book. It's a warning to all that it's real, it doesn't go away on its own, you can't just snap out of it. AND death is an extremely real prognosis of it goes untreated.

      For those battling depression as I did in my early 20's it is an amazing piece that shows you aren't alone but also how bad it can get. Her killing herself isn't even the worst part.

      She was a winner, smart as a whip and rising star. But from a young age she had these demon.

      It's such a very good book and not a trigger at all for any suffering or nonsuffering.

      It isn't long. You could easily read it in half a day though I took breaks to ponder.

    • I'll definitely read it, then.

  • Hi there! thank you for sharing your thought is very helpful. I was wondering if you could help me identify if i have depression or not. So long story short i just broke up with my boyfriend and it was a serious relationship, and then recently i found out that he's already seeing other woman. So i feel sad all the time, and it get worse everyday. I have lost my appetite and i lose 8 pounds in 4 days, i can not sleep and cry every night, i feel empty, i can't focus at work, i isolate myself from social media and from my social life, i always feel tired, i feel worthless, i feel anxious. I've been searching all over internet how to help myself and motivate my self but it's just not working. I don't know if this really a depression or i am stil in 'griefing' period. It's been 2 weeks since i experience all of this, and i wonder whether i should get professional help or not. Tell me what you guys thought..

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    • You're not eating, which is serious. I'm definitely not a professional, but I think you should see one. Anxiety can be a part of depression. If you ever need to talk, i'm here.

  • You're allowed to be diagnosed with a mental illness under 18?

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    • I'm pretty sure you can be diagnosed with a mental illness as a toddler. I know many younger than I that have been diagnosed with mental illness.

    • Oh never mind it's only antisocial PD that they're not allowed to be diagnosed with.

  • As someone who's lived with depression for 40 years and has been suicidal I can relate. Happiness is something you fake for your loved ones and friends at times. That doesn't mean you never experience genuine happiness. I'd like to say it gets better, but I'm afraid that is your choice. A choice you choose every day to fight to live. If you don't make the best of your life situation, no one will. If you don't choose to help yourself, no one can help you. You find healthy ways to cope. You always have choices. To think you don't is just the depression talking. Stand strong... Keep up the fight. Life is a gift even when it seems like a burden. there's always something to be thankful for, if you can't find it look harder.. Things could always be worse.

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  • I think people think they know what it is like but they don't

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  • depression ruined my life

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  • It's such a horrible thing. Not jsut for the person but the loved ones as well

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  • I agree also it's a bad thing for me when I can smile and say I'm fine or I'm not fine without flinching.

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