Explaining depression can be really tricky. Trying to find the words to accurately describe how we feel is hard at the best of times, but can be even harder when our minds are muddied by illness. Sometimes we can’t even understand our feelings ourselves, nevermind trying to explain them to someone else. Creating doodles can help us to explain what’s going on without having to find the right words. Here are 10 more doodles that describe what it can be like for those of us living with depression.
1. Sometimes We Feel Cursed
There are times when we just can’t catch a break. It can feel like everything that can go wrong does, and as though ‘bad things’ are attracted to us. We can begin to feel utterly fed up. Sometimes we might even begin to feel like we’re cursed.
2. We Feel Like We Don’t Matter
Depression often lies to us. Of all the lies it tells us, one of the most common is that we don’t matter. Our thoughts don’t matter, how we feel doesn’t matter, anything we have to say doesn’t matter, because we don’t matter. It tells us that nobody cares what we think, how we feel, or what we have to say. This is a lie. We do matter and people do care. Unfortunately, that can be hard to remember when depression is overwhelming us with its lies.
3. Depression Is Exhausting
‘Normal’ exhaustion and depression exhaustion are not the same thing. The exhaustion that comes with depression can weigh heavily on us. No amount of sleep or rest can fix it. It can feel as though every day is a steep climb towards bedtime, and no matter how hard we push and how far we climb, time can still seem to stand still and our end-goal looks further and further away.
4. Depression Can Be Noisy
Depression can be really noisy. It can range from being a constant buzz in our brain to filling our brain with lies and bullying taunts. We might start to find ourselves arguing with the thoughts in our head. The taunts can range from non-stop whispers to screams and shouts. On top of this, when we’re feeling particularly low, we might find that we’re hyper-sensitive to sounds in our environment – making the world around us seem extra-loud. It can reach the point where the noise actually hurts, we can’t think about anything else, and we just want it all to stop.
Depression is often described as an extension of sadness. The reality is that for a lot of us, depression can be a whole lot of nothing. We can feel totally numb to the world around us. If someone hugs us or the sun shines on us, it can feel no different to sitting alone in a dark room. Everything can feel grey and colourless. Our brain can become an empty, echoey place. We end up with no thoughts, no feelings, no words… just a whole lot of numb, grey, nothing.
When we’re living with depression, life can get on top of us. It can feel completely and utterly overwhelming and un-tackle-able. Feeling so overwhelmed can leave us feeling stuck and squashed down – a feeling which can stop us from tackling the things we need to do. The more overwhelmed we feel, the more stuck we often feel, and the less we feel able to do. Life can get on top of us to the point where we’re not sure how to un-stick ourselves.
One of the lies that depression often tells us is that everyone is talking about us (and not in a nice way!). This can cause us a lot of anxiety, particularly at times when we’re around a lot of people. It can make social situations increasingly difficult and we might find that we begin to isolate ourselves. People aren’t usually talking about us – more often than not they’re so busy with their own lives that they don’t have time to make fun of us. Somewhere in the back of our mind we know that, but depression either makes it too hard for us to rationalise our thoughts.
8. Depression Feels Scary
Depression can feel scary in all sorts of different ways. It can leave us feeling unsafe and as though we can’t trust ourselves. That can be truly terrifying because if we can’t trust ourselves – where do we go and how do we cope? The deep, dark lows that depression often brings can be scary because it can be hard to see a way out. When we can’t see a way out, it’s hard to imagine that things will ever get better, and the thought that we might have to live the rest of our life with such a low mood can be really scary. Depression can also whisper scary thoughts or make us imagine scary things. It can be really difficult to feel safe or calm with such a number of scary things going on around us.
9. Sometimes We Feel Okay
Just like those who don’t have depression – our mood isn’t the same all the time. It goes up and it goes down. We have better days as well as downright rubbish days. Our better days can be confusing. We might not be used to feeling anything close to ‘fine’, so we might not really know how we feel or what we’re supposed to do with this weird ‘fine’ feeling. Our good days can also leave us questioning whether we really have depression at all or whether we’ve just made the whole thing up. We might even self-sabotage on our good days because feeling ‘better’ is so foreign and uncomfortable. It can be really confusing – we know that on paper feeling better is the aim and is a good thing, but even though feeling low is rubbish, there is often some comfort in the familiar.
10. Land Ahoy
Depression can get better. It sometimes takes a huge amount of effort to get our ship to shore, and we often have to do a lot of nifty-navigating, priority-adjusting, and wave-surfing in the process. We might feel lost at sea for a while and not be able to see any land ahead. But eventually, the mist will clear and we will be able to see some hope and begin to travel towards a place of recovery. Nothing can last forever. Depression can get better.
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