Before I begin, this is not going to be “woe is me” article because holy mother of god we don’t need more negativity on the Internet. Instead, I want this to be a “hey let’s stop pretending we’re all perfect and start recognizing that experiencing depression is normal-ish and fucking sucks”-type blog.
And when I say “depression,” that doesn’t mean just really sad. Cause that’s not what it actually is even though people who haven’t had it often think that, which is fine. But I think it’s valuable to at least be aware of what it is and the effects it may have on you, your friends, family, or lover.
For those who have never experienced it, I’d like to first say, MAZEL TOV! You’re like, really fucking lucky! And second, here’s a real and non-webMD-ish explanation of depression from someone who’s had it more than once in her 26-year lifetime.
4 different depression triggers for me
- Hormones: Mother effing hormones. Being a woman is sometimes THE WORST. Don’t talk to us during our periods/pregnancies because you’re inevitably going to be bitched at. Enjoy.
- Chemicals: Alcohol, drugs (won’t go into too much detail on that one because you know, laws).
- Existential angst: The realization (whether it’s accurate or not) that there’s no purpose in life; the questioning of why we’re all here and why any of this matters. This usually happens after the “who the fuck am I?” phase of life.
- Situational: Something traumatic happened.
Worth noting: Biologically I’m more prone to depression since it runs in my family. And my personality type — ENFP — is very intuitive and curious so I analyze life, people, and the world, which doesn’t help.
What does it feel like?
Not being interested in anything anymore. Losing the passion you once had for your favorite hobbies. Dreading the day ahead of you when you wake up, even if you love your job. As Donald Trump would say, low energy. Not being able to move sometimes.
The worst part is lack of enthusiasm for literally everything. I didn’t know it was possible for me to ignore a slice of pizza (my kryptonite) until I experienced depression. Everything that was once exciting is no longer fun. I even went from being madly in love with a guy to having zero interest — an ACTUAL “it’s not you, it’s me” scenario, though I’m not sure he believed it.
Before I went on anti-depressants I would cry sometimes before bed, often about nothing. Now, I honestly can’t cry even if I try to (and I have, yes like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday). You might think I’m crazy but I miss being able to because I always felt better afterwards.
Who does it happen to?
Literally anyone and everyone. Doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor. Ellen DeGeneres had depression… ELLEN! The woman whose smile lights up your TV. Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Selena Gomez, Chrissy Teigen, both Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The list goes on forever.
If you’re experiencing it, please know that you’re not alone. And actually, you’re in good company because some of the greatest minds suffer from depression.