There are so many ways that depression affects your life on a daily basis. Life is already hard as it is, but when depression hits, it makes it that much harder.
While some depression is triggered by life events, for most people with depression, it just comes out of nowhere, even when everything in your life is fine.
Depression is more than just a mental illness, and it affects more than your mind. It affects your physical health, your well-being, your everyday life, and sometimes even those around you.
Here are 16 ways depression changes your everyday life.
1. It affects your body
It affects your physical well-being, resulting in chronic fatigue and sleep problems. Doing the simplest tasks take a lot of energy out of you. You’re always tired, and have zero energy to do anything. You feel pain, but you can’t quite pinpoint where the pain is coming from because everything hurts.
2. It affects your health
Depression affects your eating and sleeping habits. You either spend most of the time laying down sleeping to avoid reality, or you spend sleepless nights with insomnia. You have either stopped eating because nothing tastes good or you’re eating all the time because you hope that food will somehow satisfy the empty feeling you have inside. Changes are at one extreme or the other, causing you to feel out of balance. Sleeping too much or too little and eating too much or not enough takes a toll on your body.
3. You let yourself go
Depression makes you stop caring about yourself and the way you look. You find yourself wearing clothes that make you look raggedy. You don’t shower, shave, or even brush your hair. You don’t change clothes unless it’s absolutely necessary.
4. It makes you feel useless
Depression makes you ask yourself, “What is the point?” You can’t physically do anything, and even if you tried, you don’t think it would matter — you’re convinced it wouldn’t make a difference anyways. Depression makes you feel completely useless, as if you’re just a meat bag full of flesh and bones.
5. It makes you less productive
When depression hits, all the things that you would normally do with ease become hard to do. Things like getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed, driving, and working can be completely overwhelming. Your place is a mess; laundry and dishes are piled up. You no longer have the energy and enthusiasm to do anything at all. You have trouble maintaining a normal work schedule or fulfilling social obligations. Depression makes it very hard to concentrate on the things you need to do, and it’s very difficult to make important decisions.
6. It makes you feel lost
Every day you just go through the motions; you feel out of place and everyone around you seems so far away. You lose things, you lose track of things, and some days you don’t even know what day it is.
7. It makes you feel guilty
When you are depressed, you struggle to accomplish even the smallest things, and you are overcome with immense feelings of guilt. You feel guilty because you know that you are lucky for some of the things you have in life, you know that you can do so much more, and you wish you could enjoy life a little more, but you just can’t.
8. It makes you lie
Depression is very difficult to talk about, and a lot of people that suffer from depression conceal it behind a smile. It’s hard for others to understand what you are going through, so instead of talking about it, you just lie and say “I’m okay” or “nothing is wrong.” When you have depression, you can look pretty put together, and you seem to be doing just fine, but you are not. What you show on the outside does not always reflect the chaos and pain that you feel inside. Not only does depression make you a great liar, but also a master of disguise.
9. It makes you antisocial
When you are battling depression, you are always canceling plans with friends and family. Many people who don’t suffer from depression often say, “Just go out and you’ll have fun,” but this isn’t true. Being social when you are in a depressed state is extremely overwhelming, so instead you miss out on social events, doctor’s appointments, and family functions because you can’t physically leave your house.
10. It makes you isolate yourself
When you’re depressed, you want to be far away from everyone. You prefer to stay home rather than go out. You push others away. All you want to do is crawl under the covers and hide.
11. It affects your mood
You have a loss of interest or pleasure in activities you usually enjoy doing. You are very irritable, and you get upset or angry for no reason at all. Your emotions are all over the place — one minute you’re screaming at the top of your lungs and two seconds later you’re crying your eyes out.
12. It drives you crazy
Deep inside you know that you are okay and nothing is wrong. You intellectually understand that nothing is “wrong,” but knowing something and then being able to actually apply it to your life when what you’re feeling is the exact opposite is very difficult. You hate the little control that you have over your depression and emotions — it makes you feel crazy because this is your body but you can’t even control it.
13. It makes you feel worthless
Depression makes you feel worthless. It makes you believe that no one would want to be with you because you can’t even deal with yourself.
14. It makes you feel hopeless
Depression makes life seem meaningless. You feel like things will never get better, and sometimes you don’t see the point in living. Depression tries to convince you that you aren’t worthy of living another day and that no one would miss you if you were gone.
15. It makes you feel too much or feel numb
Depression is not only extreme sadness. It’s much more complicated than that. In fact, some days you feel numb to all emotions – you literally feel nothing at all. You can’t sympathize with anyone because you feel dead inside. You seem cold, distant and heartless. There will be days when you feel sadness, anger, and everything in between. And some days you just go through the motions of daily life without feeling anything.
16. It makes you appreciate better days
As terrible as depression is, there is a bit of a bright side, I suppose. After a depressive episode you learn to appreciate the good days, and you try to make the best of them because you never know when depression might make an unexpected visit again. When you sit in the dark with feelings of hopelessness and despair, you learn truly appreciate the light. You look at the sun, the moon and the stars with amazement. You learn that no matter how dark your world gets, there will always be a light of hope and you just have to take a look at the sky above.
While depression affects your everyday life in a lot of negative ways, it also makes you realize how valuable life really is. You realize that your better days are waiting ahead, and that depression – as soul sucking as it is – isn’t permanent.
Brighter days are on the other side of darkness.