What Does Depression Feel Like?

April 24, 2014

I have never felt true depression but I work with it on a daily basis. Because I contain the feelings of my patients, I can honestly say that I can feel it through them.  Not everyone experiences it or feels it the same way but there seems to be one continuous theme from which they all feel it.  It’s a sort of black hole and from my experience, this hole is to be avoided at all costs. It’s almost as if the patients depression is that very quest to avoid the black hole.  I have been with those already IN the hole, but when that happens, they are typically distant, nervous and agitated.  Mostly, people that see me with depression are on the edge, so to speak, of something that is extremely scary and there are common words but not experiences oftentimes used to describe this place.  What strikes me though is the act of avoiding something that is taking place.  Almost like running or turning around every corner and seeing it, but desperate to avoid it.

What I talk about with my patients is that in order to understand ourselves, we need to embrace our fears and feelings we are trying to avoid.  Depression is scary and the feeling is profound, but I try to explain that telling me or others about that place, shedding light on it, can help face it down.  It’s not easy and not always surmountable, but feeling that depression is a big step to embracing it and eventually conquering it.

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