21 Facts No One Tells You about Depression

#21 Most of the advice people offer don’t help.

Thanks to a plethora of info floating around about depression, people often seem to think that saying things like “don’t be sad” or “just try harder” are helpful. But the fact is that they are not.

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#20 You hurt physically.

Many depressed people report physical symptoms like muscle aches, joint pains, and stabbing sensations felt in the chest. If you are depressed and in pain, consult with your doctor to discuss possible causes.

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#19 You feel like asking for help is counterintuitive.

One of the many lies depression tells you is that nobody cares for you, so you don’t want to “bother” people by reaching out to them. This is totally a lie and you need to fight it. Community is your friend – you are a wonderful, lovable person and someone will listen to you.

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#18 Your relationship with food seems “complicated.”

Poor eating habits make depression feel worse – seeking medical help is a good idea if your diet becomes worrisome for you.

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#17 Some “friends” might ditch you – this is not a bad thing.

As some folks might not be able to handle difficult situations, losing them is not the worst thing as you will need true friends who will stick with you no matter what. Let them go and keep doing what you need to do. It is the people who stay with you that will make a difference.

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#16 You may feel like you are absolutely losing your mind.

Depression co-manifests with panic attacks, compulsive thoughts and habits, social phobia, and any number of other issues. Remember that you are not a “crazy” person. You are sick right now but you will get better.

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#15 Everything feels annoying to you.

You even start to annoy yourself. Irritability is the symptom of depression that doesn’t seem to get enough attention. Feeling grumpy is just a part of the process, and you shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it. They key is to identify what triggers it and not allow it to control you. If you need to step out for a few minutes, do it. If you need to do something else, find it. Identify the triggers and empower yourself to come out on top. Eventually, those things will have no power over you.

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#14 Everyday tasks feel overwhelming.

Something simple like making a bowl of cereal suddenly seems too complicated, leaving you frustrated and nearly in tears. The good news is that – hey – this is one of your triggers. Take a few minutes to yourself, tell yourself you are okay and that all is well.

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#13 It becomes nearly impossible to tell when your depression is doing the talking.

Do your best to try to differentiate irrational thinking from logical thoughts. This is where a trusted friend can help. If they are a good listener, they can help you identify what seems rational and what does not. Then, you will be able to figure out when depression is “talking” versus just you. This is another reason why community is important.

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#12 Depression might wreak havoc on your sleep schedule.

You just can’t sleep when you want to, but when you actually have somewhere to be you get knocked out with a completely unplanned, five-hour nap. Do your best to get control of your sleep schedule if you can. Going to bed at the same time each night, getting up at the same time, and moderated coffee and alcohol ingestion also help.

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#11 You might not feel anything at all.

If you are depressed, it might be assumed that you are sad, but depression can also make you feel numb and/or emotionally exhausted. No matter what people around you say, that’s still depression; if you feel emotionally numb or blank you should report it to your doctor or therapist. There is likely a reason for this and it is not something that should be ignored. Our brains often isolate memories that don’t make us feel “safe.” Whether it’s a simple memory or a very traumatic one, your mind is protecting itself for a reason. It’s a good idea to understand why so you can move on in a healthy way.

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#10 You feel incredibly bored.

Try distracting yourself for brief periods of time with anything that will hold your attention and stave off the boredom, however, temporary the distraction is.

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#9 You might feel guilty for a while.

But what’s worse than being depressed? Feeling like you’re a selfish, ungrateful failure for having a disorder you can’t control. While this is a common depressive thought, it is not true. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you identify depressive thoughts and emotions (like shame) and can give you tools to work through these feelings. In reality, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

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#8 People’s comments may make you feel judged.

Yes, there are lots of people with “real problems.” But that doesn’t make you any less sick.

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#7 Your dreams may be strange.

Some studies indicate that as people move through the stages of their depression, the content and quality of their dreams fluctuate. Be free to write them down. As things improve, it will be great to chronicle your success.

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#6 Mirrors may be your worst enemy.

Low self-esteem is often a symptom of depression, so your mirror can remind you of how much you dislike the way you look or who you are. A divided house cannot stand. That is, you cannot try to move on and be healthy if you are not kind to yourself. If there is a part of your body that you hate, I dare you to write “love” across it so you can read it in the mirror. Learn to love the parts of you that are exactly that – you!

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#5 Depression sometimes seems like a “logical” state to be in.

Rationalizing yourself as a depressed person is a dangerous place to be. We all experience pain and grief – but only for a season of time. We are made to feel and enjoy things – including joy and peace. Perpetual depression is not healthy for a person overall. Be sure you are not rationalizing yourself into a position you cannot afford to be in long-term.

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#4 You may feel an irresistible need to argue yourself down – that is, you insist on telling people how horrible you are.

It’s ok if you cannot receive a compliment right away. Never the less, write them down and start dwelling on these “better truths” as if they are real. After a while, you will see yourself differently. It will take time though, so be patient with yourself.

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#3 Attempting to reenter society after being depressed over a long duration may seem awkward at first.

Give yourself more time than you think you might need to feel good around people again. The key is that you keep trying and don’t give up.

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#2 Thinking about the future is difficult.

Without a clear vision, you feel hopeless – or have the perpetual feeling that things will not get better. If you are feeling like this, you may want to seek medical help or talk to a trusted friend or counselor.

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#1 Depression makes you feel like you are alone – but the truth is that you are not.

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If you are in need of information on depression or want to talk about your depression, please call the Crisis Call Center: 1-800-273-8255. All calls are free of charge. In addition, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has the latest facts and research results regarding mental illness. To find a doctor or support group near you, search on Healthfinder for nearby support groups or use the GoodTherapy online tool to locate therapists in your area.