1) Difficulty Concentrating
One of the first things I notice when I am depressed is that it gets harder and harder to concentrate. It doesn’t matter if it is work or a book for pleasure; I just can’t focus. My mind is hazy and I have to put out an almost super-human effort to get anything done. This is one of the reasons I have had so much trouble holding on to a steady job over the last 5 years.
2) Feeling Worthless
This is a huge one for me. I have self-esteem problems without my depression, but when I feel depressed I really do not believe in myself. Every awful lie that depression whispers in my head I am ready to believe and it makes life so hard.
3) Feeling Hopeless
Losing hope is tough- it is one of the most nefarious weapons in depression’s arsenal. The hopelessness I feel is often intertwined with worthlessness and they kind of feed on each other. This makes me want to bury my head in the pillow and stay in bed, which I usually do.
4) Feelings of Dread
Dread is frequently riding on my shoulder if my anxiety is high and pushing my depression deeper. I dread waking up, so I sleep more and more. I dread the next phone call and the task list at work. I dread even brushing my teeth.
5) Feeling Listless
I just don’t want to move. I have no energy and no desire to do something productive or anything to even get my mind off of how I feel. I feel beaten down and low.
This is a common one and the root of depression. It goes so deep that calling it sadness is not even right. It is an emptiness and a darkness that is all-encompassing and seems like it will never leave you. It is misunderstood by others who think that telling you to “cheer up” or “think positively” will actually help.
7) Feelings of Desperation
I feel so desperate, like I have to do something to end the depression and this is where it gets scary- suicidal thoughts come along with this one. I am so lost and hopeless that I feel like the only way out is to do something final. I tried that once and I will never go there again. This is when you have to force yourself to reach out for help, whether that’s a spouse, friend or a hotline.
In a crisis? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text “NAMI” to 741741.