The words ‘depressed’ and ‘depression’ get used too much. And at the same time not enough. Mental health is still not talked about enough, the support provided is still not enough and the understanding from society still not enough.
These words though have been accepted better than any person with a mental illness. They have become part of our everyday language, become something less than what these words truly stand for.
People use them for when they are sad.
Depression is not sadness.
It does not go away after a good night’s sleep. You cannot make it disappear by ‘thinking positive or happy thoughts’. It is not a choice or someone just being miserable. It is not the feeling when your football team is not doing well or there is not enough money to go out for the night. It is not solved by ice cream, a big engulfing hug or the smiles of friends.
It is not sadness.
It will not simply go away tomorrow. It is bone crushing weight. A low that never leaves. Something that saps all things happy, positive or worthwhile out of you. It is emptiness. It is bleakness. It is despair. It is wondering whether you will ever feel that lightness in your body again. If you will wake up in the morning without that weight deep inside. It is loneliness. It is not being alone. It is not caring enough or seeing the point in bothering. It is questioning everything in your life. It is wanting to be out of your own skin. It is desperately seeking something, someone that will save you from feeling like this.
It is not an emotion. It is an illness.
Be careful using these words. Don’t take away from the weight they carry.
Everyone gets sad.
This is not sadness.
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