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What does depression feel like ?

JohnJJohn Posts: 964
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Depression and Coping
What does depression feel like.

I know we all have individual experiences and did wonder what depression feels like to others

Take care John


  • ... not matter what you do you just keep on sinking...

    Until you get some external help who can help you sort it all out. That could be psych, pm, family, friend, whatever. I found the moral of the story was go get help, you can't do it alone. That was a hard pill for me to swallow.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    On the bad days, it was just looking into a mirror.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • with no way to get off
  • I can't gin up any interest in things I normally care about. Life feels like a long stretch of boredom with a few moments of escape now & then.

  • Actually I think I'm slipping into, trying to claw my way from slipping into that state now. The reason I think so is because I generally get 'blue' feelings that come & go throughout the winter months, but by Feb. as the days begin to get slightly longer and the buds are coming out, my mood usually elevates. We have had several days of high 60's-low 70's with plenty of sunshine, I have tried all of my usual tricks..open window, reach out to others, etc., but it is not helping.

    Late last year I suspected this might not be my typical winter blues, but was stubborn in putting it off as such. I have no desire to do the things that I want to do..even get excited about for moments, but I can't seem to find my motivation to get moving on these projects. I blame my pain and my own head hears my words and thinks "copout." Maybe I'm not chronically depressed, but it's deeper than the 'blues' that's for sure. And whoever said that just admitting you have a problem is half the battle is wrong IMO. It has always come easy to me to admit that I have a problem, or that I am wrong about something, but changing it..now that is a battle and shows the true strength within.
    Ugh..I'm going to discuss this with my Dr on Monday, but I simply hate A/Ds.
  • The Anti-Persona.

    Opposition to what makes me strong and fine. self denial of my worth, and giving in to selfish, self centered feelings.
    self self self no?

    going from giving to taking from life.
    which is a loss of identity for me, I feel an need to give..
    But as a departed Spine Health Member told me..
    "Keep some light for yourself, so you can keep on giving..."

    words I live by.
    Thanks John for a great thread!

    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Like being flushed down the toilet bowl and not being able to get up and out, while all these thoughts are spinning around in your mind. Losing all energy to fight to get out, then losing the will to even try because you've spent all your energy in the first couple of phases, and it's left you exhausted.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Worst thing, pain mentally & physicaly minute after minute. You just sleep or try to watch TV. You don't have the energy to get up to pee.

    For me thoughts of dieing seemed like a relief, pardon or parole from the hell I was in, no hope...

    That about says it for me...
    AL S
  • black hole, you cannot climb out of , no much how badly you want too.

    your eyes are dead, they have lost the light that was once there

    your soul is destroyed, you can feel that

    your have zero energy, your body feels like there are heavy weights strapped to it, you cant stand up, its too hard, you cant move, its too hard, you lay there staring at the wall, weeks , months on end

    you cant talk , its too hard, you dont answer the phone, you cant go to the letterbox, coz someone might see you and say hello, that would be too hard to deal with

    you cant shower , its too hard, your body is so heavy, too hard to move, you stay in the same clothes, for weeks, months

    you feel the urge to go to the toilet, its too hard, you have no energy for thses things

    you cannott read , watch tv , as you have no concentration

    you lose all motivation
    you do not want to do anything that gave you pleasure before

    you cant reach out/call for help, its too hard

    you have thoughts of suicide

    you hate feeling like this, you want to feel normal, well again, but no matter what , you just cant do anything to make this happen

    i just want to say there are varying degrees of depression, from mild going to moderate to severe
    also feeling down is not depression

    my depression is severe clinical major depression and i have PTSD, which led to the depression

    also the majority of people will and can be helped by talking with a therapist and possibly antidepressants meds, lifestyle changes and cbt

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    began as occasional crying, but a lot of anger. I knew something was wrong, mostly while looking into the faces of my, at the time, young children.
    I think my anger was trying to get control of what was happening to me...depression.
    I have chronic clinical depression. They talk about symptom being not finding joy in the things you use to. I have times when I don't have desire or interest in... anything. Even waking in the morning can bring tears with thoughts of, "When is this going to be over?"
    When it's bad, I can't hear the encouragement of others...only my own pain and aloneness ...knowing there is no hope for a better day.
    I give up trying to find my worth and truly believe it best for all if I wasn't here.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hello,
    Savage your children would certainly not agree with that view, many here have been to those difficult times and survived, they sought appropriate help where needed, pain is a team event. For me it did feel like a big wave coming and washing over me overwhelmed by the imposed change to my personal circumstance, little signs of alternative thoughts and behaviour.
    My doctor said, depression had taken time to develop and would take equal time to repair and mange; medication would assist this process and give me the support and kick-start for improvement. I had some counselling and worked through accumulative issues indentifying those that could be changed or micro managed more effectively.
    At group PM we also developed tools and techniques, expressing our thoughts with others about the chronic pain lifestyle and supporting each other. I agree with Ranch, that we envisage “giving in” retrospectively not intentionally or knowingly and in that we have some control however limited. Constantly having to adapt more that normal is draining and that indecisive expectation of the outcome.

    I am now more aware of how this feels and the need to navigate away from the circumstance that may enable these traits to develop once more. For me chronic pain and depression are inexorably linked and unavoidable, my objective to minimise that occurrence and depth of impact where possible.
    Our posts here give an insight to how and what problems develop, many here have experience of this ongoing issue and continue with that daily struggle to cope, the stigma of discussing our thoughts is being lifted and with the correct support, encouragement and guidance we all help each other.

    Take care. John.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    I am at a fairly... fair place right now. :) ... with my shrink and counselor and other docs on speed dial :)
    With my previous post... I was responding to the request of depression experience... and in short that is mine.
    Your above comment, re' my kids....well... certainly true.
    And my grandchildren.! ...I so want to be an example to "keeping on" with grace and authenticity.
    So my people, this site, of course God.. keep me thinking right.
    I do occasionally call on people... or this site...for a reality check when I notice myself slipping.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • felt totally hopeless, like there was no way to turn my life around ( past tense now :) )
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Howdy John,

    I know for me (and Flower hit so many of them!!!) it is a mix. Tired and don't want to do things or participate in daily things is big for me when I get down. My hubby is the one that brings me out of those funks, but ....

    Sleep more than usual - no hurry getting out of bed.
    Appetite sucks - have to force myself to eat.
    Like flower, no energy to shower or get out of bed clothes during those periods.
    Tend to stay house bound.
    Slow to respond to e-mails.
    Hurt more, but more so the mechanical is what is more painful.
    Energy - what's that?
    Patience - short fuse.
    Hard to even get the umf to do the most basic chores.
    Loss of interest in hobbies.

    There's more, but I think you get it. My hubby can see when I go to those areas, and we work it out pretty well, but can't always escape the 'downs.'

    I hope you're in a better place John. Having been megga depressed as a teen due to abuse, and "almost" jumping in front of a truck to end it - the good of that? I know when I have to see the brain doc! I won't let me go there ever again. Support *HUGZ* for you.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • When I called in sick 3 years ago and never went back. I feel like I have no energy to even shower sometimes. It's not right.
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I feel like an empty shell. No warmth, no emotion, no substance: just cold, empty, dried up and worthless. I feel like I could just drift away and it would never be noticed. The empty feeling is so strong that it hurts, almost like hunger pains. The lonliness is almost too much to bear, but yet I just want to be alone. The coldness is deep, almost numbing, but just not quite there; so you pray, and pray and wish for just a little bit more, just enough to make everything go away.
  • I know this is off topic, but I just have to say it. There is so much courage in most of these posts. I don't know if the people who are or might be depressed right now and posting here know this or not, but to put yourself out there, be so open and raw like you are is to me, brave, almost beyond description. I'm not talking about myself, because I have decided that I am not depressed after discussing this today, but reading through these posts has opened my eyes to the real strength it takes to open ones self up like so many here have.

    Many prayers and well wishes sent to anyone suffering depression, or even those going through the down 'blue' type days. I've been there and am sorry to see anyone dealing with this. I sure hope you know how very much it takes to open up and share that vulnerability, that alone means so much and it helped me.
  • Robin,

    Not sure if I fell into your post category, but I think that part of why some of us "put it out there" isn't so much as brave, but sharing with another who may be there. Granted it does put it out there, but the core of one's question (John in this case) is the big reason...at least for me.

    I think another reason is most of us don't see our depression times as weak, but yet another human portion affected by the day to day pain, the continual procedures, medications, testing etc. Okay, I'll hush now. Just my thoughts - Oh, and I doubt John will think you took his thread off topic. :<

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Yes, and I certainly don't think of being depressed or admitting to depression as a weakness, but having been there I do know how hard it can be to talk about it while you are *in* it. That is what I meant by brave. If a person is sitting at home hurting, yet able to open up, I see that as courageous, or very brave and determined.
  • Robin,

    I'm sure others in this thread will appreciate your words from both posts as I did. I know part of that first post (the one I replied to) were tear moments, and others happy - hard to describe.

    The only time I really "let" it get to me was one day a while ago my hubby and I were out to one of our favorite restaurants, and my right arm/hand sucked. I was trying to cut a steak, my fingers wouldn't cooperate, then my arm spasmed so bad, my knife flicked the steak off my plate, and almost hit another patron! In an angry and excited utterance, a few lets say choice words came out - aimed at my stupid hand and arm sucking, then I started bawling like a baby in the restaurant.

    The owner knows me, calmed me, and then the almost steak attacked patron comforted me. I felt lower than low - more so because it was so public. I didn't go out to eat for weeks after that, and no, I don't get steak anymore. :( Better now though...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Aw Jeeze, good I wasn't there (3 second rule applies in restaurants where steak is concerned-lol). Just kidding there, and I know it isn't funny at all when parts of our bodies embarrass us, especially in public places.

    I do hope you won't let that episode take away your taste for a good steak, but understand you not wanting to order it if you feel like this might happen again. These are exactly the types of things that can bring us down, the simple things that some people might take for granted, we think of and it can give us anxiety and stress.
  • Robin,

    In addition to what I listed initially, and too what others listed, things like what happened in the restaurant just 'add' to the overall and it stacks up. I'm left handed, but for some reason I've always cut my steaks with my right hand? Dunno...

    I've gotten 'small' steaks since, like filet's. They are tender, and take almost no pressure to cut them. Otherwise I stick with pasta and sea food dishes so my right hand can stay on my lap.

    The bad is (for the brain) is not knowing when a hand will cramp, or something stupid happens when out to eat. I don't let my right arm stay solo when driving on the steering wheel, things like that. I've had my hand go nuts just handing someone a piece of paper!! In the beginning, it was more "tight" grip things that brought it on, now whenever it wants to it seems.

    What's interesting (and John more for your question) is sometimes it is hard enough dealing with our own issues, and too whether we are letting our friends and family down, it is showing "problems" in front of strangers! I've found that most are nice when they see me with a cane, hell, they don't know for instance if I sprained my ankle, right? Now switch it, put the person with a walker, or in a chair, or parking in handicapped parking - Joe "normal" looks down at you, or shows pity. It all adds up is all... You learn to read others body language as to whether they are sincere, or coddling you.

    I bought an RV so there was no chance my hubby would miss the once every 10 year family reunion. Before I did that, I cried for almost 2 weeks thinking how disappointed he would be not to go. Thankfully I found I love the RV, and the new freedom. Just more things that affect us, but hopefully some things have a fix. :)

    Okay, rambling now - don't do that often. Off I go!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Don't you know steaks are finger food? :)

    Robin, It's a 2 minute rule! :O They funny thing is it actually is a 2 minute rule. One of the science type shows did a study and actually found that is does take time for enough germs to transfer to the food to harm us. I found it interesting, but kind of weird to.

    My depression has been everything from the black hole to my current apathy towards everything in my life. I feel like a deer caught in the headlights and am just frozen in place waiting for impact. I am very tired of being tired.

    The people I used to share interests with have wandered off. They still get it as far as the hobby goes. I can not connect to that anymore.

    I have no idea of why I keep doing this day after day? I just don't know what else to do.

    Don't anyone panic, my next appt is next week.
  • words are appreciated, thankyou

    it is extremly difficult, probably impossible for people to understand what its like to have major clinincal depression

    i no i didnt , till it happened, it is the worse place to be in, because without your mental health, you cannott function properly to direct all the other areas of your life

    there is still misconception in society today, about depression
    major clinical depression is a medical/mental illness
    it is not feeling down (that is a normal reaction to lifes veried events) it is not a weakness, it is a change in the brains chemistry

    you cannot snap out of it , like some people imagine you can
    it is sheer hell

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