The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Depression Survivors Describe What It Really Feels Like

This article is from Health.com.  This is a great article because it helps you to really understand just how devastating depression is and how difficult it is for someone who suffers with depression to deal with life.  As a psychiatric nurse, I know that depression can kill–when a person’s body simply begins to shut down system by system from depression.  I know that long before that depressed people will try to escape the massive pain they feel.  This is real and not something “just in their heads”.

I hope that by reading this article, you will come away with a better understanding of the struggle and the pain a depressed person is dealing with.  Maybe the next time you deal with your spouse, your child, your boss, your teacher, your friend you will be kinder and more understanding.  Hopefully, knowing what is going on will help you to be proactive and offer to help them get to the help they need.

Let me know what you think about this type of article.  If you like this, I will try to find more that describes the inner minds of psychiatric patients.

Please go to the site at Health.com and leave them a comment if you find this article of any help to you at all.

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foggy-person-depression

Depression sufferers aren’t merely “sad.” Many describe the experience as agonizing isolation or numbness.
(SATCHAN/SEFA/CORBIS)

When psychiatrists and psychologists test people for depression, they ask, Do you feel sad, blue, unhappy, or down in the dumps? Do you feel tired, low on energy, unable to concentrate? Too many yeses gets you a diagnosis.

People with depression have a much richer vocabulary for describing their anguish, one that rarely matches the clinical observations.

When hell feels normal
Many describe a heaviness and difficulty getting out of bed. When Jennisse Peatick, 36, of Hillsborough, N.J., gets down, “I am in the bottom of a well and it is a very gray cloudy day and I am looking up at this insurmountable cloudy day and I can’t climb out,” she says. “It is silent and very isolating.” Watch one patient describe his experience.

For patients like Terrie Williams, 53, of New York City, depression sneaks up so gradually it starts to feel normal. She had launched a high-profile public relations company that counted Eddie Murphy and Anita Baker among its clients. She organized exciting red carpet events and attended glamorous parties, but she’d fall into bed utterly exhausted. “Mornings were hell,” she says.

Mulling Over Suicide
Depression Tired Detached Doctor-Patient Video
“I was sleeping 18 hours just for fun”   Watch video

But after a while hell started to feel almost normal, she explains: “I would wake up with an overwhelming sense of dread and anxiety. I would lay there for hours, sometimes in a fetal position, crying. I would pull a sheet over my head.”

Williams didn’t realize it, but her feelings and behavior were classic signs of depression. “I would get a burst of energy and check my voice mail and respond. Then I would go back to bed.”

Too many people suffer in silence
As many as half of all people with depression suffer for years without treatment, and Williams was one of them until friends forcefully intervened. “A couple of friends saved me. They got worried when I hadn’t answered the phone for a couple of days. They knocked on the door and I still wouldn’t answer. So they got the key from the concierge downstairs and came in.” They got her out of bed and made her take a shower. Then one of them gave Williams the name of a good therapist who got her on the road to recovery with medication and weekly psychotherapy sessions.

Stories like Williams’s are familiar to Sharon Charles Haznedar, an administrative director for behavioral health services at New York’s Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers and a psychiatric nurse practitioner, who says depression is insidious because it often renders victims unable to ask for help: “I’ve had depressed patients tell me that they need a plan just to walk across the room,” she says.

“Depression drains a person’s energy. The idea of visiting the doctor, figuring out whether your insurance plan will cover the visit, and filling prescriptions can be daunting when you’re depressed. If you’re already seeing one or more doctors for other health conditions, the difficulties associated with another illness can be overwhelming.”

Worse than physical pain
Jim Hawkins, 78, of Rockville, Md., says the feeling of being depressed is almost indescribable. “I tell ya, I’ve had some miserable physical experiences— burst appendix, a slammed door on a finger, abscessed teeth, horrible. But I would cheerfully have all three of those, the pain of all that, than to go through the pain of depression again.”

Williams urges others who worry about the stigma of the word depression to seek help. She says she was amazed at the relief, and eventual transformation, an actual diagnosis sparked. “Once I heard the words, ‘You’re clinically depressed,’ I breathed a huge sigh of relief and thought, ‘So that’s what’s wrong with me.’ ”

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August 9, 2010 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. […] Read more here: Depression Survivors Describe What It Really Feels Like « The … […]

    Pingback by Depression Survivors Describe What It Really Feels Like « The … : Depression Page | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. Depression Survivors Describe What It Really Feels Like…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    Trackback by Mental Disorders 101 | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  3. Thank you for somehow finding my own depression blog, and referring me to this article. Knowing I am not suffering alone can be a great comfort, especially when comfort is to be had through no other means (nothing to look forward to, very thin and unreliable personal supports, medication that doesn’t work, etc.) I really appreciate it knowing about the article, and about your blog and related sites. Again, many thanks for the kind courtesy. Suzanne K., Timonium MD

    Comment by suzanne1564 | August 10, 2010 | Reply

  4. Mental health issues are very important in my family. We have depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety (PTSD) from the long wars, and just plain old alcohol problems. I am convinced my family has bad genetic material for so many of us to be this messed up.

    Comment by Mentally Ill | October 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree with you that sometimes genetics will be the defining issue. In my practice, I frequently see various members of families who present for treatment for mental health issues. I wish this were not part of the problem, but I fear it is. I hope you and your family find peace and get help when you feel you need it. Thanks again for being brave enough to leave a comment. I really appreciate your effort and your opinions.

      Comment by Shirley | October 4, 2010 | Reply

  5. After examine just a few of the weblog posts in your website now, and I really like your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website checklist and will likely be checking again soon. Pls try my website as nicely and let me know what you think.

    Comment by nail fungus | January 28, 2011 | Reply

  6. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog.A fantastic read.I’ll definitely be back

    Comment by blogbookmark bookmarks | February 12, 2011 | Reply

  7. Mr. Expert,

    Are you going to have a follow up post or article about this anytime soon? 🙂

    _______
    “Providing you with great tips on Custody Law” …
    ( http://www.QSLaw.com )

    Comment by Brian | March 21, 2011 | Reply

    • Brian

      I plan to have a follow up story soon. Thanks for asking.

      Comment by Shirley | March 21, 2011 | Reply


  8. Thanks for your input and I will use it for my school research that I am doing for this website.

    Comment by motorna olja | July 14, 2011 | Reply


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