Depression is more than just a mental illness, and it affects more than just your mind. It influences your physical health, your well-being, and your everyday life. And sometimes even those around you.
Here are 10 ways depression changes your everyday life more than you realize:
1. It affects your body
Depression affects your physical well-being resulting in chronic fatigue, sleep deprivation, and general exhaustion. You’re always tired and have zero energy to do anything, even the simplest tasks. You feel pain, but you can’t quite pinpoint where the pain is coming from because everything hurts.
2. It affects your health
You either spend most of the time sleeping to avoid reality, or you spend sleepless nights with insomnia. You have either stopped eating because nothing tastes good or you may be eating all the time in hopes that food will somehow satisfy the empty feeling you have inside. Changes are extreme and cause you to feel out of balance. Sleeping too much/too little and eating too much or not enough takes a toll on your body.
3. You let yourself go
Depression makes you stop caring about yourself and the way you look. You find yourself wearing clothes that make you look raggedy. Also, you don’t shower, you don’t shave, or even brush your hair. You don’t change clothes unless it’s absolutely necessary.
4. It makes you less productive
When depression hits, all the things that you would normally do with ease become hard to do. Things like getting out of bed, shower, getting dressed, driving, working, etc. can be completely overwhelming. Your place is a mess; laundry and dishes are piled up. You no longer have the same energy and enthusiasm you used to have. You have trouble maintaining a regular work schedule or fulfilling social obligations. Depression makes it very hard to concentrate on the things you need to do, and make important decisions.
5. It makes you feel lost
Every day you just go through the motions. You feel out of place and everyone around you seems so far away. You lose things, you lose track of things and some days you don’t even know what day it is.
6. It makes you lie
Depression is very difficult to talk about, and a lot of people that suffer from it conceal it behind a smile. It’s hard for others to understand what you are going through, so instead of talking about it, you just lie and say, “I’m okay” or “nothing is wrong”. When you have depression, you can look pretty put together and seem to be doing just fine. But you are not. What you show on the outside does not always reflect the chaos and pain that you feel inside. Not only does depression make you a great liar, but also a master in disguise.
7. It makes you antisocial
You are always canceling plans with friends and family. Many people who don’t suffer from depression often say, “just go out, and you’ll have fun.” This isn’t true. Being social when you are depressed is extremely overwhelming. So instead, you miss out on social events, doctor’s appointments, and family functions because you can’t physically leave your house.
8. It drives you crazy
Deep inside you know that you are okay, and nothing is wrong. You intellectually understand that nothing is “wrong.“ But knowing something, and then being able to actually apply it to your life seems impossible. You hate how little control you have over your depression and emotions. it makes you feel crazy because this is your body, and you can’t even control it.
9. It makes you feel too much, or feel numb
Depression is not only extreme sadness – it’s much more complicated than that. In fact, some days you feel numb to all emotions. You literally feel nothing at all. It’s difficult to sympathize with anyone because you feel dead inside. On top of that, you may seem cold, distant and heartless. Some days, you just go through the motions of daily life without feeling anything.
10. It makes you appreciate better days
As terrible as depression is, it does have a bit of a bright side. After a depressive episode, you learn to appreciate the good days. You try to make the best of them because you never know when depression might make an unexpected visit again. When you sit in the dark with feelings of hopelessness and despair, you learn to truly appreciate the light. You look at the sun, the moon and the stars with amazement. You learn that no matter how dark your world gets, there will always be a light of hope.
While depression affects your everyday life in a lot of negative ways, it also makes you realize how valuable life really is. Most importantly, you realize that your better days are waiting ahead. And that depression – as soul-sucking as it is – isn’t permanent.
Brighter days are on the other side of darkness.
Feature image via We Heart It.