Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?

A while ago I was on http://www.moomie.co.za and the discussion was about depression – someone felt they were feeling a bit low, and wondered if it was depression.

A conversation ensued, and at some point someone asked “well, what is depression…”

Some days I feel I have an epiphany where I can explain something and it even makes sense to me.

This I felt was one of those cases and I wanted to “steal/copy” the post I made on the forum and keep it here on this blog as it is a good description of how I feel when I am experiencing my depression:-

The way I describe depression – and I am sure someone else may experience it differently is …

…you know that feeling when someone close to you has died …you have that sadness that permuates every pore … you are so sad, that you want to cry over everything … anything … all the time… so you are mourning a death that never occurred, and the profound sadnesss never goes away ….

You cannot face anyone or anything … trying to socialise even with people you love is painful and exhausting, and all you want to do is go home and sleep… and escape.

You feel this weight … this pressure on your soul … all the time.

When you smile, you smile with your mouth, but there is just nothing past that… inside you are screaming

You feel like you are sliding into this deep dark hole … and the sand is starting to fill over your face …. you can’t claw your way out though you are desperate to try … you have no hope of getting out of the hole … you can’t see any options except that the hole is getting deeper and blacker … all you know is you are sliding further back and further into the darkness, no one can hear you scream and no one can help you….

Nothing feels good … nothing tastes good … your senses are dull ….

The only respite from this agony of the blackness and the nothingness is to close your eyes and go to sleep …. then you do not feel… you count the hours when you are awake so you can go to sleep again and the hell and pain can stop … when you close your eyes, you count the hours until this torture starts again… and take a breath of divine relief as you get a inch of peace as you drop off to sleep ….

The moment you have woken  … even before your eyes open … you feel the darkness envelope you like a cloak … it is heavy, it is suffocating and you cannot get out from under it… getting out of bed is exhausting and takes every ounce of your stamina.

The darkness and desolation is painful… and the worst is you are so alone … you are going mad, because no one understands … and no one can hear you screaming … but you are … you are literally screaming in your head in pain and anguish … you are in a room full of people and you are alone …

Depression for me is very real.  It is like a dark creature that lurks on the outside of my being every single day … I can smell his fetid stink and feel his oil on my skin.

I am always aware of him lurking, knocking at the cracks waiting to get in.

If I am out having a good time, and go to the bathroom, I will catch a glimpse of him in the mirror whilst I wash my hands, just to remind me that he is there … waiting, just waiting …  because he knows the time will come sooner or later … and so do I.

No matter where I am or what I am doing, or how happy/good my mood is, I am always aware of my dark companion.

<Winston Churchill was so accustomed to visits by depression that he had a nickname for it—his ‘Black Dog’.  I like that term and might steal it for my own use.>