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Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Depression is like a relentless storm cloud that hovers over your life, casting its dark shadow on everything you see, touch, and feel. It’s not something you choose; it’s something that chooses you, slowly and insidiously. I want to share what it feels like as I’ve battled this uninvited companion for decades.

It starts with a whisper, a faint voice in the back of your mind telling you that something isn’t quite right. At first, you dismiss it, thinking it’s just a passing mood. But as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months, that whisper grows louder, more persistent. It becomes a constant presence, a heavy weight on your chest that never seems to lift.

Depression is like living in a world devoid of color. Everything appears in shades of gray, and even the things that used to bring you joy lose their luster. You find yourself going through the motions mechanically as if you’re watching your own life from a distance, detached and numb.

It’s a profound sense of emptiness that gnaws at your core. You wake up in the morning and wonder what the point of it all is. The simplest tasks—getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, putting on clothes—feel like herculean feats. Each day is a battle against an invisible force that saps your energy and leaves you feeling defeated.

Depression is the constant companion of self-doubt. It whispers in your ear, telling you that you’re worthless, that you’re a burden to those around you. It distorts your self-image, making you believe that you’re fundamentally flawed, unlovable, and irredeemable.

It’s a profound sense of loneliness, even when you’re surrounded by people who care about you. Depression isolates you from the world, building an impenetrable wall around your heart. You long for connection, for someone to reach out and understand, but the darkness within you makes it difficult to let anyone in.

Depression is a thief that robs you of your passions and interests. Hobbies that used to bring you joy now feel like distant memories. You can’t concentrate, can’t find the motivation to engage in the activities that once defined you. The things that made you feel alive now seem like distant dreams.

It’s a relentless voice of self-criticism that never seems to let up. It replays your past mistakes and failures on an endless loop, convincing you that you’re undeserving of happiness or success. It tells you that you’ll never be good enough, no matter how hard you try.

Depression is like being stuck in a pit with no way out. You can see the world outside and see the people living their lives, but you can’t reach them. It’s a sense of hopelessness that wraps around you like a suffocating blanket, making it hard to imagine a future where things could be different.

It’s the physical pain that accompanies the emotional turmoil. A heaviness in your limbs, an ache in your chest, a knot in your stomach. It’s the exhaustion that comes from constantly battling your own mind, from trying to keep the darkness at bay.

Depression is like standing on the edge of a precipice, feeling the pull of the void below. It’s a constant struggle to hold on, to find a reason to keep going. It’s the fear that one day, you might lose that battle and succumb to the darkness.

But in the midst of this bleakness, there is a glimmer of hope. It’s the tiny voice that tells you to keep fighting, to seek help, to reach out to those who care about you. It’s the moments of clarity when you remember what it’s like to feel joy, even if they are fleeting.

Depression is a battle, one that I fight every day. It’s a journey of ups and downs, of setbacks and small victories. But I’ve learned that I am not alone in this struggle and that there are people who care about me and want to help. And most importantly, I’ve learned that there is always hope, even in the darkest of moments.

Unfortunately, I know many people who believe that depression is a made-up thing. That people use depression as an excuse to be lazy, to blame their problems, or to simply hide behind. 

It’s important to address these misconceptions and attitudes surrounding depression through education, open conversations, and awareness campaigns. Changing public perception and reducing stigma are essential steps toward creating a more supportive environment for individuals struggling with depression. Encouraging empathy and understanding can also help those who dismiss depression to recognize its impact and offer support to those who need it. Doing nothing is what I refer to as a “Shadow of Neglect.”

 “Shadows of Neglect” highlights the idea that neglecting someone’s emotional well-being, especially in the case of mental health issues like depression, can cast a long-lasting and profound shadow over their life, affecting their overall well-being and happiness. It serves as a reminder of the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health concerns, as neglecting them can lead to significant negative consequences. 

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