Author's note: I am seeing a therapist and taking medication and I have people to talk to. Don't worry about me (not that I can stop you). Worry about yourself and the people closest to you.
PUTTING DEPRESSION INTO PERSPECTIVE for those of you who have depressed people in your lives.
Many people who are not depressed struggle to understand their clinically depressed friends and family members. You can't really know depression or how it works without experiencing it for yourself, formally studying it (e.g. as a therapist) or spending years with people who have it. But you don't need to know what it's like to have depression to try and empathize, and put yourself in their shoes. Along with therapy and medication, empathy is a powerful countermeasure to depression, and it's the only countermeasure you can get from nonprofessionals. The links below include people suffering from depression attempting to explain how their mental condition affects them, and how that may manifest outwardly.
What is depression? Need an animated 101 course on what depression is and how it works and you haven't read the other 40 articles I've linked to in the past? Here you go.
10 Things People with Depression Want You to Know A simple breakdown of some ways depression affects people that they'd like their non-depressed peers to understand.
6 Things Never to Say to a Person With Depression When someone's sad or upset, there are a lot of platitudes we tend to resort to in an effort to make them feel better. But when someone's depressed, these commonly used lines can sometimes actually be damaging.
Please Don't Do This If Your Friend Is Struggling With Depression And while we're talking about what not to say to someone who's depressed, here's a list of things you shouldn't DO -- both for their sake and yours.
How To Explain Depression To People Who Don't Understand Save your depressed friend or family member the effort and just read their explanation of depression for yourself.
30 things people don't realize you're doing because of your depression Your friend may do things sometimes that seem odd or even toxic. They're not doing it on purpose. They're mentally ill.
Dear World: Please STOP trying to understand Depression You can understand things about it, you can compare it, you can describe it, you can analyze it -- but ultimately, if you haven't experienced it, you don't know what it's like and what it does (and that's okay).
To The Friends Who Don't Understand My Depression An open letter from one depressed person to many non-depressed persons.
7 Ways to Deal With People Who Just Don't Get It This is more for the benefit of those with depression, but you can also use this as a sort of mirrored perspective. You're trying to understand how someone's depression affects you, but that depressed person is also trying to understand how your lack of understanding is affecting them. Try to wrap your head around that one. Mental health is mental hella complicated.
INTERNET VIDEOS for people dealing with depression, or people who know people dealing with depression. (What? This wasn't prompted by me having suicidal thoughts. You can't prove that. Clearly I'm still here.)
The Bridge Between Suicide And Life Hey, look. A TED Talk. Don't worry; this one isn't half an hour.
Finding A Reason To Stay Seemingly not the most uplifting video, but something about it speaks to people (including me).
Kids Meet a Suicide Survivor An adult explains his suicidality to children (it's not as horrible as it sounds).
This Is What It Feels Like To Be Depressed Depression turned to poetry.
LIVING WITH DEPRESSION Depression turned to visual poetry.
Cute songs to help you cope with depression Honestly, this one is more for the comments section (but you have some nice music to listen to while you read).
Game Grumps: Fresh Air Have you still not seen Game Grumps? Well, this is not a bad episode to start with, as co-host Dan Avidan discusses his struggles with (and triumph over) depression.
Danny Don't You Know - Ninja Sex Party The aforementioned Dan Avidan is also the lead singer in the comedy band Ninja Sex Party, and this song is all about loving yourself and looking forward to a brighter tomorrow.
Love Like You The ending theme to Steven Universe is really all about learning how to love yourself, as is the show itself (especially evident if you've seen the recent finale).
Disney Motivational Video Just a bunch of motivational quotes from Disney movies. Which, considering my audience here, I'm positive at least some of you will appreciate.
EVEN MORE THINGS (Suicide Edition!) for people trying to get through terrible, horrible, crippling shit -- and for people who know people who are going through terrible, horrible, crippling shit.
4 Reasons Not To Kill Yourself (Read This First) This one makes a couple assumptions about your life, but I think it's helpful nonetheless.
Remembering 'All Star Superman' Superman is my favorite DC hero. Not because he's the most interesting. Not because he's the strongest. Not because he's the first. But because he's a good person. And he fights for your love and hope and happiness, no matter who or where you are.
I Wanted to Kill Myself, But I Survived A survival story.
I've Stopped Thinking About Killing Myself Making it to the other side.
10 Things You Should Know Before You Kill Yourself Note: this one for some reason assumes that you're married, so if you're not, just substitute the spouse-specific scenarios with parallels centered on your friends/family/lovers/peers/etc. (Related fun fact: as I've learned from this and other articles, women are more likely to have depression than men, but men are much more likely to kill themselves than women. Yaaaaay.)
Should I kill myself? This one's a little more general. Also, not all the responses are helpful, but I liked that first one quite a bit, so read that one.
What Stops You from Killing Yourself? Perhaps a different way to look at how people deal with/understand suicidal thoughts.
Suicidal Ideation: 19 Words to Watch Out For Have a friend who's going through a rough time? Apparently, they might use certain words to convey serious distress (I'm pretty sure I've used some of them).
25 men open up about what it's like to live with suicidal thoughts Is it hard to talk about and understand? Yes it is. Think no one understands? Think again.
No One Cares Spoiler: Someone cares.
Kingdom Hearts - Because of You So, real story: I was playing Kingdom Hearts 3 yesterday and had a hard time focusing on it. I was very frustrated and disappointed and sad, and so I stopped and left my room and started thinking suicidal thoughts. I stepped into the living room where the television happened to be on (no one was watching it). Right then, a commercial came on. This commercial. Technically it's specifically about bullying, but it was still really weirdly coincidental and affecting, and I think it helped pull me a bit off that line of thought.
Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Eat That Horse Thank you to the person who sent this to me. I love DBZ Abridged, and I've seen these scenes multiple times before, but it is incredible when you're in a depression-fueled, emotionally turbulent state what will make you cry. And laugh.
MORE THINGS for people trying to understand their own depression, or for people who'd like to understand those who have it.
I Can't Enjoy the Good Things Good things are good, right? Not if you're depressed~!
Best Things to Say to Someone Who is Depressed I don't know if these will be true for everyone, but I feel like it'd probably be true for me.
Infographic: Life With Depression Need a visual aid for understanding depression? The internet has your back, apparently.
Battling Severe Depression (and P.S: It sucks) A 26-year-old writer's struggle with depression (why does that sound familiar), and how he keeps himself afloat.
Death Bulge What it feels like when people are trying to cheer you up when you are literally physically incapable of being cheered up (at least they mean well?)
The depression zone Mental illness has physical effects, too. Isn't that awesome?
I'm the joke As someone who likes to make people laugh, this felt a little close to home.
Can't make it Because you probably have anxiety, too, if you're reading these.
Feeling good Good moods are a very fragile thing when you're depressed. (check out the rest of these guy's comics; they're darkly funny/relatable even if you don't have depression and anxiety...probably)
In case you're going through a rough time Let's end things with a bit of encouragement.
Hope some of you found these useful. Or funny. And if you thought something was funny, I hope it was one of the ones meant to be funny. If not, you are a monster.
It turned out I have depression and anxiety (“in spades” to use the therapist’s exact words), and probably have had them for my entire life. It was a shaking thing, realizing that I’ve had this illness for a quarter century, and thinking back and realizing why my life was the way it was — why I behaved the way I did, why it was hard for me to make friends, why a lot of the time it seemed like I didn’t even have any real friends, why it was hard to learn how to drive, why it was hard to try new things or go to new places (even just a new place down the street), why sometimes after exerting myself socializing I felt like I was dying, why I can’t point to any one phase of my life and say “Then. That was the time I was happy in life.”
I can remember having a depressive episode as early as when I was 7. I obsessively thought about death. I cried for no reason other than my own dread, and I couldn’t tell anyone what was wrong, because how would I? I didn't even know what was wrong. I was inconsolable and frustrated and scared. It eventually passed, but I can’t help but wonder if things would’ve been different had I known what was happening to me then, and if it maybe left some kind of scar on my soul that’s now reopened.
Every hour of every day is a struggle. Even when I’m not sad, I’m often miserable, or I’m angry, or I’m nervous, or I just feel exhausted to my core. I think about killing myself nearly every day. I hate who I am, and I don’t understand why anyone would want to help me. I feel like I’ve tricked people into liking me. Like if they really understood what I was, how broken, how disgusting, how unfixable I am, they would leave. I feel guilty for talking to anyone about anything. I know it’s not rational. I know it’s not true. But it’s what I believe. It’s what I feel.
I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t socialize for long without wanting to die (with the exception of a very small handful of people). I don’t look forward to anything anymore. I can barely enjoy things anymore. Some days are better, but most days are worse. Sometimes I feel okay, but I never feel good. I have to keep pushing, and pushing, and pushing through, and sometimes I just want to stop pushing. But the alternative is too frightening. So I sit, curled up, upset, frustrated, horrified, empty inside, praying that one day it will be over — that one day I’ll learn what it’s like to be truly happy, and then keep feeling that way. But it’s hard to imagine. It seems impossible.
I’m not doing this for sympathy (although that can be nice). I’m doing this because I think, I know, there must be other people out there experiencing this, too. And if you are, I’m sorry. I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now, because it’s different for everyone, or so I’m told. I don’t know how to make those feelings go away, because if I did, I would be doing it for myself.
So below, please find some things that helped me get through it, even if just a little bit, even if just for a moment. Some are articles, some are comics. They're things to help you understand what’s happening to you, or help the people around you understand. I will continue to add things as I find them.
TL;DR: I am majorly depressed and anxious as shit. Here’s some internet things for you if you are, too.
For depressed people who need help, or who are trying to help others with depression:
Dear Mom, I Want To Kill Myself. I just found this one (don't ask me how I got there). This is for both people who are depressed, and the people who want to help or understand friends/family with depression.
Hyperbole and a Half: Adventures in Depression (Part Two) These comics/blogs convey a very personalized experience of depression that is still very relatable (I mean, if you have depression).
5 Facts Everyone Gets Wrong About Depression Given to me by a friend, this does a pretty good job explaining to you and those close to you what NOT to believe about depression. (It has jokes in it)
4 Surprising Things You Learn After Considering Suicide Also give to me by a friend. Feeling suicidal? Maybe this will offer some perspective. (This one also has jokes)
Fun With Your Depression! This one isn't really helpful in a traditional sense. I just find it relatable and funny.
Eat shit & die 164 This one really shows how hard dealing with it is, and what it might look like if depression were more visible.
Lunarbaboon Sometimes you just want someone you care about to reach out.
Will 5:00 Never Come? It doesn't always make sense. It just happens.
Justpeachycomic An entire magnum opus of comics about depression and anxiety.
Sow Ay This one, too. (This guy does not pull punches)
Here Comes A Thought I've posted it before, and I'll post it again. This song really gets to the feels when you're overwhelmed.
If you have any contributions to make to this list, please feel free. If I like it, I'll add it. And please feel free to also use this as a space to talk about your own depression or someone else's. (If I see any judgmental, critical or harmful language, you will be hidden and blocked).
Have a nice day. Stay strong.
At first it was "I'm depressed, but I don't want to kill myself."
Then it was "I feel like if I died, it wouldn't matter."
Then it was "I feel like if I died, it would be better for everyone."
Then it was "I want to die, but I'm scared."
Then it was "I want to kill myself, and I'm not scared, but it would be morally wrong or something."
And I try to say, take your meds, tell your therapist, tell your friends who understand.
It's always just another wall to break through.
What happens when I run out of walls
Thank you to the people who listen. Thank you to the people who understand. You kept me from jumping the other day.