What Does Depression Feel Like?

A recent Facebook post about how it feels to live with depression has resonated with thousands because it has articulated that which can be so difficult to describe: how it feels to live with depression. The Facebook post, written by an anonymous user, begins with:

"When you have depression it’s like it snows every day.

Some days it’s only a couple of inches. It’s a pain in the a**, but you still make it to work, the grocery store. Sure, maybe you skip the gym or your friend’s birthday party, but it IS still snowing and who knows how bad it might get tonight. Probably better to just head home.

Your friend notices, but probably just thinks you are flaky now ... 

Some days it snows a foot. You spend an hour shoveling out your driveway and are late to work. Your back and hands hurt from shovelling. You leave early because it’s really coming down out there. Your boss notices."

Read the piece in full here

The testimonials from our own patients speak to how draining it is to live with depression, and how it can be as physically fatiguing as it is emotionally. Although the emotional symptoms of depression (feelings of sadness, low motivation, trouble concentrating) are more well-known, the physical symptoms can be just as challenging. The physical symptoms of depression include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and body aches
  • Digestion troubles
  • Weight loss or gain from disrupted eating patterns
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia

For our patient Christine, depression had been in and out of her life since adolescence but in recent months she described feeling down and hopeless every single day, with frequent tearfulness, a flat affect, suicidal ideation, and migraines. She had an increased appetite with low energy and was lacking interest or pleasure in activities she normally enjoyed.  Worse, she was plagued by guilt because her depression prevented her from being fully engaged and present with her precocious 6-year old daughter. It wasn't until she received TMS Therapy with Greenbrook that she was able to live her life fully. Christine says that “TMS has given me my life back.” 

Marie Clarie says that during her depressive periods she was "completely numb and not herself." She found difficulty with simple everyday tasks like driving and showering. She says she was tired but found it difficult to sleep, and was wracked with guilt, wondering if she was "just being lazy." Once she received Greenbrook TMS, she says the difference is "night and day" between how she felt before and how she feels now. 

Emily compared her depression to living in a fog. She says that once she started TMS therapy, "I firmly believe that I felt relief from my overbearing, all consuming depression after my very first twenty-minute session. I have felt as if a grey cloud or blanket has been lifted from my life. I am seeing brighter colors. I have patience with strangers. I am able to complete large, complicated tasks once again."

For Sarah, depression left her feeling numb. She recalls that "Before TMS therapy, there wasn’t a time that I didn’t feel bad. I didn’t do anything, I was constantly in the house. There wasn’t even a rollercoaster of emotions, for me it was just a flatline with a dip sometimes during breaks. But now, there’s a very clear difference."

Joseph says that his experience with depression centered around insomnia and left him feeling miserable. Over the years, he'd "gone from two or three hours of sleep a night to no hours of sleep a night. It was horrible. I was hopeless." It wasn't until Greenbrook TMS therapy that he was able to find relief. He says that "By the time I finished treatment, my sleep had increased to six or seven hours. It was just wonderful. Within a week of completing treatment, I was up to eight hours. The headaches are gone, the result of fatigue has greatly been reduced."

If you or a loved one have been experiencing these symptoms, or have found that medication and talk therapy have not given you adequate relief from them, you're not alone. Schedule your free consultation with us today.

If Covid-19 and social isolation are heightening your symptoms of depression, Greenbrook TMS therapy may be able to help. At Greenbrook, we specialize in TMS therapy — an FDA-cleared, non-invasive treatment for treatment-resistant depression and OCD without harmful side effects. See if TMS therapy is right for you by clicking here to take a brief assessment:

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