What’s it like to have depression when the whole world feels bad

My lack of energy is extreme. Either I gorge myself on sleep, seeking refuge in 10, 13, 16 hours; or I’m plagued by insomnia, thoughts drifting into the past, like a never-ending, never-ending panic attack. My dreams are obscenely violent. Normal things get expansive. I hate myself. I know I should ask for help. I do not. I am quite unable to do anything but work, which is a daily relief.

I keep a list of activities that bring happiness when my mind starts to wander: art galleries, the sea, Liberty’s button department. I try to maintain not just “sleep hygiene” but “life hygiene”: some degree of structure and nourishment, even where I lean towards anarchy.

I also refuse to lift the veil on the aspect of my illness that society still finds unspeakable. I have never been actively suicidal, but I can succumb to some suicidal thoughts. There is a big difference between thinking about something and doing it, between a little light ideation and having a plan (“Do you have a plan?” being the therapeutic question traditionally deployed here). However, to me such thoughts can be a canary in the coal mine; a sign that I should take my mood seriously, seek help. By acknowledging these feelings, hopefully I will be kept out of the act.

I realize this is hard to read. It’s hard to write. However, with my radical honesty, I gained some radical acceptance. Finally, I am better at being happy when I can be, I have developed this “gift of happiness”. It’s just not my permanent state. And it’s good. It’s OK. It’s who I am. I’m (almost) happy with it.


“Hannah’s depression isn’t her weakness, it’s her strength”

Hannah’s boyfriend Terence Derbyshire on what it’s like to live with someone who suffers from depression.

About Margie Peters

Check Also

Help for those struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – When someone who has been diagnosed with the flu, COVID …