People who have experienced sadness may think they understand depression, but that’s not usually the case. While depression is a serious mental illness, it is often misunderstood. These descriptions from people living with depression provide insight into the pain, anguish, and distress of someone trapped in what many consider a living nightmare.

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People think depression is sadness. People think depression is crying. People think depression is dressing in black.  But people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb. Being numb to emotions, being numb to life. You wake up in the morning just to go to bed again.

Sadness is a common feeling in the kaleidoscope of diverse human emotions. It can be triggered by a terrible experience such as going through a romantic breakup or listening to survivors of a mass shooting talking on television.  You will cry, perhaps turn down social engagements, feel darkness but in time the kaleidoscope will shift to a cheerier hue.

However, for the 6.8% of adults in the United States who suffer a major depressive episode each year, it is darkness 24/7. A clinically-depressed person is often beyond sadness—his or her feelings hidden deep beneath a throbbing wall of numbness.

Updated: Sep 3, 2020
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