You ask me: “what does depression look like?” Well, depression can be many things or just one thing at once.
Sometimes, depression doesn’t look like anything; Sometimes depression is hidden. Depression has traits that are hard to understand.
Depression looks like hands of a stranger coming up behind you grasping your neck, leaving little room for you to breath on your own. Your heart beats fast, your hands get clammy. The struggle becomes even more terrifying than any nightmare since you don’t know the stranger. Although, this stranger is my friend, whom I’ve known for quite some time. Depression even looks like a smile. Big and bright hiding away the pain you try so hard to fight. No one can see the sadness but you. Your mind is trapped with these feelings of self-doubt, loneliness, and hatred. Your smile is happy, warm, and welcoming. Everyone is buying it. Depression can look like a girl in the corner of her room, with shadowy figures rushing at her from all points of the world. She wants to escape but her body is unable to move. She can’t feel a thing, she’s numb. Her body is lazily and slowly trying to resist the pain.
Depression tastes like a bottle of alcohol pressed against your lips. The drink makes you feel numb Anything is better than the pain you have now. Depression tastes like a cigarette wedged between your teeth. Breathing in the nicotine helps erase everything. The smoke is like a release of pain. Depression tastes like pills. The anti-whatever you are feeling today fills your mouth. The pill dissolves on your tongue as you take a drink of water. You hope that these will work. You want to be happy. That thought is just a fantasy now. Depression even tastes like tears. They roll down your cheek and onto your upper lip. The salt tastes familiar. You’ve cried so much that the taste is so natural to you now. It the taste you hate the most.
Depression feels like drowning. Everyone is sitting there watching you, they can see you struggle for air. You try to cry out but that only allows water to fill your lungs more and more. The more water that enters the less time you have. Depression feels like a shadow of your former self grasping your neck, taking the ability to breathe or think. The shadow invades your mind and creates thoughts that you never thought about before. Depression feels cold. You sit alone, with nobody or nothing to keep you warm. The only things there with you are your thoughts. They embrace you in a way no one can. Depression feels like falling. The air rushes through your hair and your heart jumps at every flight you drop. You close your eyes awaiting the final stop. Depression can feel like nothing and everything at all once. You can feel the tears roll down your cheek; you can feel your heart beat fast and slow. Although, you are numb. You are numb to the world around you, and nothing makes sense since you can’t feel happiness.
Depression sounds like silence. You don’t hear anything. Even when people tell you “I’m here, everything will be better,” you still don’t hear it. Your thoughts have already taken over. You wish you could speak but you just can’t anymore. The slightest word and you cry. You are so sick of crying. Depression sounds like music. The only help you really have is music. You put your headphones in and turn up the volume. The sound flowing into your ears embraces you, saying “Everything will be okay, just listen to me, you will be happy.” Depression sounds like excuses. You say “I’m fine,” “I’m just tired,” “I’m better, I promise.” Nothing is the truth anymore. Honestly, you don’t know why or how you can feel this way anymore. It’s a normal way of life to you now. You want to speak but the words get jumbled up in your head, “Will they listen? Will they care?” So the only words that come out are “I’m fine.”
What does depression look, sound, taste, and feel like? I just told you. I helped you understand. Don’t cry on my behalf. Don’t tiptoe around me.
Do you understand now?