Thousands of people are using Twitter to share how it feels to have depression. They’re using the viral hashtag #DepressionFeelsLike to describe how it individually affects different people suffering with depression.
“Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.” The NHS advice on clinical depression reads.
But, like many mental health issues, no two experiences of depression are exactly the same.
The hashtag has inadvertently helped people to understand the many different guises depression can take.
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- A permanent state of exhaustion
- Stuck in negative, obsessive thinking patterns
- Inability to see a future
- Fixation on perceived burdensomeness
- Feeling physically ill
- Inability to experience normal emotions
- Feeling helpless, broken, & hopeless pic.twitter.com/UdySiy7BIL
— Anja Burčak 🧠 (@CalculatingMind) December 7, 2019
Sometimes it’s going through a brain fog; going through the motions of the day, wishing that someone would understand, but only to bottle up the loneliness, tiredness and hopelessness, putting on a mask of smiles while aching inside.
— Engebret (@Engemushx) December 7, 2019
Dont forget the random outbursts. The tears. The feeling of nothingness when you're supposed to feel something. The feeling of absolute emptiness when everyone says everything will be okay when it really wont be.
— TardyWoof (@TardyWolf) December 7, 2019
One of the most shared tweets describes depression in a list format, with points like “a permanent state of exhaustion” and “inability to see a future”.
One reply pointed out that no person can see the future, to which the original author of the tweet eloquently wrote: “What I meant with that bullet is that typically people have ambitions, drives, & future-oriented dreams. #Depression can take that away, making it seem like the future is dark, doomed, empty, & hopeless.”
Within moments of the tweet being sent, people from around the world shared their experiences in an almost poetic way.
“Sometimes it’s going through a brain fog; going through the motions of the day, wishing that someone would understand, but only to bottle up the loneliness, tiredness and hopelessness, putting on a mask of smiles while aching inside.” One Twitter user added.
This isn’t the first time that tweets about depression have gone viral. Earlier this year, Twitter users shared tips (that subsequently went viral) on how to tackle depression.
Christine Elvin, a Psychotherapist who studied the tweets on how to tackle depression earlier in the year, offers her advice on this new wave of viral feelings: “Many people struggle to articulate feelings of depression and yet these tweets are written in a way that will be relatable for so many people.”
“These tweets will also help people without depression to understand how it can feel. I’d urge anybody feeling like this to go to their GP for advice.”
According to the NHS, psychological symptoms of depression can include:
continuous low mood or sadness
feeling hopeless and helpless
having low self-esteem
feeling irritable and intolerant of others
having no motivation or interest in things
finding it difficult to make decisions
not getting any enjoyment out of life
feeling anxious or worried
having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
These feelings aren’t limited to psychological feelings, though. The NHS says that depression can cause everything from low sex drive to unexplained aches and pains. It can also be responsible for social symptoms like neglecting hobbies and interests and having difficulties in your home and family life.