Most people associate depression with a feeling of sadness, with tears and melancholy. But for many of the one million Australian adults living with the condition, it actually spells a complete absence of feeling. A complete and crippling apathy.
It’s what author M. Molly Backes calls “The Impossible Task”.
In a viral Twitter thread, the American writer pinned down what it’s like to live with this “sneaky symptom”, one she says is often overlooked in the media.
“The Impossible Task is rarely actually difficult. It’s something you’ve done a thousand times,” she explained.
“The Impossible Task could be anything: going to the bank, refilling a prescription, making your bed, checking your email, paying a bill. From the outside, its sudden impossibility makes ZERO sense.”
Even should you complete it, another with fill the void; “One time it might involve calling someone, but maybe you can work around it by emailing. Another time it’s an email issue,” Backes wrote. “Then when you think you have it pinned down, you suddenly can’t do the dishes.”
Depression commercials always talk about sadness but they never mention that sneaky symptom that everyone with depression knows all too well: the Impossible Task. pic.twitter.com/lPix73WO2d
— M. Molly Backes (@mollybackes) August 28, 2018
Backes’ concept resonated with thousands of Twitter users – more than 16,000 have liked her message and more than 7000 have re-tweeted it.
“I never felt sad,” one responded. “I felt pointless. Useless. And heavy. So heavy.”