Content warning: this post contains details of depression and suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.
“It’s an absence of self. Most people have a hard time understanding the concept of absence or emptiness. They understand a positive or a negative but to understand nothing is a different ball game in abstraction.
“It really is a hole, a dark room, but it’s the whole world day after day. It’s all the same.”
A Reddit thread asked the question “What does nobody tell you about depression?” attracted more than 1200 responses.
Most people understand depression to be synonymous with sadness. Yet depression is a characteristically private battle that, unless one has experienced or witnessed it personally, is unimaginable.
As someone who has suffered from depression, I can attest to the incredible insight the responses offer.
If you haven’t experienced depression, it’s impossible to know its effects.
1. It effects your memory
One user wrote, “It seriously effects your memory on top of your motivation. I’ll walk by the sink, see the dishes and think ‘I’ll do those in a minute’ and within five minutes I literally forget that the dishes need doing.”
"I'm average intelligence, but my depression makes it so hard to remember anything," another described.
Studies have found untreated depression shrinks the hippocampus, which is the brain region responsible for memory and emotion. The earlier the intervention, the less likely it is to have long-term, permanent effects on the brain.
2. You lose your sense of self
"It's an absence of self", perfectly encapsulates the feeling of hollowness experienced by individuals with depression.
"You lose yourself, you literally forget who you are. I know a common symptom of depression is losing interest in things you used to enjoy... But to me, it was more like I actually forgot who I was and what I liked and what sort of things made me happy." (Post continues after gallery.)