Many people do not understand depression, assuming it is just random bouts of sadness and crying. Unless someone has suffered through their own struggle with depression, it is near-impossible for them to truly understand how debilitating it can be to live with that diagnosis.
One of the hardest parts of explaining depression is that it is neither rational nor is it predictable. It is hard to provide relatable examples because the feelings connected with depression would feel wildly irrational to anyone not experiencing them at that moment. It is also impossible to predict or predetermine depression because it often comes unexpectedly in waves.
Therefore, instead of providing a chart with relatable examples, the chart I devised shows the increasing intensity of this mental illness. My hope is that the statements provided at each level, combined with the descriptions included, will help those who have never struggled with depression understand how our frame of mind is magnified as our condition worsens.
It is also important to note that depression is not all sadness and hopelessness. Instead of providing a chart listing levels 1-9, I have split this chart in half. There is a 1-4N to designate worsening stages of numbness and a 1-4D to describe stages of downward spiral. This chart is extremely simplified, yet illustrates how, as depression worsens, the intensity of the condition increases. However, unlike conditions like anxiety that worsen in one direction, depression can and does frequently occur in both the realms of numbness and hopelessness to varying extents.