Home » Anxiety » Depressives Post Challenge Question of the Day ~ Day 3

Depressives Post Challenge Question of the Day ~ Day 3

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Clinicians and doctors use a list of descriptions to diagnose depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar, and other named mental illnesses. If you answer more than five of these feelings and experiences, then you fall into the mental illness net.

There are numerous lists available, but here is one that has a lot of choices:

•I feel sad
•I feel like crying a lot.
•I’m bored.
•I feel alone.
•I don’t really feel sad, just “empty”.
•I don’t have confidence in myself.
•I don’t like myself.
•I often feel scared, but I don’t know why.
•I feel mad, like I could just explode!
•I feel guilty.
•I can’t concentrate.
•I have a hard time remembering things.
•I don’t want to make decisions – it’s too much work.
•I feel like I’m in a fog.
•I’m so tired, no matter how much I sleep.
•I’m frustrated with everything and everybody.
•I don’t have fun anymore.
•I feel helpless.
•I’m always getting into trouble.
•I’m restless and jittery. I can’t sit still.
•I feel nervous.
•I feel disorganized, like my head is spinning.
•I feel self-conscious.
•I can’t think straight. My brain doesn’t seem to work.
•I feel ugly.
•I don’t feel like talking anymore – I just don’t have anything to say.
•I feel my life has no direction.
•I feel life isn’t worth living.
•I consume alcohol/take drugs regularly.
•My whole body feels slowed down – my speech, my walk, and my movements.
•I don’t want to go out with friends anymore.
•I don’t feel like taking care of my appearance.
•Occasionally, my heart pounds, I can’t catch my breath, and I feel tingly.
•My vision feels strange and I feel I might pass out. The feeling passes in seconds, but I’m afraid it will happen again.
•Sometimes I feel like I’m losing it.
•I feel “different” from everyone else.
•I smile, but inside I’m miserable.
•I have difficulty falling asleep or I awaken between 1 A.M. and 5 A.M. and then I can’t get back to sleep.
•My appetite has diminished – food tastes so bland.
•My appetite has increased – I feel I could eat all the time.
•My weight has increased/decreased.
•I have headaches.
•I have stomachaches.
•My arms and legs hurt.
•I feel nauseous.
•I’m dizzy.
•Sometimes my vision seems blurred or slow.
•I’m clumsy.
•My neck hurts.

The difficulty with lists is that our experiences are not one size fits all. Additionally, some of the descriptions can apply to so many other issues. For example, the last item, “my neck hurts”. Well, I have cervical spine damage from a car crash and spend a lot of time at a computer. So, many things could cause neck pain.

However, people who suffer from a mental health issue can identify with some of the descriptions, but feel or experience other descriptors that are particularly individual. Experiences are unique; we cannot be lumped into a general malaise.

If you had to describe what depression, or your specific diagnosis, feels like to someone who has never experienced it, what words would you use? What images or metaphors?

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