A good explanation of depression

This was posted by someone on Twitter as a thread (link to original tweet) on June 18, 2018, so I’m saving it here so it’s easier for me to find in the future and in case it gets deleted.

It is the most relatable explanation of depression I have read.

(TW: Suicidal ideation and depression) How do I even talk about this? I have no idea, but here goes, because maybe it’ll help. Deciding not to reach out? It starts small, and it gets big faster than you realize.

This is what it has looked like for me: There’s the idea, and it’s a noise that won’t go away. And you know you’re supposed to tell someone about the noise, but if you tell them, they’ll get scared, and it’s just a noise, so whatever. Ignore it.

But also the noise is all you can hear or think about some days, and talking to people and doing normal things feels like trying to shout over it. So you stop talking to people so much. You go quiet. You just try to get through the day.

And then suddenly it’s months later and people are asking where you’ve been and why they haven’t heard from you and you don’t know how to say “well see there’s been this NOISE” because then they’ll be all worried, or worse, they’ll be mad at you.

After all, you tell yourself, your noise probably isn’t as bad as other people’s noise, and why can’t you just deal with the noise? It’s just a fucking NOISE, and you think: oh man, everyone is probably so mad at me that I went quiet while the noise was so loud.

(Reality: Your noise is enough noise to count as loud. And people probably aren’t mad at you for going quiet; they love you and they miss you, but they will understand more than you think.)

So anyway you’ve got this NOISE and you’ve got all these people who you feel guilty for neglecting and you’ve got so much work to do and it feels like too much and the noise keeps getting louder, until your entire life is a project that revolves around ignoring the noise.

By this point, you don’t even know how you’d begin to tell anyone. You don’t want them to be scared, and you also don’t want them to know how LOUD the NOISE is. And you still have that little whisper under the noise that says it’s not loud enough to count.

And then, one day, you’re talking to someone, trying to look like a person who has never heard the noise. And they say “hey, this be way out of line, but. If you ever hear a Noise, I want you to know that I love you and you’re not alone.”

You confess that you hear the Noise. You hear it all the time. You heard it just the other day. And they tell you that they hear the Noise, too.

You feel all the things that you’re scared other people will feel. You feel worried, and you want to help, and you feel bad that you didn’t know. All of that comes from this place where you love that other person and you want them to be okay and you want them to STAY.

The thing is, the way you feel about other people who hear the Noise? It’s a good way to feel. It’s love and understanding and care. You deserve to have people feel that way about you.

The Noise has a lot of lies in it, and one of them is that if you’re hearing the Noise then you don’t deserve to be seen and loved and encouraged to Stay. But you do deserve those things. Even if the Noise won’t let you believe that, it’s still true.

Getting checked in on can be stressful and scary for a lot of reasons, but if the reason it’s stressful is because OH GOD NO PEOPLE ARE CARING ABOUT YOU? You deserve to be cared about. It’s okay to let yourself have that.

For the past eight months or so, I’ve had a dedicated group of friends who check in on me if they haven’t heard from me in a while, or if my tone starts getting distant, or if their spider-sense tingles. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m here because of them.

And there are people who are pissed at me because I haven’t been paying them enough attention, or because they don’t think the Noise is important. But those people don’t really matter in the scope of my life. The people who cut through the noise? They matter.

You matter. If the Noise tells you that you don’t? That’s incorrect. You matter. You deserve to have people care about you. That’s the truest thing in the world. Stay. Stay. Stay.

by Sarah Gailey