The reality is that these symptoms all have a significant effect on routines, from running errands to social situations to even just going to sleep. As with any medical issue, the more knowledge you’re armed with, the better. That’s why we rounded up just some of the ways depression influences a person’s day-to-day life.
Below are a few ways people with the disorder interact differently with the world compared to their peers:
People with depression often ignore routine appointments.
For most, haircuts or dermatologist visits are expected blips on the calendar. However, depression can make these events feel like monumental tasks.
A case in point is a heartbreaking account from Kate Langman, a Wisconsin-based hairstylist. Her Facebook post (featured above) went viral after she shared the story of a client with depression who came into the salon.
Depression makes them see things through a glass half empty.
The condition often makes the person living with it see everything from a pessimistic perspective.
“Depression is a negative view of self, of the world and of the future,” Greden said. “Everything is sort of being seen through dark-colored glasses … It’s pretty common, when people are depressed, for them to think that no one understands them ― and that’s a really tough place to be.”
People with depression have brains that are more prone to stress.
In other words, the condition isn’t just something they “made up” or can “get over” so quickly. It’s a physiological issue that requires care.
Depression makes them want to push others away.
A common side effect of depression is changes to relationships. People living with the disorder may start to withdraw from their friends and family, and the mood symptoms may cause them to become irritable or angry.
I wish he knew how overwhelming being sad during a depressive state is … sometimes it would be really nice to get a hug, instead of just the cold shoulder and being ignored because it is difficult to understand. Support is worth more than words could ever say.
People with depression may need to see doctors more regularly.
Depression not only needs to be treated by a professional, but it also could put the person at a greater risk for other illnesses. So seeing doctors, between primary care physicians or mental health workers, on a more regular basis is so key when it comes to managing the condition.
“Depression is a common problem,” Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, previously told HuffPost. “There shouldn’t be shame in seeking help for that. People wouldn’t feel shamed if they got help for a broken arm. Depression is much like that. It’s treatable and you should tend to it.”
Ultimately, depression ― just like any other medical illness ― alters a person’s daily existence. And the more people keep that in mind, the less stigma and more understanding there will be about what it means to live with the disorder.