These pages are designed to give you an idea of what may be happening to you, some information, and what you can do about it. We encourage you to speak to the Counseling & Wellness Service or your doctor.
Clinical depression is not the same as feeling a bit low, feeling blue, or a little sad. It lasts for hours, days or even weeks, and can interfere with almost every aspect of your life. Some people can barely function, while others can hold themselves together enough to care for their family or pets but not for themselves.
It is a recognized disability.
What is depression?
Depression is not all in your mind. It's not a weakness that you can overcome if you "just think happy thoughts" or "try harder". And you're not alone. Approximately 16% of people are affected by depression at least once in their lives. Women are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression as men.
Depression can be reactive. Reactive depression is triggered by events in your life: bereavement, moving, unemployment, financial difficulties, divorce, loss of a pet or friend. This does not make it any less valid, and if you feel you can't cope you should still seek help. You may find counseling is better in this circumstance, but your doctor may also suggest some medication.
What does it feel like?
It can feel like a big hole that you're in. It's so deep you can't even see the light at the top. Every thing that goes wrong, no matter how small, is like someone standing on you and pushing you deeper into the mud. You can't dig your way out without help.
It can feel like living in heavy fog, so thick you can't see through it and can barely move while everyone else seems to manage just fine.
It can feel like living in a bubble, or behind a glass wall, so everything (light, emotions, people) is filtered and somehow diluted by the time it reaches you. Sounds are muffled; you feel totally disconnected from the world.
You feel overly sensitive, almost as if you're going through life without any skin.
You know you just can't go on like this.
Depression is a disease which can be successfully treated.
You don't need to feel like this.