Mental health, Mental Health & Wellbeing

You’re Depressed, I Have Depression – Here’s The Difference…

(Getty Images/James Bray/Vetta)

During my most recent bout of depression one person in particular has been convinced that if I only looked at the world in the same way he did then everything would be fine. Everyone has bad days he said, bad stuff happens to everybody, you just have to focus on the positives.

This post is for all the ‘Steve’s’ of the world.

You feel depressed because something’s happened to make you blue. Your football team lost, the girl you like’s not interested in you, or you didn’t get that promotion.

In all those cases a change in circumstances could cheer you up again, and a different course of events would’ve meant that you were never even unhappy in the first place.

If I am having a depressive episode you could tell me that there was hundred million dollars just waiting on my doorstep for me to go and collect it, or you could tell me that every single person I cared about had been caught up in a massive explosion and that they were all dead. It wouldn’t make one iota of difference to the way I’m feeling right now.

You’re angry that someone insults you, you were hurt when a loved one criticised you, you were saddened when you heard bad news. But you put it to one side and thought of other things. Mustn’t dwell, positive thinking is what you need.

I’ve just experienced one of my triggers and it’s set off a cassette reel inside my head. All of the worst insults that could be thought of, the deepest insecurities that could be played on, all the of the things that no other person would ever dare to say to me are playing on a loop in my brain. And I can’t change the record, and I can’t find where to press stop.

You’re depressed, but hey, shit happens and life goes on, no need to make a fuss.

I have depression; and it’s a fucking big deal.

<iframe src=”//” width=”610″ height=”513″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”>

Related Articles

Depression – why it was never about sadness. (

25 thoughts on “You’re Depressed, I Have Depression – Here’s The Difference…”

  1. I think the worst part about fighting through depression is the incessant obligation to explain why you feel that way. People anticipate that there is some mystic code to decipher that has set everything wrong. When I feel like I’m melding with the floor and that the world might just swallow me whole and my darkness feels like a magnet that proves toxic to any who dare to get too close…those are not the moments that I’m aware of my whys or even desire, at all to explain. If you can tell people why you’re depressed then it isn’t the same monster that claws inside someone battling the demon constantly. Thank you for this post.


    1. You’re welcome. I read an article a while ago, I can’t find the link now, but it was by a woman who struggles with depression, and rather than says that’s what she has, she tells people that she has low serotonin. Because that sounds definitely medical and so fewer people feel the need to question her about it. I thought it was quite a nice idea. Maybe it was the wrong decision to name this illness depression when there was already the state of being depressed which almost looks like it might be similar but isn’t really.


      1. I think part of the problem is that our society is so hyperbolic. Rather than say we are sad or disappointed or frustrated we say we are depressed. If you’re someone constantly kicking Depression in the teeth, on days you are only plagued by sadness, you say you’re sad. We too often speak out of ignorance with a flair for the dramatics in our societies. Health care is still disgustingly disregarded in terms of mental illness. We don’t regard it as an actual struggle, but a simple strand of incorrect thinking.


        1. I suppose you’re right about the hyperbole. Social media seems to have made everyone thing that their lives need to be dramatic so that can be worth sharing with the world.

          And I can understand how people can find it hard to understand mental illness if they’ve never experienced it. I suppose no one can truly imagine a feeling or sensation they’ve never had themselves.

          But to think because they haven’t experienced it, it doesn’t exist in the way it’s described to them. Or that all those doctors who’ve spent years training to be psychiatrists, and even more doctors who’ve worked on studying mental health are unnecessary because all their patients really need is to start looking on the bright side of life. That strikes me a lot of the time as wilfull ignorance.


  2. Well said.

    I oft try explaining it to people by saying it’s like someone has strapped you into a chair, and then forced you to watch all of your past, worst nightmares over and over again, on a screen so giant that you’ve confused it for the actual world around you. I s’pose it’s pretty hard a thing to comprehend without experiencing it first hand.

    Sweet blog, p.s.


  3. i’ve never been brave enough to go a doctor to discuss what happens in my head, so maybe i am just a grumpy sod who needs to sort himself out. But i do recognise what you describe here, and many symptoms of bipolarism and autism also ring true with me. i don’t know if i actually suffer from a mental/emotional condition or not, but i sure as hell suffer, and im sure those around me do too, but nobody ever mentions it.
    thank you for being brave enough to describe your depression. i’m tempted to send this link to those closest to me and say “see? THIS is what it’s like”


    1. Oh, I’m not brave, I didn’t used to talk about things to the point that not talking about them nearly killed me.

      But I’m glad that you liked the post and found it helpful, and I hope you find a way to get help if you feel you need it.

      I found being diagnosed was helpful because: a) it reassured me that there was a thing wrong with me, rather than me being a thing that was wrong, and b) because when you get the label for the ‘thing’, it comes with the instructions for what you’re supposed to do about it.


  4. When I’m in an episode I have auditory hallucinations that are playing that loop in my head. It sucks that people don’t understand our depression and that we can’t just snap our fingers and feel better.


  5. Thank you. Finally, someone who understands. Now go tell the wise guys/gals who contriubte to the DSMV. They need to include this in their definition of depression.


  6. It’s maddening how little the “Steve’s” know or care about mental health issues. In my case I don’t actually have Bipolar Disorder–it’s not an actual chemical imbalance–I’m just a moody bitch who needs to get her shit together.

    I love the description of the endless stream of hateful things you think about yourself;I love the accuracy. It’s something I’ve experienced a lot.

    Depression and other mental health issues are a huge fucking deal.

    Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog!


I'd love to hear what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s