What does depression feel like?

Depression feels terrible. Here are some of the key features of depression.

  • Low mood
  • Problems concentrating
  • Loss of motivation and energy
  • Withdrawal
  • Eating and sleep disturbances
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Causes significant distress or impairment
  • Lasting for at least 2 weeks

No-one would ever choose to feel like this, or stay depressed if they could help it. It can be hard to come out of though.

“My experience of depression tends to follow the same pattern each time. It comes on quite quickly, the first sign is that my sleep gets interrupted, I wake early in the morning and can’t get back to sleep, then my appetite goes, I no longer feel hungry. Alongside these things is a worsening of my mood, I feel bleak and lonely, even when I am around people who I love and am loved by. I feel an intense ache deep inside my chest and a sense that I am a horrible person that no-one can possibly like. I feel useless and guilty as though I have done something dreadful and it is only a matter of time before I am found out. As time goes by I start to feel suicidal, that the world and especially those close to me would be better off without me.”

Watch William, a son and service user discuss growing up supporting his Dad through depression