“Depression feels like drowning.”

This is a comment by The Redhead Bedhead, Jane, and Sarah on the post “Can I Overcome Depression?

The Redhead Bedhead said:

“This is the second time I’ve read your writing on depression and felt like someone actually understands. I love that you used the ocean/swimming imagery. I have long said that trying to get people to understand my symptoms feels to me like being out in the water while they are on shore and they think I’m waving so they wave back and this goes on and on and for some reason I can’t get anyone to understand that I’m not waving, I’m drowning.

“The apathy gets me too, especially this time of year. Funnily I just yesterday wrote a post about a medication change that made that problem so much worse. Thank you for letting me know that there is at least one person out there who gets why I have never ‘gotten over’ this, why it still ebbs and flows and why honoring that isn’t being pessimistic or ‘giving in’ any more than a diabetic is by taking their insulin.”

Jane said:

Your descriptions of depression are spot-on, and familiar. I suffer from bipolar 2 disorder, and always live in fear of depressive recurrences, even though my medication controls things for the most part. I’m so sorry that you haven’t found a medication combination that works reliably and consistently for you.

Sarah said:

“My heart goes out to you. I also suffered from severe depression and anxiety since childhood. It took many years of therapy to get to the point where I can say ‘I’m not depressed today’ even though I still have a lot of issues that I’m still working on. It is possible to get beat depression but it’s not easy. Really deep therapy is what worked for me. Good luck in your journey.”

More Comments of the Day

Read our commenting policy.

Photo credit: Flickr / David Sifry

About the Editors

We're all in this together.


  1. OK , let’s try this ( maybe this will stick) Redhead Bedhead, hre’s my description of ‘how it feels’. Imagine you’re in a hole in the ground. It’s about 9 feet deep, about 15 feet or so around and you’re standing in it. People are standing at the top saying “come up here and join us” . So you try runnung up the sides as they is a slight slope and you think if you run fast you can make it. But the soil is sandy and gives way so you keep sinking to the bottom. It covers your feet and works it way up your calves making it harder to move your feet. You look over in the corner and see a door with a bright EXIT sign. You think “How’d I not see that before?” The only problem is the door is ‘One Way’. Onece you go through, you can’t ever return! So, everyone up top is saying “come on, join us” but no one bends to give you a hand and soon they get bored waiting for you and leave, but the door is still there, the light shining brighter than ever!

    • there was ONE person who bent down to give a hand. As I said to Lisa, my 8 year old son, he layed down and put his hand out. “Come on Dad, I’ll help you out.” Now, there’s no way a 50 lb. 8 year old is going to help lift this lard-ass up. But you feel you have to make it for his sake.(OK, this is all figuretive, but you get the idea I hope). Anyway, you now share something only my therapist knows. That’s right, my family doesn’t even know how close I came to stepping out of their lives. Thank god for the anoniminity of the internet!

  2. If I’m to understand the ‘Symtoms’ correctly, I guess I’ve been ‘Depressed’ as long as I can remember. As long as I can remember, I’ve felt I was not smart enough, not strong enough, not good looking, in general, not GOOD enough! But that’s not what drove me this close to pulling the trigger on that 357 Magnum that fateful night. Depression you feel at different levals day to day, but DESPAIR, that’s when no matter how shitty your day is going, you feel it’s not going to get better, in fact, it’s probably going to get worse! In my own unscientific reasoning, I think thats why, even though studies suggest that women are more likely to experience depression, depending on which study you believe, men are more than 5, 7,or 12 times more likely to commit suicide. It’s not depression, it’s DESPAIR!

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      I think that’s a really great distinction, bobbt, and I for one, am really glad you did not get any closer than you did to suicide.

      • Lisa, you can thak my then 8 year old son. As I stood there with the barrel in my mouth (45 degree angle pointed up) I realized that I couldn’t do that to him, check out on him like that.

Speak Your Mind