What Depression Feels Like - Anna Szabo on The Chattahoochee River during Depression Recovery

Have you ever wondered: what does it feel like to be depressed? I experienced severe suicidal depression in 2016-2017 while enduring narcissistic abuse in my marriage. Let me tell you what it’s like to be depressed. I’ll also explain what it looks like in everyday life.

Depression feels like darkness, dullness, and despair. It feels like hopelessness, anguish, sorrow, emptiness, pain, and profound sadness.

Introduction: What Does It Feel Like To Be Depressed?

Why is it important to understand what depression feels like? Because if you don’t know what it’s like to be depressed and you actually experience depression, you may mistakenly assume that your existence is coming to an end, that there’s no hope, and that you’ll never be happy again.

It’s not true.

Let me tell you what it’s like to be depressed, and you will instantly see that depression is common, people go through it and it’s normal, and you will be happy again because depression doesn’t last forever.

How do I personally know what depression feels like?

I went through a deep, dark, dull, devastating, disorienting, and long-lasting suicidal depression while enduring Narcissistic Abuse in my marriage in 2016-2017. I did not want to live. I was in pain every day. It was tough.

RELATED: My Depression Story

As I’m writing this today, it’s February 2020. I’m healthy, excited about my life, and very grateful that at the time I didn’t let depression deceive me into suicide. I understood that what I felt was depression. I learned what depression feels like. I heard the stories of others who survived depression. I knew that eventually there would be a new season.

Had I not understood what it feels like to be depressed, I would have not been able to go on. I would have concluded from daily darkness, dullness, heaviness, pain, and anguish that my life was over. But it wasn’t.

All that was happening was abuse. I was victimized by the narcissist. I was manipulated by him into hopelessness. My depression was the direct result of his abuse. So, I knew that if I just held on to just be here for another moment, a new season of life would come and I would be joyful again.


Today, I’m in that season of joy, peace, and health.

So, I want to encourage you: understand what depression feels like and don’t think your whole life is over because it’s not. Go one, persevere, even if you can’t get up. Just breathe and be here tomorrow.

When I was depressed, perseverance looked like just opening my eyes and not killing myself. Want to know what it’s like to be depressed? No cleaning, no laundry, no going to work, no showering, no interactions with people – nothing. Just breathing was a huge accomplishment. One thing I did though was pray. I asked God to reveal Himself to me, to change me and my situation, to heal and restore me, and to give me wisdom. He gave me 52 devotionals about identity in Christ.

RELATED: Who Am I In Christ?

I recently collected 11 depression stories from famous people. Among those are Oprah, Lady Gaga, Tony Robbins, and many others whom we all cherish, admire, and perceive as “happy all the time.” In fact, Dolly Parton said in regards to her experience with suicidal depression: “People are always saying to me I’m happy all the time but nobody is happy all the time. I am a tender-hearted person and I feel everything to the ninth degree. Every once in a while, I just feel sad-hearted and melancholy.

RELATED: Quotes About Feeling Depressed

Let me share with you what it’s like to be depressed. Let me reveal to you what many people have experienced and survived. Let me encourage you to be here for your next breath. Don’t let depression win. This isn’t the end.

Depression Feels Like Darkness

Depression feels like you’re on a planet where it’s always dark and gloomy. No matter the holiday cheer, the sunshine outside, the accomplishments your loved ones experience, the great news about absolutely any topic – nothing turns on the light on the gloomy depression planet.

The darkness of depression is the darkest black you’ve ever seen. It’s so black-dark, you can’t see beyond your own nose. In the future ahead, there’s just darkness, blackness, blackness, and darkness.

Depression darkness feels solid, concrete, sturdy, heavy, and tight. It feels like there’s no way out, there’s no way through. There’s just this dark heavy tight cloud taking over your planet forever.

Depression Feels Like Burden

Depression feels like a heavy burden you must carry around at all times and can’t get rid of. You can’t shop your way out of depression. You can’t give your depression burden away. No matter what you do, the burden is following you, and you must carry at all times.

The burden doesn’t get lighter if you drink, travel, sleep around, or do drugs. In fact, it only gets heavier, unless you face the burden, look inside, and piece-by-piece figure out what’s there, how it got so heavy, and then you begin processing every heavy component of your depression burden.

Depression Feels Like Trap

Depression feels like trap. It’s catch 22: to get out, you must do something but you can’t do anything because you’re depressed. It feels like you’re trapped in a room with a clear exit sign but when you want to move toward it, you can’t because you’re burdened and heavy and can’t do absolutely anything.

Yet, you know that if you did do something about your depression, it would get better. However, to take action, you would need to be un-burdened. If only your depression lifted, you could then take action. But you’re depressed, so you are trapped because you can’t do anything at all.

Depression Feels Like Dread

Depression feels like dread. You wake up, and I won’t say “in the morning” because if you just wake up – whenever – it’s a win… So, you wake up and dread the day (or night, or whatever is ahead). You don’t want to even be, so how can you want to do? Everything is a dread. Nothing is joyful.

You dread to get up, brush your teeth, wash your hair, take a shower. I went without washing my hair for weeks, and it fell out but I’ve been having baby-hair growing back in the last few years. What’s the point of doing anything anyway since you just don’t want to be here? Right? Doing things doesn’t make any sense. Well, being doesn’t either but you’re still here, so everyone expects you to do crap. I didn’t.

Literally, I didn’t do crap. I remember my friend came to visit, so my dirty, stinky home with stuff everywhere – no clean dishes, trash everywhere – and she was like “Let’s fix this!” No. I told her not to try to fix things. I needed to process my burden. Cleaning and showering were not a priority.

Depression Feels Like Hopelessness

Depression feels like hopelessness. Thre’s nothing to look forward to at all. All hope is lost. You can’t possibly be excited about anything. Even what was exciting before is no longer exciting. You feel nothing, except sadness. It’s like there’s a hole in the world, and you are in it. Though other people are going about their day and feeling excited, though the sun seems to be shining, though Christmas still comes, it all is happening outside of your hopeless and dark world. There’s no Christmas or colors or joy in the hole where you are, there’s nothing there, just hopelessness.

People think you’re self-obsessed and accuse you of not wanting to see the colorful world around, they blame you for not wanting to choose happiness. The truth is that all the colors and happiness they talk about are in their world. You can’t choose those things because they are outside of your world.

Depression Feels Like Dullness

Depression feels like dullness, flatness, predictable nothingness. Nothing exciting is happening there where depression reigns. Everything always dark, heavy, flat, painful, boring, and overwhelming.

Overwhelmed by nothingness, trapped in darkness, burdened by pain, and overpowered by hopelessness – that is how I felt when I was married to the narcissist. That’s why I didn’t want to live anymore. The same thing is shared by those 11 people whose stories I mentioned earlier. Dullness. That’s depression. It’s the same lifelessness and predictable sameness – every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week.

Depression Feels Like Emptiness

Depression feels like emptiness. While you seem to be filled with blood and flesh, you feel completely empty. You feel empty on the inside and tight-dark on the outside. You’d think emptiness would lead to lightness but no, you feel empty yet heavy, burned, weighted down, and unable to breathe.

You feel like there’s nothing in you, except nothingness. The nothingness in you is overbearing, substantial, and ever-compounding. How can nothing compound to the point of being heavy, painful, and so burdensome? Depression is hard to figure out, that’s why it’s pervasive and aggressive. It takes over you, your life, your relationships, your mental health, and your soul. Depression emptiness leaves you weak and exhausted. You’re anxious at all times because of the enticing call to action depression is imposing on you persuading you that you can feel better if you just give up.

Depression Feels Like Anguish

Depression feels like anguish, suffering, torture, agony, and sorrow. What does it feel like to be depressed? Depression feels like gloom, suffering, adversity, constant trials, tribulations, and hardships, and incurable affliction. Depression is trouble. It’s very serious.

Depression feels like you’re stuck in never-ending misery. Your life is a constant torment. You’re just endlessly nagged by hopelessness and harassed by profound sorrow. There’s no reason to go on, all hope lost.

Depression Feels Like Pain

Depression feels like pain in your chest, in your lower back, in your headspace, in your teeth, and in your throat. Depression compromises your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

What does it feel like to be depressed? It feels like spasms in your chest, burns in your bones, soreness in your throat, irritation on your skin, tenderness in your belly, wounds in your heart and soul, and ever-lasting headache. It feels like your teeth are trying to split your head. It hurts.

Depression Feels Like Despair

Depression feels like despair. You’re so discouraged and hopeless, there seems to be no way to continue living. What does it feel like to be depressed? It feels like your only hope to rid yourself of misery is suicide.

I am a two-times suicide survivor and I know first-hand how deceptive depression is when it makes us believe that we will finally feel better if we kill ourselves. The truth is that if we do it, we will be dead, not pain-free. That’s the depression deception. Never give into it. Keep living. It gets better. It really does. Here’s a video that describes my thought process as I was suicidal in 2017. Every single thought I had about being unloved, not mattering, not making a difference, all of it was BS. Pure lies! I’m glad to be here, alive, healthy, and excited about my future. Don’t let depression win.

Summary: How Do You Feel When You’re Depressed?

Depression is hard. It’s also common, that’s why you need to know what it’s like to be depressed. Many people felt the same way and they survived. I want you to survive. Let me summarize for you what depression feels like.

What Does It Feel Like To Be Depressed?

  1. Depression feels like Darkness
  2. Depression feels like Burden
  3. Depression feels like Trap
  4. Depression feels like Dread
  5. Depression feels like Hopelessness
  6. Depression feels like Dullness
  7. Depression feels like Emptiness
  8. Depression feels like Anguish
  9. Depression feels like Pain
  10. Depression feels like Despair

My depression taught me how to process my feelings regularly and I even wrote a blog post about it. It’s called How To Be Fully Human.

What helped me survive and thrive was Biblical truth about my strength in Christ. I found many scriptures for depression, and I stood firmly on God’s promises about my identity, life, and future, all while He was healing my depression. Today, I help women see themselves the way God sees them. 

In the last few years, I’ve personally been on a quest to figuring out and conquering the negative voices in my head that distort my understanding of who I am. I call those voices the Shitty Committee, and each of us has that special committee in our headspace. 

I’ve specifically been focusing on my identity in Christ. 

From the Bible, I discovered 52 incredibly-positive things God says about us as His children. Those 52 precious discoveries turned into 52 Biblical affirmations I created to encourage and empower Christian women. 

To help share this life-changing information with you, I created an ebook called #52Devotionals. Download it now for free

My free ebook helps you understand who God says you are. Don’t be vulnerable to identity attacks from the mainstream media, relatives, coworkers, your boss, society, culture, and the voices in your head. 

Stand firm and know what God says about you.

Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

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