The Silence of Depression

It’s nonverbal: I need love. I need the thing that happens when your brain shuts off and your heart turns on. And I know it’s around me somewhere, but I just can’t feel it.
— Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

Depression brings with it so much silence, and it’s all deafening.

First, there is the silence around us as we seclude ourselves. Our depression takes our energy to get up. It tells us no one wants us around, so there we sit, alone, in silence while our minds are screaming at us. Every insult that we can think about ourselves being hurled at us as fast as we can think of them. Everything that we have ever done wrong flashing in our minds, so fresh, just like it happened yesterday. That silence is slowly driving us further into the abyss that is depression.

Second, there is the silence of the world around us as it continues to go on like nothing is happening. The world around us is falling into a million pieces and yet it goes on like normal for everyone else. None of us expects the world to stop for us, but it becomes unbearable watching everyone move on with their lives as we sit there stuck in this depression. The silence grows louder. Our minds become even more active with self-loathing.

Last, there is the silence of those closest to you. The ones you love and care about. That silence is the loudest. Even before your mental illness is known to others, when they start to drift away it’s the depression that takes control of giving you a reason for them to do that. It’s the anxiety that builds inside of us that tells us we weren’t good enough. Even after your illness and suffering is known a lot of people don’t know how to respond. They don’t know what to say or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. That silence is the worst. At this point, it feels like the silence has consumed us. Everything we were is gone and the silence is the only thing that remains. It’s a horrible sound and an even worse feeling. We just want someone to reach out. We want someone to try to understand us, and it feels like the longer we go without that, the harder it is to fight the silence.

My challenge to you today is to finally break that silence. Scream if you have to! Get it out! Tell someone, I don’t care if it’s a friend, family, or a therapist. Just make a step to end the silence for good.