What Walking Depression Is Like

Lately, I’ve been struggling with depression, so I feel like straight hell. I think it’s being caused by a multitude of things right now: too much stress, anxiety, bad eating habits, lack of exercise, not enough sleep, lack of Vitamin D, no creative free time, the thought of Star Wars sequels, etc. But it’s not the kind of depression that anti-depressant commercials have stereotyped—you know, the sad, gray blob standing under a constant rain cloud, looking like it wants to kill itself.

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Yeah, that one. Unlike the sad, gray blob though, I don’t want to stand under a rain cloud or kill myself. Because I have shit to do and a dog to take care of. This kind of depression is aptly named “Walking Depression.” Basically, it means that I still get up in the morning, go to work, post funny pictures on Facebook, eat regular meals, run errands, clean my house, and hang out with friends like it’s no big deal—I just do so with a general sense of unhappiness.

Now, I’m not a mental health care professional, so I couldn’t exactly say, but I have a feeling a lot of people have this same problem. We just don’t ever talk about it. Why? Because other people have told us that this doesn’t count as “depression.” Quite frankly, I think that’s bullshit. Plenty of statistics have shown that millions of people suffer from different types of depression each year (especially people with ovaries because, apparently, God hates us). So why couldn’t that include the people whose depression doesn’t necessarily require medication and therapy?

Some of us just get into a rut, and we feel hopeless until we can get back out. With “Walking Depression,” we only have to admit to ourselves that we are, in fact, depressed. And the only way we can get rid of it is to make some changes in our lives, so that we can get back on track.

Me? I have some little changes that will slowly ease me back to happiness. Of course, I’m not going to do all of these things at once because I don’t want to burn out, but I think they’ll help in combating the causes. I’m trying to eat healthier meals. I’m trying to do yoga for 20-30 minutes before bed. I’m trying to go to bed earlier. I’m trying to get up when I’m supposed to in the morning (rather than sleeping in), so that I can make a decent breakfast and get in a 15-minute treadmill exercise. I’m trying to keep my stress levels at work low by listening to music (which also helps my focus). I’m trying to make more time for the creative and/or entertaining things I love to do.

And, of course, because I like the comedian’s approach to self-treating depression, I continue to use comedy to fight sadness. So here is a GIF story of my struggle with depression…

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16 thoughts on “What Walking Depression Is Like

  1. This was really nice to read – thanks. And I hope today is a good day for you full of jizz in your pants laughter.
    I too have depression, according to psychiatrists and WebMD. Definitely biological because the moment I began taking medication for it, I started to notice a huge difference. So I think maybe I have “wheelchair depression” instead of walking depression. As in, if I do not have medication consistently as support, I would literally just lie on the floor and think about how much I hate being crippled. With a wheelchair, I can at least remember that I still have arms and can propel myself through the day like a boss. Flying down huge flights of stairs and not giving a fuck etc. But the moment I miss a day, wham, back to hiding in my room, calling in sick from work, canceling plans because I can’t bear to face another person with how much shame and worthlessness I feel.
    Anyway, it’s cool that you have remained strong in the face of such a shitty illness. Remember if you ever are having a REALLY bad day you can FBchat or text me and we can talk it out like manly men without getting sappy about it. And keep that dog around.

  2. I think you just perfectly summed up the same kind of depression a lot of us creative-types suffer from. I’m not big on self-help books but I’ve got this book called “The Van Gogh Blues” that talks about the creative person’s depression and crises of meaning. It’s not long on answers but it’s pretty good for putting into words what you’re feeling and trying to come to an understanding of your own mental/emotional blocks. If you ever want to borrow it let me know. I think I have it somewhere around here. And of course, if you ever want to talk, just call/text/email/FB me. We’ll grab a beer and complain about the deep black void of existence that only we creative people can seem to see. I’ve been having a similar experience lately, so you don’t have to worry about bringing me down. 🙂

  3. I suffer from clinical depression. The scary kind of depression. In addition to seeking professional help, I have also discovered a coping mechanism for myself. Horror Movies. I they are great. I even made a whole blog dedicated to the horror movies I watch trying to drowned out my blues. I go into a little more of my reasoning here:
    http://horrormoviemedication.blogspot.com/2013/02/why-horror-helps.html
    check it out if you have the time.

  4. I like this article so much because this is my life. A lot of people just don’t get it they think all you need to do is to get up and to do whatever it is you need to do. People always tell me, you go out and do things so you’re not depressed. They don’t know most of the time until the very end I am saying I wish I never agreed to go in the first place, I much rather stay home. Sure it takes my mind off of how I really feel for awhile but trust and believe, that I’m ok and happy feeling doesn’t last. This is the worst kind of depression because it seems like nothing is wrong so most the time you don’t get the help you need. You begin to stop telling people and keep it to yourself because they will say dumb shit like snap out of it or you will be ok and that makes you feel even worst. Mix that with life’s ups ands downs and you are in for a bumpy ass ride. Please listen to people when they tell you they are depressed even if they got the biggest smile in the world on their face.

  5. Oh my gosh, I just cried and laughed the entire way through your GIF story because it was just so f*cking true. I can’t believe someone out there understands. Thank you.

  6. You´ve just nailed it! It´s good knowing that I´m not alone in this battle. Your GIFs made me laugh, thank you! Chin up and have a nice day.

  7. I am so glad I came across this post on the net. While in my heart of hearts, I know what I have is depression…I knew it was not clinical depression. Walking depression makes so much more sense and fits to a tee. Just ordered a few books on the subject and hope that will help me understand more about this and how to heal. I do not want to take meds. I began a holistic approach to my health this year eliminating bad/processed foods and with my doctor’s help, I’m reducing and eliminating all the chemical meds they’ve had me on.

  8. I’ve read this post several times over the past few months but finally decided to comment.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I’ve read snippets of articles here and there talking about “walking depression” but your summary is exactly like what I go through.
    I get up, go to work, take care of business, take care of my dog, hang out with family or friends every few days…but all with a mask of “okay-ness” blurring my sadness and general malaise.
    It’s been a struggle for over a decade now with hardly anyone truly knowing the extent of my walking depression pit of despair.
    Heck, I knew it was getting bad again when I didn’t even have the desire to decorate my home for Christmas this year. 😦
    I also have a sibling with serious clinical depression and anxiety, as well as other medical issues so for my whole life I’ve had to be the one kid in family who was always, “Okay”. I couldn’t/wouldn’t ever add to my parent’s stress or worries. So now, me NOT being okay but not telling anyone has become a burden and weight that I find I cannot talk to anyone about, especially not family. I do have one friend who gets it but she also has her own issues and we never get too far down the road discussing things.
    Anyway, I wanted to commend you for writing about this issue and helping others, like me, feel not so alone.
    I’ve very slowly been working on ways to increase my well-being and happiness so as not to overwhelm myself and get stuck facing the wall of “I wish I could just…”. I’ve been changing my eating habits to a more healthy lifestyle, I finally changed jobs this year and am in a much more stable and pleasant environment, and I am trying to make time for creative outlets like writing on my own blog and keeping up my side hobby/business of making jewelry.
    I still have weeks where I shut down and don’t enjoy much, but I’m at least aware of this issue and can feel comforted that I’m not on my own with this fight.
    Thank you for your voice. It matters.
    And I hope to encourage other as you are doing. 🙂

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