How Does Your Depression Manifest Itself?

I’ve been reading a few books about depression lately. Right now I’m reading ‘‘The Noonday Demon’’ and I can relate a lot to the author’s symptoms, but this guy describes himself as crying all the time during these major depressive episodes. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Is this really common? I very rarely cry as it is (Pixar movies notwithstanding.) I guess this just surprises me, because I consider crying to be an activity that relieves stress. But from the way these people describe their crying, I’m getting the sense that it’s not helping them at all.

Do you cry a lot when you’re depressed, and if so, does it help at all? Does it feel like regular crying or is it different?

What about other symptoms of depression? How does your depression manifest itself?

One way mine manifests itself, is preventing me from eating when I’m really quite hungry. I get depressed when I’m hungry, so I’ll sit there knowing I’ll probably feel a little better if I eat something. And after a long and drawn out battle with my body, I will somehow manage to stand up. I will wander aimlessly into the kitchen, open cupboard doors, open the refrigerator, look at the food, not even really register it as food, and then turn around and go back to the couch, back to sleep or mindlessly surfing the web or whatever. I might do this two or three times over the course of a few hours before I finally manage something to eat, and it’s never a proper meal - it’ll be like a cracker or piece of cheese or something. When I’m depressed, I can’t just eat any food, no matter how hungry I am. I used to think this was unusual, but maybe it’s really common, I dunno.

What’s your experience?

I do sometimes cry when I’m depressed. I wouldn’t say it happens a lot, but it still happens. It’s different from normal crying. Usually it’s silent crying, nothing but tears. It’s not helpful or therapeutic in the slightest. It just causes me to spiral downwards, and it usually happens when I’m really low to start with. I also just sit there, doing nothing, for relatively long periods of time. I’ll try to read or surf the web, but it usually just ends up with me staring at the page.
When I’m depressed, I become fussy with food,.My kitchen could be over flowing with things I usually like, but I still don’t feel like anything there. I usually end up living off a few meals, eating them more frequently than I usually can handle. At one stage I was just eating homemade burgers with salad and homemade pizza.

It’s like being permanently strapped into a wheelchair, in a world without ramps. And I know I could walk, or even run or fly, if I could only break free. I went through a really bad 3-year period in my mid-30s, when I became obsessed with a male coworker. Sort of a mid-life crisis, and living in a basement apartment didn’t help. I cried a lot in those years, but gradually returned to my “normal” level of functioning.

Unlike olivesmarch4th, I overeat and binge when I’m most depressed.

My sister described it once as being “under the cloud”. That fits me as well. There’s a sense that even things as simple as walking into the other room are physically harder than they should be.

At the worst times I go to bed right after work (around 7:00pm) and struggle to get up and get to work by 10:00am the next day.

Regarding crying, I’m aware that it’s easier for me to cry during depression. For instance my check engine light blinked on and I burst into tears. That wouldn’t happen when I’m firing on all cylinders.

I was in a low state when my first marriage was disintegrating. During that time Dale Earnhardt died. I cried at the news and continued crying for about three days. I had never seen him race even once.

I’m here, aren’t I? :wink:

Only mostly joking. When I’m Depressed, I tend to hide on the internet - I don’t feel the Depression when I’m online, I feel normal. It’s like a nonpharmeceutical pain relief. And then I log off and it all comes crashing over me again. Other symptoms include procrastination (although that’s got more to do with the concurrent Anxiety), irritability, overeating, lots and lots of fatigue and sleeping. And joint and muscle pain.

I had a really bad episode a few months ago when I stopped being able to deny that the Depression was back, and there were lots of tears for about a week. But I think that was also acute PTSD, where all the Stuff I’d been able to repress about my significant other’s health status and our finances (including being homeless for a time) was no longer repress-able. There was very little scary stuff actually going on during that week; we’re actually okay now, safe and warm and fed and fairly healthy, but I suddenly had to deal with the fears and emotions that I hadn’t let myself feel during the actual 2 years of crises. And that was the same week that I stopped denying that my Depression was once again having an acute flare up. That was a tearful week. But *generally *tears aren’t a major symptom of my Depression.

I walk more often when I’m depressed. I think it’s because I feel agitated, and it becomes harder to just sit around, doing nothing. But ironically, it becomes harder for me to walk, due to psychomotor retardation. I tend to experience both when I’m depressed.

Sleep gets jacked up, along with appetite.

My “functional” mood becomes very flat and robotic-like. But then in private moments, I become a blubbering baby.

Of course, when all of these things are happening, I rationalize them away. I don’t recognize when I’m depressed until after I’m no longer depressed.

I’m not habitually depressed or mentally ill or anything like that, but I did have a episode of depression a couple of years ago brought on by work stress and idiocy as well as personal issues like a miscarriage and dealing with my wife afterward. After a while, I got therapy and am better now.

I guess the best way to describe it was that I was just kind of weary all the time, and nothing seemed to be very fun or interesting. I also was having a hard time seeing/imagining/planning a way out of my situation at the time- I felt rather helpless and wasn’t able to really plan or conceive of a way things could be better.

At my wife’s urging, I found a cognitive behavioral therapist and via that method, learned how to more or less be aware of what I was thinking, and be able to identify counterproductive and inaccurate/incorrect thoughts, and to modify them to be more reasonable. I also learned how to set boundaries appropriately and some other things along those lines.

Ultimately, I got out from under that ‘cloud’ and haven’t been back since; a lot of the techniques I learned in therapy are still handy.

(for example using the terms “I should have X” in your internal dialogue can be kind of dangerous- it frames whatever event X was in terms of a pass/fail situation, and also implies that you failed, since you’re talking about the past. Better to say “I’d like to have X”- that way there’s no implication of failure.)

Yeah, unfortunately I do that too, but it’s more to stave off milder depression on a daily basis. It’s self-medicating, and making me fat.

Since I’ve been more depressed than not depressed most of my life, I just sort of am used to being that way. Last year I found a medication that really helped a lot, and I became super productive. Things like getting off the couch were a million times easier. Of course that always makes me feel bad too, because I think about all the things I could have accomplished if it weren’t for depression. And even worse, it makes me feel a sort of bitterness toward people who take things like that for granted - more specifically, the people who seem willfully ignorant about depression, the ones telling me to snap out of it.

I’m moderately depressed right now, so everything’s harder, but my medication helps me to be more proactive about how I feel. I can actually force myself to get up and get dressed and go for a walk or something. Those things absolutely do help, it’s just the doing them that takes so much work.

bump, I’m glad you found your way out of it. CBT is great and has helped me a lot.

I suppose you can call it self abuse. I’ve been unemployed since September yet I can always find money for fast food lunches. I drink too much at times, I use sleep drugs to allow me to sleep.

I don’t always find time to job hunt. I’m usually over qualified for the jobs I do apply for. I write e-mails that maybe I shouldn’t write. Just in general don’t treat myself very well. When I’m not as depressed, I find myself much busier and my brain engaged.

I have a very, very odd depression barometer.

When I get depressed I hate, hate, hate to go through the exercise of flossing my teeth at night before bed. Brushing I can manage without a second thought. But flossing seems like a hopeless, arduous, meaningless, and useless task; I will often just say, “Screw it” and go to bed.

Despite its quirkiness, my barometer never lies! Go figure.

I guess a good example would be tonight. I had a ticket to go see La Boheme. I didn’t go. Why? It’s too much trouble to get dressed, drive down there, parking would cost me fourteen bucks, and I’ve seen the stupid thing a dozen times already.

But now, I sit here thinking I’ve wasted a ticket. But I didn’t want to go. But I feel bad for not going. It’s crap not enjoying things. It’s worse feeling guilty for not enjoying things.

No tears, but I get those. They come and go. I just ignore them. Nothing much else I can do.

Flat. Blank. I eat less.
This bout has lasted a few weeks. Sometimes compulsive rumination, sometimes nothing. Sometimes wake up in the morning and within minutes I’m crying like my heart’s just been broken. Other than that…flat. I’ve been able to peer over the edge of the Black Hole a few times, grateful for that. Didn’t follow through with Plans; I’m still waiting it out.

I do cry, but usually it’s the silent type. I cry in the shower so the tears won’t show. I’m just utterly exhausted from having to put on a happy face at work. I’m not interested in much of anything. I’m having a bit of an identity crisis at the moment too, which isn’t helping matters at all.

It’s just awful. I just want to want…something.

Everything feels like an enormous task. I get distracted super easily, am forgetful and many things annoy me. If something doesn’t simply annoy me, I get stressed out by it in a way that’s way out of proportion. I also feel incredibly tired and lazy. I have no interest in things I’d normally enjoy and have a tendency to skip out on planned events (unless it’s something I know I’d regret not going to or spent a decent amount of money on). I feel that I just don’t care about most things, can’t summon up the energy.

That would be me. Right down the feeling guilty. I don’t know anyone else whose depression is like that. Most people simply cannot understand not wanting to do something they know you want to go do. Why didn’t you go? You love that thing! You should have gone. You would have had fun. Arrggghhh! Don’t they understand, I just couldn’t go? It was just too much at the time for me to go?

I rarely cry when I am depressed. I don’t feel. I’m numb.

I know what that feels like. I usually skip out on most social events (parties, etc.) unless it’s for a very good friend who it would hurt if I didn’t go. I’m usually relieved when I have a legitimate excuse- frequently I just don’t show up if it’s a casual event. I have a terrible habit of being late to things I do go to because it’s so hard for me to get going. I know it’s rude and I’m trying to work on it.

As an aside, Shirley Manson (lead singer of the band Garbage) recently tweeted this and it made me feel awful because she’s mostly right, “You know it doesn’t make you look cool or busy or important when you are late. It makes you look like an uneducated badly raised asshole.” I don’t want to be that person!

I cry more easily when depressed. Some of it is over sentimental stuff. I well up easily. Other times, it’s over stressful situations, and then, the crying does not good. It just wears me out without providing any relief.

The best barometer for my depression is the state of my home. The longer and worse my depression is, the worse off my home. Dishes go unwashed, laundry too. I don’t clean, put things away, or throw out non-smelly trash. The litter boxes can get pretty bad, but they are eventually self-limiting. I can and do look around and hate what I’m allowing to happen, but doing anything about it seems pointless.

Like diggerwam, I spend far too much money on eating out, because I can’t focus or move myself towards cooking. That money, that I spend on eating out is money that should go to bills, necessities, and savings.

I start avoiding activities that I know I enjoy - singing in the church choir, going to drawing Meet-ups, going to the gym. I’m pretty much guaranteed to gain weight, because the only thing that makes me feel remotely better is eating.

I was getting better back in December. I could tell, because my apartment was getting back to liveable condition. Then, over Christmas, I came down with the flu, and I think that somehow sent me sliding back. I’m really having to work to keep up.

I think that’s what I resent most about my depression. I have lost years to the weight and grey, numb pain of it. I’ve frittered away thousands of dollars on . . . nothing.

I get depressed very easily when I’m sick, as well. I’m trying to work on that.

I’m sorry to hear there are so many of us out there who are going through this pain right now, but it helps to know we are not alone.

The winter I lived in a basement with little natural light, I cried myself to sleep every night. I could not, for the life of me, figure out why I was crying every night as the rest of my life seemed to be in line. Then it clicked. S.A.D. On top of depression. Oy.

Now I live in a bright sunny house but am working in the basement level of an office. But I’ve learned to look for the light so that winter isn’t so depressing for me. On a sunny afternoon, I bail out of the office right away to get as much sun as possible on my way home. If it’s dreary out, I’m inclined to work longer. The strategy helps.

I have a hypothesis (with no way to test it) that at least one variant of depression is actually an auto-immune illness. At the beginning of an illness, the brain creates sickness behavior - feeling tired, wanting to sleep, losing interest in activities, lower pain threshold, and separating from other people - that helps the body fight off infection and protects others from infection. I think in many cases of depression, the factors that down-regulate this behavior don’t do their job properly. Sickness behavior becomes acute and morphs into full depression.

It matches my own history - first bout started after an unidentified viral infection, illness is sure to bring on or exacerbate a bout, and a handful of other, subclinical, auto-immune symptoms. There’s a correlation between several auto-immune diseases like SLE and RA with depression, and there still isn’t any known cause for primary depression.

There are a few papers out there, but nothing definitive. I wish it was being researched.

Yeah, it’s odd, isn’t it? I doubt any of us would wish it on another person, but the fact that there’s someone who understands what we’re going through, who gets it, and doesn’t judge us . . . it means a lot.