Things I never knew about depression until I finally had a doctor explain the disease to me


Depression can manifest as irrational anger.

My complete and total inability to keep anything clean or tidy for any amount of time is a symptom of my depression. I may never be able to do this. It’s important that I remember that and forgive myself when I clean something out (like my car) and it ends up trashed within a week.

Depression IS A DISABILITY. Requiring accommodations is okay.

Medications don’t make you better, they don’t cure your depression. They serve as an aid. Their purpose is to help you get to everyone else’s minimal level of functioning.

Depression can cycle through periods of inactivity. This doesn’t mean it’s gone away.

The reason I don’t feel like other people understand me is because … well … other people DON’T understand me. They can’t. They don’t have my disability.

Paranoia is par for the course.

Depression can and will interfere with your physical mobility. Forgive yourself when you can’t physically do something.

It’s entirely possible that I may never be able to live by myself. I can’t take care of myself. I need help to do it. And that’s okay.




something that I feel a lot of neurotypicals don’t understand is that mental illness isn’t logical. “there’s no reason to be stressed, why are you anxious?” I don’t know. “why are you sad if you had a good day?” I don’t know. “why are you so irritable today?” I don’t know. “what are you feeling?” I DON’T KNOW.

“Why are you anxious?” because i have anxiety. “No but why are you anxious?” i literally have a mental disorder called anxiety that makes me anxious over nothing. “but what is making you anxious????”

Rinse and repeat




Best visual representation of functional depression I’ve ever seen. You go to work, do the things that people expect you to do, then come home and just… blank out. Microwave is your best friend. Cleaning makes no sense. Drinking helps a little, sometimes. Every evening is the same. Nothing ever changes except the amout of trash waiting to be thrown out.

This is why I loved Fraction’s Barton. Clint’s very visible depression gave me a hook that I could suddenly relate to. I’ve been where Clint was. It sucked. But seeing Clint keep going kind of gave me hope.

is… is that what that is?

fuck, that explains everything

What do ruined people do? Weird shit. This seems to be the consensus of psychoanalysts as far back as Freud and Jung; the traumatized self creates, out of necessity, a system of self-care that is keen to avoid repeat trauma. This makes change difficult; it makes people who’ve had part of their psyches destroyed by unmanageable emotions push people and emotions away, create obstacles, generate unnecessary drama.

“Grief Magic” by Emily Rapp, The Rumpus

I dug through my entire archive to find this quote, scrolling back a few years, because this phrase stuck with me as I find myself doing “weird shit”. I needed to read this essay.

(via golddustgal)


something that I feel a lot of neurotypicals don’t understand is that mental illness isn’t logical. “there’s no reason to be stressed, why are you anxious?” I don’t know. “why are you sad if you had a good day?” I don’t know. “why are you so irritable today?” I don’t know. “what are you feeling?” I DON’T KNOW.


Something that I’ve learnt from my many years of struggling with depression is that it’s never really gone. Even at times when I feel good and healthy, I’m still always at risk of relapse. So far, I’ve experienced relapses every couple of years and one of the many reasons that happened is that I didn’t take my depression seriously enough. No one likes being mentally ill, so once depression doesn’t feel too present, I tend to ignore it. I quickly put myself under a lot of pressure, because everyone else does too, and since my depression isn’t acting up in that particular moment, I don’t feel like I have an excuse to take things easy. I feel like a liar and very disrespectful of other people’s hard work, so I push myself all the time to keep up with everyone. I don’t want to cause trouble because of something no one can see.
While every single time seems still manageable to me, those situations keep stacking, until I can’t deal with the amount of stress anymore. Then I fall apart.
This is a reminder to me and everyone else who’s in a similar situation: by accepting your depression and keeping it in mind, you’ll be able to live a healthier life in the long run. It’s difficult to miss out on certain things or to say “no” to friends because of something that isn’t an immediate problem. But every time you decide to take care of your needs, you will keep depression away a bit longer.


You know when you’re watching a movie how INCREDIBLY tense the scene becomes when the music becomes THAT MUSIC? Like a person walking down a hallway isn’t a big deal on its own, but because of the music you KNOW shit’s about to go down.

That’s basically anxiety in a nutshell.

Seriously though. Imagine if real life had background music. You’re going about your day and then suddenly, for no reason whatsoever (because your brain is in charge of your background music and in this case anxiety means its timing is completely fucked up), the tense “shit’s about to go down” music starts. And you’re standing there in a paranoid panic going “WHAT THE FUCK I’M JUST MAKING TOAST HOW THE HELL AM I ABOUT TO DIE WHAT’S ABOUT TO HAPPEN FUCK FUCK FUCK”… and the answer is “nothing”. Nothing’s about to happen. That goddamn background music is lying. But it’s still going to make you tense because that’s what it DOES.

Fuckin’ background music.




Concept: Maybe “neurotypicals” who consistently reblog post about autism and other mental disorders and illnesses because they relate to them actually aren’t neurotypical, and just don’t know it.

Even the ones who say, “But everyone does this!” might only be saying it because they do it, and therefore think everyone does, when that’s not the reality.

Like, I remember someone who very obviously had OCD saying, “Everyone gets constant, upsetting intrusive thoughts, and does things to make them go away! It’s normal!” and everyone who responded to them were like, “Uh… No, it’s really not. You have a mental illness.”

I hate how everyone is so quick to assume anyone who relates to their posts without having every aspect of their mental state listed on their blog is obviously an evil, appropriating neurotypical. Maybe they are technically neurotypical, but have one or two traits associated with whatever form of neurodivergence. Maybe they’re neurodivergent and just don’t feel like listing it. Maybe they think they’re neurotypical, and are in the process of realising that they actually aren’t.

Please don’t be so quick to judge. This gatekeeping helps no one.

This is an extremely important point.

I know at least one trans person who didn’t realize they were trans until they were talking about how much they relate to trans things. Only, it was in the context of being dismissive of trans people. “Oh, sure, of course you prefer those pronouns. Everyone does.” But that wasn’t a cis person being dismissive of trans experiences; it was a trans person not understanding that they were trans.

Same thing with a lot of mental illness stuff.

Honestly, if you relate to an experience, you have the experience. Doesn’t matter whether you have it for the same reason someone else does.

On a similar note that I was thinking about recently: perhaps some neurodivergent people who are dismissed by their parents have neurodivergent parents who don’t know it. Like, if your mom says “everyone has that” when you tell her about your depression, there’s a decent chance that she’s not minimizing you, she just has depression herself and doesn’t realize it. 

This is so so important.  I started my journey with anxiety like this.  And one of the first things my therapist asked me was whether or not there was a history of anxiety in my family.  I honestly couldn’t answer her, because as far as I knew… there wasn’t?  But then I thought about my mother.

My mother who can’t sleep if she can see that the outside light is still on at my house because she knows that it means I’m not home yet.

My mother who calls me at 9:30 on Wednesday nights, if I haven’t called her yet, just to ask if everything is all right because I usually call at 9, when I get out of class.

My mother who insisted on me calling her every night when I got home when I lived further away because otherwise I could have been kidnapped and no one would have known because I lived alone.

My mother who will work herself up for WEEKS over the fact that family members haven’t RSVPed to the summer family get-together because then she can’t plan food appropriately.

My mother who constantly imagines these dire futures for my niece and nephew based on the fact that they don’t have a swingset in their backyard.

My mother who imagines the worst case scenario for EVERYTHING.

And I realized… if my mother doesn’t have anxiety, too, then I’ll eat my fucking shoe.

And I had spent so much time feeling like how I felt was normal, in large part because I had my mother as an example of what “normal” looked like and I knew i was just the same.  By the same token, she also has a huge difficulty understanding why my anxiety is occasionally so crippling–because she knows that she and I are alike in many ways and she’s always managed to do everything that needs to be done, so she doesn’t understand when I can’t.  And just the fact that I was finally able to grasp where that communication breakdown was coming from helped A LOT on my end, at least.

So, yeah.  Thank you, OP, and commenters, because this is definitely something that I think gets overlooked by people doing those gatekeeping behaviors.






Thing #1 that frustrates me about ADHD/Executive Dysfunction advice:
“Oh, you have a mental/neurological issue that makes it difficult for you to be organized, follow routines, stick with systems, maintain a schedule, do your work, etc.? Well, what you need to do is GET ORGANIZED! Schedule everything! Find a system and stick with it! Maintain a schedule! Do your work as it comes in!”

It’s like that Allie Brosh comic where her fish are dead, and everyone’s offering to help find them, or advice like “feed them!” Or “make puppets out of them!” And she says, “No, see, that solution is for a different problem than the one I have.”

Yes, I would love to do those things! I have tried to do those things! I am still trying to do those things! But it’s like that post about how you’re going through an invisible obstacle course, and what looks like a block to everyone else seems like a wall to you. Instead of saying, “it’s a block! Go around!” It would be much more useful to hand me a bag of flour so I can see the obstacles for myself and how to get around them.

I keep looking for something I can do. I can’t maintain an agenda- closest I can do is lot appointments into Google Calendar. I can’t use to-do lists- they overwhelm and freak me out and I end up doing less than before. Breaking down a task into a bunch of tiny pieces should work in theory, but again, freaks me out, and I usually end up spending an hour planning and then I never actually do. I can’t set deadlines for myself. Whatever part of the brain allows other people to say, “yes, it’s due on the 29th, but I want to be done on the 25th” just doesn’t work. I can’t make my brain think something needs to be done until the last minute. This is especially bad in classes where everything is due at the end of the semester. I end up doing what I just did, and having to do two whole classes worth of work in two days. Oddly, once that level of desperation kicks in, I’m capable of sitting down and pounding through the material- but for some reason, I can’t tap into that level of focus without a short, urgent, important deadline. Maybe one day I’ll figure it out.

Thing #2 that bugs me about all self help: Don’t wait for motivation! Just do it!

I think my definition of “motivation” is different from the usual. Most people see “motivation” as meaning something like “wanting to do something, looking forward to doing something, doing the thing with energy and happiness because it is the thing you want to do.”

My definition is closer to “having enough willpower to make myself do the thing despite everything in my brain begging me to go watch Netflix instead.” So when people say, “you don’t need motivation!” What I hear is “everyone else seems to have this source of willpower they can eventually learn to tap into that just doesn’t exist for me.” My best technique for doing stuff is having other people make me do it. Which freaks out my social anxiety because then I feel like I’m intruding on their time to make them help me with mine.

The thing is, I’m not lazy. If I were just lazy this would all be easier to cope with. I WANT to be doing things, I WANT to be successful, I WANT to be productive. I even try, really hard, and the effort that exhausts me seems to be so much lower than the typical threshold. But every time I try to be as productive as I want to be, I burn out in a couple days.

I am on the verge of tears because this is everything that frustrates me about my own ADHD. Every word of this reflects my experience.

i’m so bad today i can only read every fifth sentence and it STILL hits me in the gut. well expressed.

my executive dysfunction lately has been so bad i can’t even work on my hobbies. i can’t even stim right. one of my favorite stims is to lay out a textile work in progress and play with the pieces, rearranging them and finishing their edges and doing all the fiddlybits. lately, even though i have a nice clean worktable and my quilt pieces all laid out by color, i have managed to iron a grand total of like… 6 of them. in three days. i like ironing quilt pieces. it’s satisfying to me. but it just… doesn’t seem to be happening.

people who’ve never experienced executive dysfunction seem to think our disability only applies to things that are hard or unfun, and therefore suspect we’re just making excuses not to do stuff we don’t want to do. but it’s not like that. i have trouble doing stuff i enjoy doing. i have trouble doing stuff i have to do to live, like eating. sometimes the stuff i get distracted into doing is less fun than the thing i was trying to do – plenty of times i go to get food and get distracted and fold laundry instead. because folding laundry is a routine, it’s an organizing task, which takes less executive function than making food, which requires making a lot of little decisions and judgement calls based on what’s in the fridge, what dishes are clean, etc.

if you had something wrong with your brain that forced you to fold laundry when you wanted a sandwich, wouldn’t you call that a real disability?

…..well this all sounds painfully, painfully familiar