How Depression Affects Me

Now, when it comes to depression, there’s no ‘one size fits all’. Everyone’s experience is different, but I wanted to share some of the ways in which it affects me.

Feelings of Hopelessness

When I’m in the middle of a depressive episode, it can be hard to find hope. It feels a bit like I’m going through a dark tunnel with no idea how (and when) I’ll see the light again. The longer it goes on for, the tougher it feels. 

In the past, this feeling of hopelessness has led to me becoming suicidal. This time, however, I know I can get through it – I’ve done it before, and I can do it again. Saying that, it still feels bloody hard.

Difficulty Socialising

I’m generally a very sociable person. I love nothing more than spending time with my wife, friends and family. I usually play football several times a week and, whilst I enjoy the exercise, I also love the social side that comes with it. I have some great friends from work, as well as others I went to university with. 

However, when things are tough, socialising becomes considerably more difficult. Whilst I still try to make the effort to hang with friends, I often spend the next day or two feeling incredibly drained. Half the problem is I try to appear ‘normal’ when I see them and, whilst the smiles and laughter offers a good distraction, it can also be truly exhausting.

Lack of concentration

When my mood is down, my ability to concentrate goes out the window. Tasks I would usually complete in a matter of minutes can end up taking hours.

I know things are getting bad when I struggle to read. It’s usually one of my favourite hobbies, so when I find myself unable to get through a book, chances are, my mood is going down. 

My mental health means I’m not working at the moment but, in the past, when I have tried to do my job during bad spells, I’ve found myself doing particularly long days as I try to catch up on all the tasks I need to do.  

Poor hygiene

When things are bad, finding the motivation to shower feels a little like climbing Everest. When I’m well, it’s something I do most days – meanwhile, this week, I’ve had a grand total of two (which genuinely feels like a massive achievement). Sometimes, I can go over a week without having one.

I also struggle with ‘basic’ tasks like cleaning my teeth and brushing my hair, and have to literally force myself to do them.

Low Self Esteem

Being honest, I don’t have the highest self esteem even when things are going well. But, it gets particularly bad when depression rears its ugly head. 

I start to doubt myself, and become incredibly critical of everything I do. I over-analyse every social interaction I partake in, and often see myself as a waste of space. It’s a vicious cycle: being low means I feel bad about myself – but, feeling bad about myself adds to my decline in mood. 

So, what helps?

For starters, I know it’s not for everyone, but I find medication makes a big difference. Even though my mood is quite low at the moment, it’s nowhere near as bad as it has been when I’ve not been on the right medication. 

Secondly, trying to stay sociable, and stick to some sort of routine, massively helps. I’m making sure to stay physically active, trying to play sport, swim or go to the gym most days. Additionally, I’m spending a lot of time outside, going for long walks with the dog. Being surrounded by nature makes even the toughest days feel a little better.

I’m also focussing on being open with those around me. In the past, I’ve kept how I’m feeling to myself, and it’s escalated pretty badly. But, this time, I’m being as honest as I can with others, regularly opening up to my wife and mum, which definitely helps.

Finally, I’m also trying my hardest to be kind to myself. If, for whatever reason, I end up spending the day at home on the sofa, or in bed, I’m trying not to dwell on it, and just focus on moving forward. I keep reminding myself to take one day at a time and, eventually, I know things will get easier again. 


Note: I’ve decided to set up a Ko-fi account so, if for whatever reason, you fancy getting me a ‘coffee’, you can do so. I’ll always keep my blogs free – and there’s absolutely zero obligation to do so (in fact, I feel pretty bad posting it in the first place). But, a huge thank you to everyone who’s bought me one so far – and here’s the link for anyone interested:


Hey, I'm Charlie. I'm a radio producer based in West Yorkshire. I love dogs, exercise and baking. I also have bipolar disorder and OCD. This is a place for me to share my mental health journey - the highs, the lows, and the bits in between.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s