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Depression is darkness.
It can suck the life out of you.
I’ve only dealt with a few major periods of depression in my life, but they were awful, absolutely awful.
I remember calling my parents and saying, “It just feels like something is wrong with my brain, like a knob has been turned down.’
But is “depressed” the best word?
There are other ways to talk about “depressed.”
After all, no person is depressed — they have depression.
Depression, although it can feel like it at times, is never the only thing that a person is.
Let’s Talk About Feeling Depressed
Part of depression is the soul-sucking nature of it. “I’m depressed. This is never going to get better.”
When you’re in a state like this, “depressed” is the word that comes to mind. It’s convenient. It’s the easiest thing to say. But it’s also limiting, and that’s the nature of the disease.
Depression takes the life out of you and out of the room. Suddenly, it’s a thousand miles to cross a room. It’s a lifetime to complete a basic task.
Nothing seems possible and yet everything needs to be done. This is how it seems.
And when you have this outlook, life becomes awfully bleak.
Other Words for “Depressed”
There are other words to use, even if you can’t see them in your mind’s eye. They can be a huge help.
The words are out there, floating through the ether. You have to be patient enough to grasp them, even if patience is the quality you have least of at this point.
But what about “feeling down?” What about “life trauma?” What about “hopeless” or “overwhelmed?”
Why does it matter to increase your vocabulary when you’re dealing with depression? Because it’ a start to see life in a new way. It always begins small — and then grows from there.
There are infinite ways to describe depression, but we often fall back on old, easy ways when life is at its most difficult.
Are you “broken?” Did someone “break you?” Add words together to form questions.
This is a start, but there is still farther to go.
When you add words to your mental health vocabulary, you start to see other possibilities.
How to Expand Your Mental Health Vocabulary
OK. OK. Speaking new words may not change your life in an instant.
But we’re talking about starting. We’re discussing the beginning of a great change, and no one has ever been able to see the vastness of great possibility at the very beginning. It’s something that unfolds as you do. You are always in the process of unfolding.
Here’s something to try.
Think of new ways that you can describe your situation. You don’t need to be in a clinical state of depression to do this. You can just be how you are, beautiful and imperfect.
Have you sunk? Or are you floating again? What does that mean to you? By thinking and talking in ways that are unnatural to you, you’ll start to see other possibilities. Your words will start to build a life different than the one you’re currently living.
Words have power. They shape minds. They build attitudes. They’ve been used for thousands of years to craft societies — because words are the foundations of ideas. All big movements start with an initial idea, which is composed of words.
Now we’re starting to see a grander vision than simply “depressed.”
There are more words out there, still floating in the ether, waiting for you. You have the power to grab them and reel them in.
Keep thinking and talking to yourself, and then use your new mental health vocabulary to connect with others. Share your new words with them. Just try them on for size.
You’re not going to find the “perfect” words because there are no perfect words.
There’s just you — and your infinite ability to create your life. That’s enough. Because you’re enough.