I’m not a robot. I still experience happiness — but it’s fleeting. I’ll laugh hard over a joke or smile through an entire episode of my favorite show, but as soon as it’s over, I’ll snap right back to my sadness.

It’s like the happy moment never happened at all. Like it was wiped from my brain as soon as it ended.

It’s almost scary when I find others who describe exactly how I feel. When I was in the deepest part of my latest depressive episode, this is exactly how I felt. Especially the snapping back… Except it wasn’t really sadness, it was just nothingness. One second I’d be laughing at my dog being a weirdo, and then it would stop abruptly and I’d immediately be back to feeling nothing.

When You Don’t Have Enough Energy to Hate How Depression Makes You Feel

Just because it looks like I’m always doing well doesn’t mean I am.

I’ve developed a natural defence mechanism (not intentionally, it just happens) where I basically hide everything I truly feel. When it starts spilling out, that’s a good indicator that it’s really bad because probably only 5% of how I REALLY feel actually comes out to see the light of day. The other 95% is boiling inside me, building, creating stress out of nothing and causing so much anguish that I feel like I’m going to burst, but I never do. Instead, it leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms for release. Course when depression leads me to feeling nothing at all, that’s a whole different can of worms.

Having severe depression doesn’t mean I look severe.

Just because I don’t look depressed doesn’t mean I’m not. And just because I, and my life, don’t resemble the idea you have in your head about what “severe depression” must be, doesn’t change the reality of having it.

This is something my counsellor said to me a lot when I was in my deepest depressive state. My life looks good on paper, yet I’m still unhappy.

Pills don’t make me happy, period. No matter how happy I am, it is never because of the medication I take. Medication is a life vest, but I still have to do the swimming. Medication can not make you happy. It simply can’t.

That’s also not at all how antidepressants work. They don’t make you happy. They adjust how the chemicals in your brain work, to ease depressive symptoms and help get you back to, somewhat, “normal.” In truth, a lot of people say they make their emotions feel flat. They help to get you out of the pit of despair but that’s all they do. They can’t create happiness for you out of nothing. They just get you to the point where you’re able to find happiness on your own because when you’re trapped in the blackness of depression, happiness is nowhere to be seen. Not to mention, simply making you happy wouldn’t solve a thing.

19 Problems Only Happy People With Depression Understand

When I say I have depression, it does not mean I occasionally feel the emotion of being “depressed”; it means I have a mental illness. I have depression.

I feel numb, like there is nothing else around me but darkness and bitter cold.

When I say I have depression, it means on a daily basis my head is poisoned with thoughts of suicide and self-destruction. I want to talk about it, but events in my past have lead me to thinking that no one wants to hear it. I believe I am unimportant and a “burden” to this world.

I’m Not ‘Feeling Depressed,’ I Have Depression
By Brianna Yorke, Contributor, The Mighty