What Do You Know About Depression? {It Isn’t Just About Sadness….}

I haven’t written a WHOLE lot about my journey with depression here.  I do have this post, Journey to the Dark Side {aka Depression Is….}.  I encourage you to read it, if you haven’t already.

When I first acknowledged my depression, I didn’t want to be the first one to use the “D” word.  I wanted someone else to say it for me.  “I think you may be struggling with depression”.

For a while, no one would.  It was very frustrating.  Finally, I went to my doctor.  I had called to say that I needed a physical, but they couldn’t fit me in for several MONTHS.  I finally told the gal on the phone that I wasn’t sleeping at night, and she got me in right away.

My doctor said to me, “I think you have anxiety with a touch of depression.”  I knew at the time that it was more than just a touch, but still I kept silent about it.  (I have no idea why).

When I went in for my follow-up I finally blurted out JUST how bad it was.  It was REALLY bad.  I’m afraid to say just how bad in this post, but know that it was depths-of-despair bad.

I am sometimes angry that I have to struggle with this.  It feels totally unfair to be saddled with depression while maneuvering the often rocky path of raising an extremely strong-willed child. and a toddler in the midst of the crazy 3’s.  One thing is hard enough without the other thrown into the mix.  I’ll admit that I often find myself angry with God for allowing this.

Despite that, I also know that experiencing something first-hand gives a person a level of compassion that others can’t quite reach.  So if my struggle with this helps one person to acknowledge their depression or to recognize it in someone else and give them the help and support that they need, then the struggle will be worth it, and all glory goes to God.

What I want to say today, is that Depression isn’t always about feeling sad.

Sometimes I could kick myself for being SO lazy while the house develops into a whirlwind of mess and the kids get into trouble trying to garner negative attention from me.

It was in speaking to a friend of mine who also had experience with depression that I realized that it wasn’t laziness that was preventing me from doing it, but the depression.

When you’re depressed, you often lose the OOMPH that you need to do the things that you want to do or know that you need to do.

You’ve heard the phrase “My get-up-and-go had got up and went?”  It’s like that.  It’s very possible that the person who coined that phrase was depressed.

The thought of getting off the couch and throwing myself into the task of getting myself and two kids ready for work, gathering their snacks, breaking up their skirmishes and remembering everything that I need to bring is often enough to completely overwhelm me and prevent me from taking the first step to getting it all done.

(A non-depressed person would say “Why don’t you prepare everything the night before?”   Sounds reasonable enough, but sometimes it’s not that easy.)

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re depressed.  It’s also easy to feel alone, so very, very, alone.

I’ll tell you though, more people suffer from depression than you may realize.  It took me a little while to get up the courage to tell people about my depression, and I was surprised by the number of people that said that they struggle with some form of it, too.

If you are feeling depressed (or suspect you may be….I’m telling you, sometimes you need to be told first!), here are a few suggestions that can help:

  • get a good night’s sleep. This is not always easy to do with little ones, but don’t stay up late to get your alone-time in when the kiddos are in bed.    The less sleep you have, the more of an open door depression has to kick you in your rear.
  • get out in the sun. Did you know that people that live in New England are more likely to suffer from Seasonal Affective Depressive Disorder (S.A.D.D.) than in other areas of the country?  It’s because of the lack of sunshine we get in the winter months.
    The sun is a natural source of Vitamin D, which our body needs to help fight off the feelings of depression.  From what my doctor told me, there is NOT enough Vitamin D in dairy products to make up for this loss.  A Vitamin D supplement can help you greatly.
  • get your thyroid checked. I’m told that they checked my thyroid after the birth of both kids, but they did a more in-depth check only recently, and found out that mine is under-active.  Apparently the thyroid and depression are closely linked as well, so getting the thyroid under control can help.
    Oh, and guess what else?  When your thyroid is under-active, you have less energy to do things, and you’re tired as heck.  Go figure.
  • talk to somebody. Preferably your doctor, but at least talk to a trusted friend, your pastor, your spouse*, a counselor…..
    With the spouse (and even a friend)……be careful.  My husband wasn’t ready to believe that I was depressed.  He was convinced that I was “stronger” than that.   He even thought that I was influenced by my friend who was dealing with depression.  As if she could say she thought I was depressed and I would automatically believe it.  (When, in fact, she never once told me that she thought I was depressed…..though after I told her about my depression, she admitted to having thought that I might be suffering from it.)
    I’m not saying DON’T talk to your spouse or a friend.  What I’m saying is that if they reject your suspicion of being depressed out-of-hand, don’t stop there.  Talk to your doctor about your symptoms.  Please.
  • get help. That may sound redundant after the last bullet point, but I don’t mean that kind of help here.  I mean get help with the kiddos so you can get a little break.  Get help cleaning the house, if that’s where you’re struggling.   An extra pair of hands to help and ears to listen can do wonders!
  • get exercise. HA!  Sorry, I had to put this one in here.  The doctors will tell you to try to get more exercise.  It IS supposed to help, but when you have no energy, and no oomph…..guess what?  It’s hard to get yourself to do this.   So wrangle your kiddos, and take a walk in the sunshine.  There you go.  Sunshine, exercise, and occupying the kiddos all in one fell swoop.
    Heck, if you take a long enough walk they’ll be tired out afterwards and either nap or go to sleep really easily that night for you.   And maybe they’ll be too tuckered out to get into trouble after you get back.  You’re welcome.  🙂

Just because you might not be feeling sad DOES NOT mean that what you’re feeling is not depression.  It manifests itself differently in people.  Mine first presented as anger – or at least that’s how it was presenting when I was ready to acknowledge it for what it was.

Depression IS about sadness….just not all of the time.

I’m praying that this helps you…..

{Photo Credit}


  1. My depression manifested as anger too. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  2. Moms Mustard Seeds says:

    Love you….so many of us share this….this problem than can hinder our very souls….I Love you!!!!

  3. Love this… I post alot about anxiety… But really… This applies so much