More Than the Blues

The difference between feeling occasionally blue and feeling depressed is enormous. The blues are transitory and pass within a few hours to a few days, while depressed feelings and thoughts persist for weeks, months, or even years at a time.

The depressed person suffers from low self-esteem. He or she feels worthless and hopeless. Other people’s small slights become proof to the sufferer of how he or she is disliked and rejected. Successes are dismissed as accidental, while errors and mistakes become irrefutable confirmation of being a failure.

Relationships Suffer

Depression greatly complicates relationships. The individual both withdraws from others and self-isolates or becomes irritable. The irritability is expressed through an endless number of complaints about minor things. However, the chronic complaining and irritability serves to alienate those closest to the depressed person. The result is further isolation, guilt, and self-hatred. This sets up a vicious cycle in which isolation feeds depression, leading to anger and resulting in further isolation. The depressed person then finds evidence to fuel self-hatred by pointing to the ways in which friends and family avoid or minimize contact.

Another scenario that breeds isolation and loneliness is the apathy and exhaustion felt by individuals with this illness. The sluggishness experienced in depression robs people of the desire to go out and enjoy social events. The tendency is to want to remain at home. At worst, an acutely depressed individual will not get out of bed for most of the day.