Updated: May 8, 2018
Gripping your steering wheel, you start to feel it coming. The pervasive sadness that has taken up refuge in your body and soul; the heavy feeling in your chest greeting you in the morning before your eyes have opened. Perhaps you can point to a loss which catapulted you into this feeling, or, as can often be the case, it came with no rhyme or reason. You wonder when you’ll be free of this feeling. It can be there in the quietest moments or in the midst of noise and chaos. It keeps you from connecting with others, the world and yourself. It makes every action feel utterly exhausting.
Depression looks different in every person, but some features are quite distinguishable. I often liken it to driving with a dirty windshield. No matter how many times you wipe off the windshield, the debris remains. Depression prevents you from seeing the road ahead and makes it difficult to connect with other people and life around you.
Others tell you “it will pass,” and to “take care of yourself,” “try harder,” or “focus on the positive,” but these phrases often fall short, creating distance and making you feel misunderstood. It can often be uncomfortable for others to sit with your pain, and so they minimize, negate, and brush aside your experience hoping you will too. You continue to attempt to see, even sticking your head out of the window, but this is only a temporary solution.
While no one knows exactly how to get rid of the dirt on the windshield or how long it will take, we do know that it can feel comforting to have someone in that passenger seat with you; someone whose vantage point is slightly different. So when you feel out of control, unable to see the road, and worried you’re headed for a collision, it’s time to consider inviting a professional inside the car. Depression does not have to be inevitable, contact Dr. Emily A. Kerr to talk further about your personal struggles with depression.