Thursday, 14 August 2014

Depression - The Hand Around Your Ankle.

In the wake of the tragic suicide of Robin Williams I've been asked a lot, 'what is  depression like'? 

Usually I would describe it like a hole that you can't quite get yourself out of, but I think, maybe this might explain it a little better.

It's like you're in water and everyone else is swimming happily around you, but someone, (or something) has hold of your ankle and you're being pulled under,even though you fight with everything you've got, not to.

The harder you fight, the more desperate and tired you get.

You know you should be swimming happily too like other people are, and you feel so guilty that you can't get away, so you find yourself flapping your arms around, and pretending to be like them. 

You don't want the people you love to look over and see you drowning, but you can't break free of the hand that's pulling you under.

Over time it becomes a battle of wills.

If you can just keep your head above water a little bit longer, then the hand around your ankle will get tired before you do, and gradually loosen the grip...

it isn't simple, and maybe I over simplify things a bit here. 

There are times even when you've begun the 'swim' back that the hand will feel like it's going to grab you again, but you can keep your head above water - you know you can.

When people have almost drowned, they often describe a surge of superhuman strength that stopped them going under the water. 

It's not easy when you're so tired that you can't see tomorrow, and you're so sick of feeling pain, that you just want it to stop. 

That's when you need to find it, most.Try to tread water and keep your head up, for five more minutes, one more hour, or one more day, even. 

In time that hand around your ankle, will loosen.

Depression is an illness, and you should never forget that. It is not your fault that you've found yourself here. It's perfectly OK to ask for help, because everybody needs help sometimes. It's nothing to be ashamed of, I promise.

Just try, to keep swimming. You are not alone. 

Image: Google


  1. yes thats exactly how it feels! we must keep swimming! we must stay strong for others, for our love ones and mainly for OURSELVES! ty for sharing your story

  2. I've never read a better description of how depression makes you feel, I have often been asked how it feels and I've never been able to describe it but this is how it feels as if you're being held back. Thank you so much for sharing your excellent description of how depression feels x

  3. Great description Helen and great use of words to help people to understand depression better, this helps everyone. I've shared it on Facebook, I hope that's ok xx much love my friend xx