My Depressed Face

Feeling Depressed, an emotion vs Having Depression, a Disorder

“Oh I’m so depressed about that!”

Well, yes. For some reason the emotion you’re having is still called depression in the English language. There’s one small problem though. When you say that you’re depressed when what you mean is that you’re very sad, it can cause confusion with Major Depressive Disorder.

A little guide according to


Sad and Gloomy ; dejected ; downcast



Psychiatry. suffering from depression.

Same word, different meaning. Language likes to play tricks on us like this. Luckily we have a word for it, a homonym.  Here’s where things get tricky again. Most people don’t realize that these two versions of depressed are homonyms.

The biggest problem is that sadness and gloominess is one of the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder, and because of the association with the other meaning of the word depressed, has become the best known. Despite that it’s far from the biggest. In fact Web MD cites a “depressed mood” as only likely for part of the day in someone suffering clinical depression, and the most prevalent symptom is actually a shockingly elusive one.


It’s an almost violent feeling, realizing everything you love has lost its appeal. A vicious cycle where nothing matters because you’re unhappy and so you’re unhappy because nothing matters.

Wake up.

Make Breakfast. Brush your teeth and take a shower. Put on some clothes.

Start the day. Or end it, abruptly, because that was all you have the energy to do.

What’s nearly impossible to express is how exhausting the disinterest caused by depression is. More than anything else in the world, you want to care. You want this thing that you loved. This activity, this hobby, or god forbid, this person, to be as interesting to you as it once was. So you push for it to be. You fake interest as long as you can or push through when you can’t and sometimes just pretending it’s worthwhile long enough to get through a shower feels like running a marathon.

Maybe that’s not the most articulate way to say it.

Maybe there isn’t a more articulate way to say it.

So what can be done? Well, that’s another conversation. A conversation about brains and chemicals and doctors and treatment plans. Today though, from bed, the answer is simple.

Depression is exhausting, but exhaustion isn’t the end.