The weight of depression – a little experiment…

So here we’re going to try a little experiment. Before we start I’d like you to go and get yourself a glass of water – but only half full (never half empty!!)

People who have not experienced depression often find it difficult to really empathise with those of us that have. It might not be ignorance or a desire not to care but just that they have no idea how bad it can feel. The next five minutes might help them consider a little how depression can take of over your life– and yes, with just half a glass of water.

So, are you sitting comfortable? Its always best and easier, to be sitting. I’d like you to hold out the glass of water with a straight arm about 90 degrees from your body. Please keep reading this and please keep your arm in the same position until you have finished reading this blog. Ok, you ready? Then we’ll begin……….

The glass of water that you are holding represents depression. Its only half a glass of water and isn’t that heavy. However, even after this short length of time, it is preventing you from doing things – you probably won’t be able to give someone a hug, or hold a baby or run for the bus. Also, you look different to others; people will notice that you’re holding this glass and that you don’t want to let it go.

Now, at this point, your glass might start to feel a little bit heavier than when you first picked it up, you might feel restricted at not being able to move about as easily or quickly as normal.

It won’t take long before your friends and loved ones will identify you as the one with the glass, it soon becomes part of who you are. At first friends will ask you for dates but if you keep saying no because you have to bring your glass with you, then eventually they will stop asking you. Very soon your focus will be totally on the glass, the depression.

How is your arm feeling? It might be feeling hot, even a little shaky. Please try not to change arms. You might want to support your arm, this would be like asking someone to support or help you, it might be taking medication or receiving psychotherapy. But even if you do accept this crutch, this support, you are still confined to the glass, to the depression and it hurts. By now it might be consuming all your thoughts, all of your focus is on your arm (and not just because you’re reading this).

Who says people who experience depression are lazy – it takes a lot of effort and strength to deal with depression, it engulfs you and takes over the whole of your life without you realising it. It costs a lot to keep holding onto depression – friends, job, relationships………. and its only half a glass of water!

Jane Taylor

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