If you've been fortunate enough to have never experienced depression in your life, it can be hard to understand what it really feels like. And if you've had depression, it's often difficult to describe to someone who doesn't understand it. But one post on Tumblr offers a pretty accurate analogy for what depression can feel like for some of us. The post, which compares depression to the feeling and fallout of losing one's sense of taste as well as the ability to feel fully satisfied after a meal. "You don’t know why, but now everything you eat tastes like mashed potatoes and nothing you eat is satisfying," it reads. "You keep eating because you must eat to live, but the effort that it takes to prepare food is taxing and there is no pay off. You just know it will taste like mashed potatoes. You just know you will still be hungry. So you stop bothering with seasonings." "You still feel hungry and you’re sick of the taste and you don’t know if you will ever enjoy food again and you don’t know why this is happening," the post continues. "If someone comes up to you in this scenario and says, 'Well have you tried spicing your food? Using different ingredients? Eating foods you used to love?' It isn’t necessarily helpful because the reason you stopped doing all that in the first place is that everything…tasted…like mashed…potatoes." The post also perfectly tackles the problem with telling someone with depression that they would "just go outside" or "try not to feel depressed" — they're well-intentioned suggestions, but often fall short of the point when it comes to a person's mental health. The post was originally written by Tumblr user 57circlesofhell and gained over 100,000 shares from other users before being picked up on the Best Of Tumblr Facebook page last week. Since being posted to Facebook, it has garnered another 10,000 shares, no doubt from people who found the post resonant and accurate. Of course, everyone's experiences with depression will vary because we're all different, but this is a start towards ending the stigma against mental illness. While depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to understanding, treating, and destigmatizing it. Here's hoping posts like these will allow people to have a better understanding of depression, as well as help those with depression open up and find help. Read the full post below.
If you are experiencing depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.