Depression During a Pandemic

The difficulties of depression when you can't go outside.

Posted Apr 13, 2020

Sharon McCutcheon//Unsplash
Source: Sharon McCutcheon//Unsplash

I am very grateful that I'm not experiencing depression right now after finding the right medication and years of therapy. But I've been there; I know how it is. 

Don't get me wrong—I am incredibly sad. I dream of people dying every night. But sadness is not depression. Depression is a disease; sadness is not. 

When people with depression, or other difficult mental illnesses, have asked me how to deal with their depression, my advice is to get up, take a shower, and go outside. That's what my psychologist always told me to do. When I was on medical leave from work, I wouldn't leave my bed for days. I was getting up at 3 p.m. even though I went to bed at 7 p.m. And he told me to go outside. I followed his advice, and every single time, a change of scenery did wonders for me. It was a distraction. 

But I can't use that advice anymore. We can't go outside anymore unless it's for something "essential." We can take walks, but anxiety and other mental illnesses could make us terrified of doing that. What if I come within six feet of someone? What if they cough on me?

So what are we supposed to do? Binge-watch another show? Read a book? Write poetry? Those things are easier said than done when you're severely depressed. When I was severely depressed, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't do anything but lay in bed and think about how incredibly depressed I was. I cried. I cried so much. 

This post might seem kind of pointless because I don't have an answer. I wish I did. I can say be creative if you can. But it's not always that easy. 

I just want to say that I know. I know how hard this is because you can't do anything. You just have to sit there and be depressed. And I'm with you. Even though I'm not experiencing that right now, I have before. And I'm with you. Text me, Instagram me, tweet me. I'm here. We're in this together.