In this guide, we will discuss times when we feel like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression.’
Depression can completely take over our lives and turn us into a version of ours that is unfamiliar and not liked by us. We feel like we don’t even know ourselves and see a completely different person in the mirror when we wake up. The feeling is unreal and makes us feel alienated from ourselves. Depression changes who we are knowingly or unknowingly, leaving a long-lasting impression on us, that alters our perception of ourselves completely.
We need to remember that depression is not us and it does not define us. We are not our depression, we are way more than that.
Here are changes you might experience in yourself that make you feel like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression’:
- Constant feeling of sadness
- Low on energy
- Poor concentration and attention span
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Thinking like a pessimist
- Feeling guilty all the time
- Having suicidal thoughts
- The feeling of loneliness arises
- Being too harsh on yourself
- Having feelings of worthlessness
- Being agitated and irritated
- Changes in appetite and sleep cycle
Constant feeling of sadness
Depression has a major marker and that is bringing a constant feeling of sadness and despair with it. We feel sad not because of one event or situation, we feel sad for days at a stretch. The worst part comes when we know that this is not us. This unknown feeling makes us feel like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression’ because this is not me. We wish to be happy and smile but something inside feels broken and does not let us be happy. Sometimes we start to feel better and happier but then poof it’s gone and sadness creeps back in. We need to understand that it is not something that we are doing on purpose, no one wants to be sad, everyone wants to be happy. You are not your depression.
Low on energy
Being depressed is so tiring at times in itself that even without performing any activity all day we feel low on energy and tired. We feel like someone has drained out all the energy from our body and left us only with our body structure. It is understandable if you have thoughts like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression’ because of feeling low all the time. Even the simplest of tasks like waking up from ur beds feels unmanageable and tiring. We feel like sleeping all day and even after waking up from a 10-hour sleep, we feel drowsy and want to go back to sleep. Especially if you were super active before depression, being unable to find the same energy can be extremely frustrating and confusing.
Poor concentration and attention span
Depression is not only about feeling sad, it also alters the brain structure by making us feel not be able to concentrate and pay attention to anything. You constantly find your mind wandering off from conversations, lectures, or meetings. You need to bring your thoughts and attention back to the present activity and that at times can lead to delay in work. We are unable to get ourselves to concentrate, and this leaves us with the feeling that ‘I don’t know who I am with depression.’ A task that took us 30 minutes to complete now takes more than an hour. But we need to remember that it is depression that is messing with our concentration and attention levels and it is not us who is doing that on purpose.
Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
We all have hobbies and interests that bring us joy and happiness, we find pleasure in engaging in those activities. But with depression, these activities start to look like chores that need to be done. We no longer feel like taking part in them as that would require putting in effort and energy, something we feel that we do not have. It is understandable to then feel like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression.’ We find ourselves not wanting to do more and more things slowly and just wanting to be in bed. We need to remember that it is not the activity or our interest that has turned boring or uninteresting, it is depression that makes us feel tired from doing it.
Thinking like a pessimist
With depression comes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness and that leads us to feel like a pessimist. We can not see any hope or future for us and that makes us more worrisome about ourselves. We find ourselves giving into feelings like nervousness, worrying, and anxiety. All because we feel like everything will have a negative end and all our efforts will reap us no fruit. This is thought process can be new for a person who has always been an optimist and feelings like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression’ are bound to come up. We do not need to give in to these thoughts and remember that we have a future that is positive and stay hopeful.
Feeling guilty all the time
Because of depression, we are not able to give our best efforts and abilities to a task and feel guilty about it. We do not have the energy to interact and engage in a meaningful conversation with our close loved ones and feel guilty about not spending enough time with them. We feel like we are lacking in our duties and relationship. It is obvious for us to feel ‘I don’t know who I am with depression.’ Because you are not, especially for people who are extroverts, not talking, and interacting with your friends and family is not you. You like hanging out with them and human interaction would energize you but now it is a tiring process that you catch yourself trying to avoid.
Having suicidal thoughts
With depression, our thoughts turn dark at times, and with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, we may have suicidal thoughts. Thoughts of ending your life seem tempting as that also means putting an end to the turmoil that has been going inside your mind for so long. You see yourself fighting to stay alive and trying to catch onto any ray of hope you can see. From being a lively person, full of life turning into a person who is having suicidal thoughts, you are bound to feel like you are not yourself and feel like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression.’
But with thoughts like these, you need to talk to someone about them, especially a mental health professional, to be able to defeat the thoughts and find your way to a happy life.
The feeling of loneliness arises
Because of depression, you are unable to let others inside your life, cause you feel it’s a mess. You do not want to burden anyone with your problems and therefore keep them all bottled up inside you. You are hesitant to truly answer the question, “how are you” cause you fear breaking down if you let your answer honestly. So you keep it all inside and distance others so that they can not see that something is troubling and eating you up from the inside. Your friends and family want to be there for you and you have always been able to express your thoughts and feelings but not anymore, making you feel like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression.’
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Being too harsh on yourself
Because of depression we start to over-analyze every move of ours and become highly self-critical about our behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. We are likely to expect too much of ourselves or at least the bare minimum that we were able to do before depression. But because of the tiredness and fatigue caused by depression, we are hardly able to perform any task all day. We start to analyze every word and tone of ours while talking to other people, to not let them know what turmoil is boiling inside our heads. We try to make sure that we do not burden the other person with our problems and therefore try to maintain a distance from everyone. When doing this becomes a habit we feel like we are antisocial and that no one cares about us. We feel like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression’ and that there is no one, not even me to help me out.
Having feelings of worthlessness
We assess our worth based on our behavior, thoughts, and productivity level generally. But due to depression we find our behavior altered, our thoughts turned negative and our productivity levels being zero on certain days. This makes us believe that we might not be as worthy of anything in the world as we used to believe earlier. We feel like our friends and family deserve someone who will be there in case of emergency and our partners deserve someone who can love them and be there for them. We feel like our boss and company deserve an efficient employee and along with that, we feel like we are none of these.
Being agitated and irritated
Because of depression, you feel not only sad all the time but also agitated and irritated by everything in your surroundings including yourself. You feel like you lose control easily at the slightest drop of a hat. You do not want to or ever were the kind to be so agitated but you are increasingly getting more irritated by things. You feel like everything and everyone gets on your nerves. This makes social interaction that much more tough to engage in. You catch yourself feeling like ‘I don’t know who I am with depression.’ This is completely true because it is not you who is agitated but the depression that is making you feel so.
Changes in appetite and sleep cycle
On a more physical outer level, you may notice a change in your appetite and sleep cycles. You may find yourself not feeling hungry and losing your appetite completely or eating more than you used to. You also notice an increase or decrease in the amount of sleep. It is healthy to have 3 proper healthy diets a day with 7-9 hours of sleep. Anything more or less than this is not healthy. You might not find the energy to wake up or eat but you need to, to keep the body running.
In this guide, we discussed times when we feel like ‘ I don’t know who I am with depression.’
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.