I Have Crippling Depression? (What to do?)

In this article, titled “I have crippling depression,” we will try to describe what having crippling depression feels like, by presenting what crippling depression is, its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Crippling Depression?

Crippling depression is Major depressive disorder. Unlike usual depression, which assumes any bad, and sad mood, Major depressive disorder is a big complex of symptoms. It can also be without a lousy mood or sadness, for that people also call it depression without depression or masked depression.

Using the term “crippling” may hurt people with physical disabilities, so you should be cautious where and when you use it. Instead, you could say debilitating depression, severe, or overwhelming depression, nevertheless, the major depressive disorder can be called in several ways.

The Symptoms of Crippling Depression

For the diagnosis of unipolar depression, the five or more of the following symptoms must manifest at least for two weeks: 

  • Feeling guilty,
  • Feeling worthless,
  • Fatigue almost every day,
  • Almost daily depressed mood, 
  • Sleeping disorders (insomnia or hypersomnia),
  • Psychomotor agitation or deceleration,
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain,
  • Significant decrease or increase of appetite,
  • Difficulty in thinking, concentrating, and making decisions,
  • Recurrent suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts.

Risk Factors for Crippling Depression

The main risk factors of crippling depression (MDD) are:

  • Family history of major depression,
  • Constant high levels of stress,
  • Long-term depression,
  • Big life changes,
  • Other illnesses.

Clinical depression is more common among the population of large cities and megacities compared to the population of small cities, towns, and villages, more often among the population of developed countries than backward and developing ones. Probably, this difference is mainly due to improved diagnostics, a higher level of medicine and health care, and a greater awareness of the population of developed countries and especially large cities about what depression is, and, as a result, more frequent visits to doctors. However, the crowding and overpopulation of large cities, a faster pace of life, a higher level of social requirements and more stress, apparently also play a role.

Crippling Depression Treatment

There are some ways to treat crippling depression (or MDD). The common treatments are psychotherapy, medication, electroconvulsive therapy, and hospitalization. 


Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, can be helpful for crippling depression treatment too. Usually are used different types of psychotherapy, but the most efficient ones are CBT (cognitive-behavioral depression) and interpersonal therapy. Psychotherapy can help you define negative and distorted thoughts, and replace them with positive and healthy ones, as well as learn new, better ways to solve problems.


There are different types of antidepressants, which are effectively used to treat major depression:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – vilazodone, citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, fluoxetine, and sertraline.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, venlafaxine, and levomilnacipran.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) – phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and isocarboxazid. They may be prescribed when other drugs have not worked because MAOIs can have serious side effects.

Electroconvulsive therapy (or ECT)

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be useful in crippling anxiety, too is assumes attachment of small electrodes to head, which sends electrical impulses to the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. 


Hospitalization can be needed in case the patient with major depression is unable to take care of himself/herself and may attempt suicide. Hospitalization involves psychotherapy, medication, and group counseling. It is provided till the patient is ready to take care of himself/herself and can continue depression treatment out of the hospital. 

Tips to Cope with Crippling Depression

Above we presented the common ways to treat clinical depression; however, the following tips can be helpful to cope with crippling depression by yourself as well:

Design your routine

Designing and following your routine can help you “live” your days with crippling depression. You can make it in a way you like so that following the routine does not become a new problem. It is recommended to involve in your week at least one self-care day.

Avoid blaming yourself

You should not blame yourself if you fail following the plans because of having depression. It is okay to miss them sometimes: you should realize and accept that as you experience crippling depression, you will have both: good and bad days. So be kinder and more understanding of yourself.

Get a support system

Getting a support system involving close, trustful people, which can be family members, relatives, friends, and therapists, can help you manage significant depression episodes better.

Notice and value your little and significant achievements

You should not concentrate on your failures and blame yourself because of them. Instead, it is better to notice your little and significant achievements. It can be waking up early and going to work, taking a shower, or making a bed before going out in the morning. You should notice and value such achievements, and by the time you may notice some reduction of negative mood.

Do regular physical exercises

Studies showed that doing regular physical exercises is good and useful for people with depression. It is not a treatment, but it is useful to accompany depression treatments. 

The Phrase “I Have Crippling Depression”

On July 17th, 2016, the owner of the YouTube channel iDubbbzTV Ian Carter loaded a short video, where he jumps on a wheelchair saying in a stupid voice, “I have crippling depression.” Many people found that “joke” offensive towards people who have depression or physical disability, nevertheless, it did not stop the video and the expression to get popular; the video became a famous meme.

According to Google Trends data, after the YouTuber’s post, the term “crippling depression” got more popular and interested people more than it did before.

  1. I Have Crippling Depression: Unruled Composition Book 
  2. Furiously Happy
  3. Silently Suffering from Anxiety, Depression, and Agoraphobia
  4. Video – I Have Crippling Depression
  5. HFNE “Is Depression a Disability?”
  6. HFNE “Types of Depression”

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.

BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.


Crippling depression is Major depressive disorder. Unlike usual depression, which assumes any bad, and sad mood, Major depressive disorder is a big complex of symptoms. It can also be without a lousy mood or sadness, for that people also call it depression without depression or masked depression.

You should remember, though, that the YouTuber of the channel iDubbbzTV got much criticized for his short video, where he joked jumping on a wheelchair, and saying, “I have crippling depression,” and it is normal actually and a possible reaction because there are people with depression or a physical disability, for whom it sounds offensive and harmful. So, it would be best if you chose another term, like severe, unipolar, or clinical depression, or major depressive disorder.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.


  1. What You Need to Know If Your Depression Feels Debilitating
  2. What Is Crippling Depression?