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January 24, 2024

5 Depression Stories From People on Reddit

Kristie Plantinga
red headed woman walks on a bridge towards a forest; depression stories
January 24, 2024
10 min to read
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According to the World Health Organization, 5% of adults suffer from depression worldwide. In the United States this number is even higher at 7.1%—that equates to roughly 17.3 million adults.

When you have depression, it may seem like there is no way out. That’s what many people in the stories below thought, but they were able to seek help and start their journey to overcoming depression.

There’s no doubt about it, depression is extremely difficult to deal with, especially alone. I understand—I've had depression myself, and it was the most difficult time of my life.

Keep in mind though, help is out there, and learning how to cope with your depression is possible.

Take a look at the stories below for examples of other people's depression stories. Note that the things that worked for these individuals might not work as well for you, and that's okay. Everyone's experience with depression and way they manage it is different.

If you're in a mental health emergency, please call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Let's dive in!

Success Story #1

“My life at 22: Relatively mundane until I was suddenly hit by crippling, clinical depression.

I had NO IDEA that's what I was suffering from, only that I felt a tremendous "weight" on me, and that the only thing I wanted to do was stay in my room, with the curtains drawn, sleeping, or staring into the middle distance. I would only leave to go to my crappy, temp jobs doing clerical work.

Friends had no idea I was going through this. In fact, if you asked them, they would've told you that I was the "funny one" in the group. Whenever they'd drag me out to a party or a social event, I would put on my 'clown face', joke with people, and then after putting in the 'minimum possible appearance time' (about an hour-ish, usually), I'd leave and go back to my depression cave in my room.

This continued for years, until I turned 26 and randomly found a crumpled up brochure at a bus-stop with a 'Depression Checklist' on it. EVERY SYMPTOM IT LISTED, I HAD!

This was such a POWERFUL MOMENT for me!

Up until this moment, I ignorantly just assumed that EVERYONE felt the same way I did. That my infinite malaise was "normal."

I quickly started Googling everything I could on depression, and got my doctor to refer me to a therapist. She got me to read The Depression Cure by Stephen Illardi.

This book LITERALLY SAVED MY LIFE! Along with the other useful info in it, it gave me some basics to start incorporating ASAP: Fish oil at a certain dosage, daily exercise (40-60 minute power-walks is what I went with), and mindfulness. I also included the supplement SAM-E in my personal daily regimen.

WITHIN 10 DAYS I FELT LIKE A NEW PERSON! I credit it to the Sam-E, but I'm not kidding when I say I woke up one morning and that "weight" wasn't there anymore. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt... OKAY!”

Read more on Reddit.

Success Story #2

“I wouldn't say I've 100% conquered my depression and anxiety but I've learned to deal with it for the most part.

To Do lists were a major help for me in that when I ticked stuff off that list I knew I was progressing and doing something. Even on the days where I was staying in bed watching Netflix I made sure to do at least one thing from the weekly list. Weekly and daily lists - very helpful.
  • Write down 5 things I'm grateful for every morning even if it's a small thing like wow that glass of water this morning was nice.
  • Taking mindful brakes from work. As in - I am going to have an hour off to read this book and I am not going to think about anything else and I am going to allow myself to relax and enjoy myself.
  • I went gluten free which helped me but trying out different diets might help.
  • When you feel down, accept that feeling. Don't try and push it away, you are upset for a reason and you need to allow yourself to feel your feelings. But don't allow any bad thoughts to get through to you, they are an upset child that is lashing out, so treat them like one. Tell them it's going to be ok, that we're doing the best that we can right now.
  • Sleep schedule. Make sure you're getting a proper night's sleep and a good amount. I like 10 - 8 personally but play around with it.
  • Water = Good”

Read more on Reddit.

Success Story #3

“I have tried a bunch of ways out of depression over the years and finally banished it with the help of two books. The ideas most useful to me are in “Don’t Kill Yourself…Yet” and “The Depression Cure”.

As a result of following the guidance in these two books, I truly banished my depression completely.

I’m not really a super happy guy, but I cruise along just above neutral all the time, which is fine for me… I hope they help you.”

Read more on Reddit.

Success Story #4

“Congrats! I'm sure the first steps weren't easy by any means, but you took them anyway. It will get better, I promise & I admire the strength you clearly have.

I don't know if my Red Riding Hood fairy tale will help, but here it is. Trigger warnings: self-harm, suicide attempts, alcohol abuse and other things.

I'd been planning visiting therapist for years when I actually met mine, and it was a second try. The first one was when my friends got worried about me, noticing my self-harm marks and mood in general. I may or may not said directly that I needed help, I don't remember, anyway they started looking for a therapist and gave me a number of one. I wrote to them. They were on vacation. I never wrote again.

In a couple of months, first suicide attempt.

I didn't go to hospital but nearly ended myself in my parents' house (while they were in the next room actually.) Then the covid stroke, I got stuck there & couldn't talk to a therapist online. When it all ended, I got back home and started hurting myself again, which ended up with the second (and last) attempt. It all felt like hell.

I believe a year passed before I finally found my therapist. I was terrified, really. I remember my legs were shaking in the bus as I was going to his office, thinking something like what if I'm faking it? what if I don't deserve the fuss whatsoever? what if I'm just a liar who seeks attention? It was like my body, every cell of me, was howling ruuuunnnn, but I attended the meeting anyway. The therapist was a young man in oversized hoodie with very warm, quiet tone of voice. After we talked, we shared our path to the first crossroad talking about nothing. For the first time in my life, I felt something important was about to change.

Receiving help was a big deal. I had to admit that I was a victim, a little girl sent to the dark brutal forest by her own parents (ahem physical/emotional abuse) and closest friends (ahem group rape). Sometimes I had to relive some things again and again until they stopped hurting and ruining my life.

It wasn't a smooth way up--I relapsed, drunk a lot, cried a lot, still hurt myself sometimes, got furious with my therapist and then thought of him as my only friend. It all was there. But strangely enough, I felt, deep inside, that everything would be fine some day.

The escape out of life wasn't an option anymore.

On the path, I got myself into toxic relationships, like a poor old lady who opens a door when she hears a voice that sounds like home. I loved the person, I did, but I had my flaws and I behaved stupid, and she was no better, really. She introduced me to BDSM and encouraged me to explore the domme side of me, but whenever we argued she would bring that up and call me a sadist, a freak, a monster. Being a monster feels better than being a victim, so I believed, to be honest. I got cynical, killed the naive lady in me off, and went with that. I'm not proud of what person I'd became for the next six months or so.

I cut ties with said gf and switched personal therapy to the group one. Then, with a help of my friends, I calmed down a little. And then I found a job that feels like blessing, because I'm building a meaningful career at a relatively young age. I got warmer, softer, calmer and more mature, though the power is still there. So I had to hunt the Big Bad Wolf (aggression, loneliness, cynicism and all that) down. I did.

Now, I'm okay. I still feel lonely and sad sometimes, but it's a natural part of life, and it can't take my life off track anymore. So, the girl, the old lady and the hunters go celebrate, though now after two years of therapy I feel like there is something else.

Like, the biggest baddest wolf was in the woods somewhere all along; he's warm and fluffy though he has big fangs, and he prefers to befriend people though he knows his worth and can mind his own business. Through all of this story, he was waiting for me to realize the truth--he is I, and I only had to finally come to myself.

Something similar is waiting for you too, so just clench your teeth when needed and go on. You'll be fine, and all the hard work you're facing will justify itself. Take it as a meaning to remember when you will lose your grip. Hope my story will be useful.”

Read more on Reddit.

Success Story #5 

“I have major depressive disorder, OCD, and generalized anxiety disorder.

I am currently in therapy and have been lucky enough to find a therapist that I really connect with. It is helpful for me because I am able to say things I can't say to anyone else. That alone is extremely helpful for me.

my therapist does not make me do anything, she suggests options instead. She has helped identify problems from my past that have caused my issues. and she suggests ways to help.

That being said, she has made it very clear that therapy doesn't magically erase that I have depression and anxiety disorders. They are cyclical and they will continue to occur cyclically whether I am in therapy or not. That was a very hard thing for me to accept. but she's been awesome at helping me cope.

I have tried many therapists before her though so I totally get the frustration to find the right one. the truth is you develop a relationship with them and not everyone is compatible.”

Read more on Reddit.

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Written by
Kristie Plantinga

Kristie Plantinga is the founder of Best Therapists. Along with being on the client-side of therapy, Kristie has had the honor of working directly with therapists in her marketing agency for therapists, TherapieSEO. While working alongside therapists, she learned about the inequities in our mental health system that therapists face on a daily basis, and she wanted to do something about it. That’s why Best Therapists is a platform designed to benefit not only therapy-seekers, but therapy providers. Kristie has a Masters degree in Written Communication and a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Music.

Reviewed by
Katelyn McMahon
Registered Psychotherapist, VT #097.0134200

Katelyn is a therapist-turned-writer with a passion for mental health. She has a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of England and is a Registered Psychotherapist in the state of Vermont. Katelyn has professional experience in aging care, addiction treatment, integrated health care, and private practice settings. She also has lived experience being on the client side of therapy. Currently, Katelyn is a content writer who’s passionate about spreading mental health awareness and helping other therapists and therapy-seekers Do The Work.

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