View Full Version : Metaphors for depression


Chicky75
06-22-15, 01:54 AM
I've been thinking about how to describe my depression to family and came up with a metaphor that is very accurate for me: my life is like a tire - when it's filled with air and round, I can roll along very well. However, even a small little thing that I don't even notice at the time can put a small hole that tire so the air starts to leak out slowly, until I'm deflated and have no idea why. Then I have to find whatever it was that made the hole, or maybe just find the hole, get it out and patch it up so I can re-inflate. Sometimes I feel like I'm able to re-inflate quickly, like using an air pump at a gas station, and sometimes I feel like I'm trying to re-inflate a huge truck tire just by blowing.

That got a little more extensive than I planned, but it all actually works very well for me. Does anyone else have a good metaphor to describe depression?

ToneTone
06-29-15, 10:42 PM
Great question ... I've asked myself this question every now and then because I've tried to write about depression.

Taking your tire and air metaphor, I would say for me depression is more like a blowout ... it's like a tire can go from functioning with enough air ... to zero air ... and zero air is depression ....

But ... I'll take the metaphor in a different direction ...The problem is when my tire is out of air, it is exhausting to try to inflate it ... not sure that works ... sorry ....

Anyway ... the words that work for me are hopelessness ... a sense of futility ... that nothing I do will matter ... nothing I can do will lead to a possible outcome ... worse, the depression brain goes back in time and tells me, not only will my efforts will wasted in the future, but that all past efforts have been total failures ... there is also a feeling of worthlessness ... that I'm a zero and have accomplished nothing in my life ... fatigue ... just no energy to do anything ...

Can you say more about talking to your family ... I sometimes think that is a fool's errand ... either families get it or don't get it ... and when I'm depressed, people around me can see the difference unless I'm working really hard to hide it ... which I've done at times ...

But say more about these conversations ... Are you encountering skepticism?

Tone

Chicky75
06-30-15, 06:55 PM
I know, it is kind of a fool's errand, but it got to the point that I had to say something to them... I've always hidden it, but I was pushing them away so much and they had no idea what was going on and it got to the point that my mother was threatening to come to my work to see what was going on with me.

So I gave them the basics awhile ago, but haven't talked to them about it since. Then they were asking me to go to their house for Father's Day and to see some extended family who were visiting (about 7-9 people). I just couldn't do it that weekend... it's an hour away, on a Sunday when I had to work the next day, and I haven't seen those other relatives in a couple of years. And I had already been having a bad week.

Anyway, I tried explaining that a little, but the response made me realize that they don't get it. To them, or at least to my father, since I mentioned it awhile ago, by now I should be recovered, or at least able to manage it all the time and it shouldn't impact my life. I was trying to come up with a way to help them understand. What I should really tell them is that it's like my father's gout - it's never "cured", and while there are things that I can do to try to avoid a flare up, sometimes they just happen and then I'm most likely not going to leave the house unless I have to.

ToneTone
06-30-15, 08:22 PM
Sorry to hear the doubt/confusion you are encountering. But you know what?: this doesn't sound like a "language" (how to describe it better) problem to me. There's enough talk in popular culture about depression. Everybody knows someone who has been depressed.

But if folks don't want to acknowledge depression, that's them. I sense that if you can up with 20 beautiful interesting metaphors you might still get the same lack of supportive response.

What do you need from your folks that their "understanding" might help you with. I had to give up on my parents understanding depression long long ago ... of course later on I learned that my mother had suffered depression.

Tone

finallyfound10
07-01-15, 01:17 AM
I remember talking to a former therapist about it in terms of varying shades of the color grey.

Since you are from New England maybe they would understand weather like when it starts to get dark at 4 pm as Winter approaches and then it stays light longer as Spring approaches and how it affects mood. I think everyone who lives in a region where this happens can relate. For those with depression, it's like that but all of the time. The sunniest day in July can feel like late November.

I'm in a Mid-Atlantic state so I get that analogy!! hope it helps!

Chicky75
07-08-15, 04:37 PM
What do you need from your folks that their "understanding" might help you with.

It would just be nice to be able to be honest and say things like, no, I can't come to the family bbq with extended family because the idea of having to deal with so many people is overwhelming right now, instead of having to come up with lame excuses that they know are not true (most of the time).

Chicky75
07-08-15, 04:38 PM
I remember talking to a former therapist about it in terms of varying shades of the color grey.

Since you are from New England maybe they would understand weather like when it starts to get dark at 4 pm as Winter approaches and then it stays light longer as Spring approaches and how it affects mood. I think everyone who lives in a region where this happens can relate. For those with depression, it's like that but all of the time. The sunniest day in July can feel like late November.

I'm in a Mid-Atlantic state so I get that analogy!! hope it helps!

That might be more relatable. I might have to give it a try sometime.