My depression doesn’t metaphorically look like water. It’s not some romanticized idea of drowning. It is not an Evian commercial.

My depression is more like invisible quicksand. I wake up one day and my feet just seem to stick a little bit when I walk. And each step I take slows me down a minute amount. It creeps up my body a millimeter at a time. Barely noticeable at first.

I find that it comes on so gradually that, without waves from something external to my housebound life, I may not notice until it’s too late.

When Your Depression Feels Like Drowning in Quicksand

Suddenly, I am having trouble making it more than a few steps and each breath is labored as if I have wet sand piled on my chest. I never seem to move quite enough, accomplish quite enough, get anywhere enough to have truly completed a day’s activities.

Suddenly, I am on the couch, struggling to catch my breath and it feels as if I truly am physically drowning. Suffocating. As the quicksand becomes more unstable, threatening to swallow me whole. I am desperate and dying internally. I am alone and without help to pull myself out.

And I become a shell. My thoughts and soul squirm and shrink away from my body for fear of being swallowed up with it. They curl and cringe, just as afraid of my body failing as my body itself is. And yet I am paralyzed by this invisible quicksand.

If I could scream I would. But, unable to breath, screaming feels impossible. I find myself lying in bed unable to move. It feels as if I have been buried in invisible wet sand that is physically compressing my limbs so that I have no ability to roll over. It weighs my chest until it feels as if I will never take a full breath again. My body eventually is beaten. And my hope and thoughts and soul cower in a dark corner somewhere in there wondering if the torment will ever end.