Thanks for a very effective description of what it's like to experience depression. Patients have describe similar experiences throughout my career treating depression.

One patient said she couldn't decide which button on her blouse to button first. Another said he couldn't decide which way to walk around his truck. We don't think of these simple tasks as decision making, but they are, and they happen almost automatically for most of us most of the time.

You can't just "snap out of it" as some suggest to you. If you could, you certainly would.

In working with patients about getting them to increase their activity, the inertia is incredible. I tell patients I don't care if you shower and wash your hair. I just want you to take a few steps to the bathroom and turn on the water. Or instead of a walk, just stand on the stoop for a few minutes.

When the depression is completely immobilizing I might ask a family member to take the person with depression by the hand and be a bit insistent. But sometimes the family member is already too exhausted from their loved one's depression to do it.

Depression is a mood disorder. It is a disorder of the part of the brain that controls mood. Nothing else. The mind fog is a symptom of that disorder. There is no reason to assign blame.

Disorders are treatable. Some are more difficult than others. But for almost everyone who experiences, it will sleepily improve just as it insidiously began.

Thank you for your insightful piece.

Loren Olson

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