This is what depression looks like. No, not the clean dishes. But that has ever accumulated so much dishes. I have not washed any dishes for two weeks.
Three days ago I was sitting on the kitchen floor staring at the dishes while I cried. I knew I had to wash it off. I wanted it so much.

But the depression has torn me down, completely absorbed – like a black hole. On steadily sinking quicksand.

Every morning, every evening, I walked past the dirty dishes all day long. And I looked at it. Said to myself that I can wash it off. Said to myself that I would do it. And I felt beaten and every day even worse, if I did not make it again.

The feeling of failure
That only made the depression worse, because something could not be done has to be done is failure.

Useless. To fail. Stupid piece of shit. Unable. Stupid. Lazy. All these things are going through the head of people with depression. The. All day.

Throw it then a pinch of anxiety disorder on top of that and you have a very special pleasure.
To be afraid that your husband you leaves because he thinks you are lazy. To be afraid to invite someone home because they would think that you are disgusting.

To be afraid that you your children disappointing – there is pizza for dinner for the third time in a row because you do not have clean dishes to cook with. So there is pizza. Again.

The anxiety disorder promotes terrible thoughts
And worst of all: it’s not just with the dishes like that. Washing, cleaning, dressing, showering, putting on children, brushing your teeth – normal everyday tasks. Everything becomes a nightmare. The tasks become scary. On some days, I can not do anything about it.

“Strong” people do not talk about their depression because they do not want others to think they are “weak”.

But to these people something, to each one: you are not weak.

You have been strong for so long and have had to survive so many things that your body needs a break. I do not care if you just managed to hang up deodorant today.
I am proud of you. You did a good job. I am proud of you. I am on your side.
I do not want attention or sympathy, by no means. I just want to let everyone know that I’m here for you. I get it. If you need someone to talk to, I am always there to help.

Note from the editors: If you feel that your life is no longer useful, please contact the telephone counselor. It is anonymous, free and accessible around the clock. The telephone numbers are 0800 111 0 111 and 0800 111 0 222.
Shadow & Light e.V. also provides additional information and regional contact persons for postnatal depression relief. Telephone number: 08293/965864 Email:

This text originally appeared on Brittany Ernsperger’s Facebook page and was translated and adapted by Martina Zink.

This article was written by Brittany Ernsperger


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