Need help? Call our helpline

5pm–midnight, 365 days a year
Need help? Call our helpline 0800 58 58 58
or Use our WEBCHAT.

POEM: What Is Depression?

Depression is: mind-sludge, brain-filth, thistle-thoughts, thorns jagging and tearing, barbed-wire in the skull

Depression is: being home to a leprous toad, a putrescent rat, squatting in your soul, seeping foul, noxious fumes into your thoughts

Depression is: pyroclastic flows of misery, magma chambers of broiling fear, lava beds of scalding terror

Depression is: lying entombed in abyssal sediment, rusted and corroded; becalmed and beached on a grey and desolate shore

Depression is: seeking womb-warmth, foetal safety, amniotic comfort, the maternal shield

Depression is: craving monastic solitude, cloistral serenity, turning your face away, hiding under the pillow, loathing the world and its bruised beauty

Depression is: seeing the world through a steel mesh, a black gauze; seeing your life on a film screen, alienated and uninterested, fast-forward to the end.

Depression is: brutal, cosmic loneliness, alone in the Universe, cries fading, unheeded, across the inter-stellar emptiness; galactic grief

Depression is: being flayed alive, eviscerated, exposed to cruel scrutiny and malevolent laughter; nerve-ends quivering in torn, harrowed, scraped flesh

Depression is: limbs encased in concrete, body pressed by iron weights, soul mangled and crushed by geological boredom

Depression is: abject humiliation, avoiding the stranger’s gaze like a wounded animal, imposed servility, crawling abasement, shame-riven, guilt-tossed

Depression is: searching for healing herbs to strew in the chambers of the maimed brain; for aromatic balms and soothing lotions to smear on mind-wounds, soul-lesions

Depression is: the lozenged sunlight on rippling water, the blackbird’s song in the summer warmth, the bluebell’s vibrancy in the woodland glade: seeing all this, recognising all this – but feeling none of it.

Depression is: cupping your hands around the frail, flickering candle-flame of hope, sheltering it from the gusts and tempests that would blow it out and extinguish all light and all hope.

Related issues

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

Related Articles