Many describe a heaviness and difficulty getting out of bed. When Jennisse Peatick, 36, of Hillsborough, N.J., gets down, "I am in the bottom of a well and it is a very gray cloudy day and I am looking up at this insurmountable cloudy day and I can't climb out," she says. "It is silent and very isolating." Watch one patient describe his experience.
Too many people suffer in silence
As many as half of all people with depression suffer for years without treatment, and Williams was one of them until friends forcefully intervened. "A couple of friends saved me. They got worried when I hadn't answered the phone for a couple of days. They knocked on the door and I still wouldn't answer. So they got the key from the concierge downstairs and came in." They got her out of bed and made her take a shower. Then one of them gave Williams the name of a good therapist who got her on the road to recovery with medication and weekly psychotherapy sessions.
Jim Hawkins, 78, of Rockville, Md., says the feeling of being depressed is almost indescribable. "I tell ya, I've had some miserable physical experiences burst appendix, a slammed door on a finger, abscessed teeth, horrible. But I would cheerfully have all three of those, the pain of all that, than to go through the pain of depression again."