Learn the Different Words People From Around the World Use to Describe Depression

Are you depressed? Of course you are. Who isn’t! It’s hard not to be these days, what with climate change, capitalism, and COVID-19 doing their best to make us miserable. And yet, there is something about the fact that we are all in this together that makes depression seem doable. Kind of. In this spirit of solidarity, we reached out to depressed friends around the globe to hear their stories, learn their coping methods, and better understand how this thing called ‘depression’ effects us all. Most importantly, we found out what everyone calls their depression, which brought a smile to our faces so fleeting, you might have missed it. We hope we can do the same for you.

Let’s start where depression was invented – Russia. Our Russian friend Petrol sent us this quick story about depression and what it’s like being depressed in his hometown of Chernobyl.

Petrol. 32. Chernobyl, Russia. When I first started feeling anxious and depressed, my mother would come to me and say ‘This is just a part of life. Everyone experiences The Bad now and again. It’s up to you to find a way to enjoy living through The Bad and The Good.’ So ever since then, I’ve always referred to my depression as ‘The Bad.’ If only my mother were still around and hadn’t mutated into that goat-eating monster we all fear in the night.

Once Petrol shared his experience, more people started telling us their stories about depression and ‘The Bad.’ Most of these answers have been put through Google translate, so they might not be as clear as the original language, but we think you get the point.

Chi Li. 25. Hong Kong. I’ve always considered my depression to be a parasite growing within me. So, like the parasite I’ve had living within me since I was 12, I decided to name my depression Jim. Sometime’s it is just easier to call it ‘Jim’ than tell my friends what is really going on with me.

Betty Susan. 17. Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Well we always just called it The Blues. Even though blue is my favorite color, I think it is fitting. I just hope people don’t think every shade of blue is sad.

Aman Shara. 49. New Delhi, India. For as long as I can remember, there has always been something running around my mind that I just can’t put my finger on. It always eludes me, leaving me sad and unknown. I call it Ender.

June Talbot. 92. Johannesburg, South Africa. When we were growing up, it was hard. Like really hard. And for a long time it was hard, so it’s tough to really talk about that time. But, when I look back and think about it, I always see a tall figure standing over me with antlers stretching out wider and wider the more I look. The Wendigo is what we called it here, I’m not sure if people call it this in other places. It’s the thing that turns your dreams sour and sucks away your life force. One day I’ll give in to The Wendigo and leave all of this behind. I’m terrified and exhilarated all at once.

Kusiya Choque. 29. Oruro, Bolivia. My mother told me about the Deathflower when I was only 10, because that was when the first signs of depression began to show. She told me it would be something I lived with, but that I was never to give in to what it wanted. I was to resist it my entire life and that was my burden. And I have, I just wish I could say the same about her.

Wow. That didn’t help at all.

Until next time!


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