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What's the worst part of depression? These Twitter users are speaking up.

#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs is an essential mental health hashtag.

Like most mental illness, depression is widely misunderstood by those who don't live with it.

I, like tens of millions of others, live with depression. To me, one of the most challenging aspects of depression is the simple fact that most people — even the most well-meaning — won't really understand. And try as they might, they won't be able to help.

One of my favorite illustrations of this comes from a comic by Robot Hugs. The comic imagines if people treated physical illness the way they often treat mental illness.



You wouldn't respond to someone injecting insulin to treat their diabetes by saying, "I don't think it's healthy that you have to take medication every day just to feel normal," so why would you say that to someone taking antidepressants? Comic by Robot Hugs.

Too often, depression is seen as simply feeling sad. That isn't accurate.

Everyone gets sad. It's totally normal. Having a down day doesn't make you "depressed," just like cleaning your house doesn't make you "OCD" Taking these clinical terms and assigning them to situations that don't apply dilutes what they really mean.


This is Sadness. She's similar, but not the same as depression. GIF via Disney/Pixar's "Inside Out."

It helps to make sure we're all using the same definition. So, without further ado, here's how the World Health Organization describes depression (emphasis mine):

"Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Suicide results in an estimated 1 million deaths every year."

Perhaps the best way to understand the "hidden burden" of depression is to listen to the stories of whose who have it.

People are using the hashtag #TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs to describe what it's like living with depression.

It's a powerful, diverse look at how varied — although tied together by a few common threads — these stories are.

To some, the worst part is the overwhelming need to pretend nothing is wrong. People are told to "put on a brave face," "try to have fun," or simply to smile to overcome their depression. Trying to follow this advice can be emotionally exhausting.


For others, the worst is the feeling of being in a standoff with your own mind. As this Twitter user says in another tweet, "#TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs fighting a disorder that wants to kill you."



In many situations, those living with depression feel physically or emotionally exhausted. The depressed mind frequently uses this as a way to make you feel even worse.



For others, it's something else entirely. Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint an issue. Instead, it's a combination of so many things.


But whatever the worst part of depression is, it's nice knowing there are others out there fighting the same battle.

And to those cheering from the sidelines, the tag provides some great insight that you might otherwise have missed out on.

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@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

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This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

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Nazis demanded to know if ‘The Hobbit’ author was Jewish. He responded with a high-class burn.

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Goebbels' new regulations essentially eliminated Jewish people from participating in mainstream German cultural activities by requiring them to have a license to do so.

This attempt by the Nazis to purge Germany of any culture that wasn't Aryan in origin led to the questioning of artists from outside the country.

Nazi book burning via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

Spikes line the concrete to prevent sleeping.


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Norine Dworkin-McDaniel's son came home from school one day talking about Newton's first law of motion.

He had just learned it at school, her son explained as they sat around the dinner table one night. It was the idea that "an object at rest will remain at rest until acted on by an external force."

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