What is it like?
It's like drowning, in the most terrifying way you can imagine. You are in a large enclosed room, there are no windows, no doors, no way out. All the walls are made of glass, and everyone else is on the outside, with their faces pressed against it, distorting their features, watching you, as the room fills up with water. None of them care, none of them want to help you, some of them are laughing.
The water is icy, rank and putrid. It fills the room: slowly, painfully.
You can do nothing but tremble and cry out from the bone-chilling pain, you can no longer feel your feet. It's rising up above your knees, lapping at your thighs. Slowly, slowly. The faces outside are colder, harsher.
Now it's reached your shoulders, your heart is frozen. You've stopped caring about the people outside, you just want it to stop, want it to be quick, want this terrifying pain to end.
It's round your neck now, it's got you in a chokehold. It's rising more slowly now, creeping upwards. You're going to die, just not yet; your torture is being prolonged. It hurts. It hurts so much.
It's covering your mouth and it's round your nostrils, you try to accept it: let it flow into your lungs and submerge you completely. You can't, you're your own worst enemy. Your legs kick up and you're desperately battling against it: this slow, excruciating torrent. Treading water, staying alive with no hope of living. You try to fight it, you kick, you scream, but there's nothing you can do. You're completely at it's mercy.
These people, they're still there, outside, only now they've turned their backs. They don't want to watch it anymore, they've chosen to ignore it now. You punch at the glass until the pain breaks through the icy numbness. It bites. It feels good. The glass won't break, and nobody can hear you, they've stopped listening anyway.
The room is almost full, and you're exhausted. Your limbs ache, and you just want it to end. The water level has almost reached the ceiling, your head keeps smashing painfully against it and you're forced to tilt it right back as you desperately gulp at the last little bit of air. Only now the water is in your mouth, your nose, your ears. It's filling up the back of your throat and it's in your lungs and you can't breathe can't breathe can't breathe....
...you're chilled to the bone but it burns, acrid and harsh and unbearable. You gasp and gulp, but there's only water now, the cruel water, and it rushes in and claims you. It's inside you. It defines you. It drags on, still so painfully slow.
It's gentle now, caressing you, calming you... but you aren't you anymore, it's got you. It's dragged you under and now you're just an empty shell, washed along in the relentless torrent.
That is what depression is like.