Mental Health is still a taboo subject in todays world somehow. It is still a subject people would rather brush under the carpet and either forget about it or bring it back up another time. The best time to focus and talk about mental health is NOW!
With a growing suicide rate and a younger demographic, mental health isn’t something we should be taking lightly. It is serious. It is valid and it is just as important as physical health.
What Depression Looks Like
To most, this is the common idea of what ‘depression’ looks like. Tears, Puffy red eyes, tired, ill looking, lack of happiness, always sad etc. And yes, you aren’t wrong for having this in mind when the ‘D’ word comes to mind, but there is a common misconception in that people don’t consider that depression can appear in many different ways, amongst many different people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and abilities.
The way we present ourselves is individual. Not all of us will be in bed, sobbing and feeling loss of appetite. Not all of us will look down. Not all of us will talk about things that are bothering us. Some of us may grieve and express ourselves openly on media about the reality behind their computer screens, and some will not. Some will mask their pain and only post about good days. All of these things are how each of us cope, all so differently and it makes identifying mental illness difficult to the naked eye.
This picture to your right is also ‘Depression’.
How many times have you heard someone say:
” You don’t have anything wrong with you, don’t be silly!”
” She’s not depressed, have you seen her posts on Instagram and Facebook”
” She’s just seeking attention. Look at how happy she looks on these pictures”
Well, yes, exactly. I’ve heard these thousands of times. The amount of people who have made comments to my mum saying that there’s nothing wrong with me and that I seem happy on my facebook posts… This is missing the mark hugely! Here are some reasons we can be depressed or mentally ill and still post on media as if we’re having the time of our lives… Dun Dun Duuuun (drum roll)… We only post what we want you to see. We don’t want to post pictures of us crying into our cups of tea. We don’t want to burden others with our troubles, and most of all, some of us find admitting our struggles embarrassing and feel judged.
Depression amongst most other mental illness is invisible sometimes, so keep that in mind. My depression has made me bed ridden, but I’ve also had days where I have carried that depression out and about and met with friends for lunch or been to a big work meeting etc.
Depression and Mental Illness have many faces
Depression isn’t one symptom. It isn’t just sadness and crying.
Depression isn’t just a moment of sadness or disappointment. It is deep within. It is a pain that is hard to shake off. It is hopelessness, feeling useless, scared, anxious, heartbroken, exhausted, lonely, talentless and doomed. It is so many things that some will understand and others will not. Depression is to the individual, we could all express it in different ways, just as we can all hide it in different ways.
Depression can be an absence from gatherings or even online.
Depression can be an Instagram grid full of sad quotes.
Depression can be an Instagram grid full of selfies and good times.
Depression can be a laughing, joking, humorous person.
Depression can be that girl who is always the life and soul of the party!
Depression is a weight we bare. It is an anchor we carry, drag or it drags us etc. Depression can be heavy, light, medium weight, but it’s there. No matter how little or big it can be, some of you may never see it. Some of you may never know it exists in those closest to you.
Depression can be a person who is financially troubled, but it can also be a rich business man.
Depression can be someone who has their dream career and someone who is out of a job.
Depression can be within the walls of anyone we see daily in life or on screens. We all wear masks, some thicker than others. Don’t be ignorant when it comes to mental health and illness, for those who we believe have the world at their feet could be hurting inside and some of us would never know.
Talk. Ask how someone is. Let’s prevent people suffering in silence.
Depression and mental Illness have many faces.