The Faces of Depression

If one were asked to draw a picture of what a depressed person looks like, most likely the drawing would look as described below (because I can’t draw).

The person would be slumped over, head down, emotionless face.

Yup, that’s what some depressed people look like.

Maybe you could draw a little black cloud hovering over the head, or a black dog nipping at the person’s heels.

Some could have a bottle of booze in their hands.

Some will be on such an ambitious high (mania) they believe they can conquer the world. Some will overcompensate for the shame they feel about being depressed, they will go to great lengths to hide it, if they are able. Oh! I forgot…some can be the nasty, mean ass you want to avoid.

Some can’t hide it, and we are afraid of them.

The depressed get by until we can’t. It is my hope to take the shame out of mental illness in order to seek professional help to live in spite of mental illness.

IMG_0680

A better place in a blog post for this picture of the head I found.

It takes a village, really, to help a person see that something isn’t quite right with an individual. Then it takes a warrior to seek help because the ‘cure’ doesn’t happen overnight. The struggle will last a lifetime.

However, the lifetime struggle is manageable if you have the proper help. Life can become what you make of it. A person is able to find joy again……we have to learn how to fight against the depression—or anxiety.

So….next time you see that beautiful person with a smile plastered upon their face, that wonderful gentleman tipping his hat to you–do they even do that anymore? A person laughing at a party. The person telling the best jokes. The person going out of their way to help the less fortunate. The person who makes you laugh. The angry complainer….pay attention to the subtleties– you never know what great lengths they are taking to hide their inner turmoil.

Am I an expert regarding the actions of others? No.

I am, however, an expert in how I ‘hid’ my depression. I have a suspicion I’m not the only one who sits on that mask of depression-lack of self esteem-lack of self image…..so that nobody will find out what secrets lie in our minds.

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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17 Responses to The Faces of Depression

  1. aviets says:

    Truth. Thank you for continuing to fight the fight, April. Hugs.

  2. mewhoami says:

    Shame and depression should never go hand in hand. No one should be ashamed for what they must deal with – if only others understood just how difficult and real that is, then they would have more compassion. I’ve hidden behind that mask a great deal during my life; hiding my pain, my feelings, my inner torment. It’s a lonely place to be and we should never feel as though we must remain imprisoned there.

  3. This is such an accurate, honest post that only one who has lived it can write. Thank you.

  4. CAROL GARNER says:

    so will stated…keep it up…..let the world know…WRITE A BOOK XOXOXO

    • April says:

      I have a mind that is all over the place. I don’t know if I could make a book flow smoothly that people could understand it. 😀

  5. Tammi Kale says:

    No – you by far aren’t the only one. Each of us has periods where we can relate to what you’re saying, I’m sure. I believe the refusal to admit to yourself that you’re depressed, in many cases, is a state of being in denial.

    • April says:

      Yes, denial describes it. I don’t want to be this way, but I’m trying to live with the cards I’ve been dealt. With the right combination of medications I can follow what I learned through therapy.

  6. You are good for us April. So very good.

  7. So well said, April!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your journey. I so hope one day the stigma surrounding mental illness will no longer exist.
    Your post could have perfectly described my daughter. The smile that hides all the pain and self loathing. I have even had people tell me that my daughter couldn’t possibly suffer from depression (or be that bad…) because they see her smile. The smile is such a lie.
    Big hugs to you. I appreciate you putting yourself out there. You are making the world a better place.

    • April says:

      Thank you for saying that I’m making the world a better place. If I can help one person to understand depression or one person to seek help without shame, then I’ve completed what I set out to do. 🙂

  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    I was going to write a long comment, but during the process I realized I had a post forming.

    Anyway, even though I agree that the ugly stigma of mental illness still exists, it is slowly changing. There are so many these day with postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are being treated for it without the fear of shame coming into the mix.

    • April says:

      My opinion….PTSD seems to be more accepted because there is a reason for the depression. It’s us average depressives who may or may not have had major triggers that affected our lives, who suffer from the stigma. I agree, though, one step at a time.

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