In the wake of recent events, it seems to me that much of the general public has a misconception of what depression actually looks like.
Most people see depression as this:
They picture in their head a person overcome by sadness. They have this forlorn look,even crying. Maybe a little unkempt, unshowered and still in their pajamas. The problem is too many people equate depression with extreme sadness. They only see the stereotypical version of the disorder. And sometimes is actually does look like this. However, more often than not, it looks completely different.
To be honest, depression sometimes looks like this:
I was on my way to a training for a job I love. I was riddled with anxiety. I wanted nothing more to crawl into my bed and disappear into my sheets. My mind was swirling and I felt like I was drowning.
Or my depression can look like this:
I am spending a amazing day in a canoe with my family. I wanted nothing more to enjoy that day. All I could think to myself is my family deserves better than me.
Then there are days my depression looks like this:
My children are my entire world. I couldn’t imagine my life without them. Yet, there are days where I wonder what their life would be without me. The thought of “how much better it would be with a mom who wasn’t always drowning in her own thoughts” wanders through my brain.
Even when I doing something that truly brings me joy, depression can creep up. Then it looks like this:
The fact of the matter is depression has many faces. There is no one true look of depression. In my own experience, I have learned to live with it. I have mulled and muddled through my day just trying o get the the next. And yes, there have been days where I had come close to giving up. I have come close to being too tired to carry the weight on my shoulders. There are days when the burden seems too much. I can’t sit here and honestly say what keeps me going. I think there has not enough straws yet to break the camel’s back. I just pray every day that I never find that breaking point.
I just know that I am not alone in my battle. I am one of many. I think the more we talk, the more we can shed light on the matter. The more me understand what depression really looks like, the better able we are to reach out and help save someone. Just because someone doesn’t look depressed, does not mean they aren’t feeling depressed.