The thing that makes depression especially difficult is the fact that it is just like pain. It’s something you can feel but isn’t outright evident to others.
It’s scary that you can feel as if you’re fading away behind the smiles you give people.
And they could never have an inkling of the turmoil you face. And it’s not something that is discussed as openly as it needs to be. You avoid giving a name to it because you worry about how others will see you or think of you as suicidal. People have this notion of the criteria of what justifies depression but it’s not always so black and white.
Sometimes you can have a great life to everyone but you, the person actually living it.
You shouldn’t have to fear that you are wrong to feel the way you do because others have it worse off. You’re allowed to feel how you feel without guilt. What can look like heaven to one person may be hell to another. Each person’s experience of life is different.
We can hurt ourselves more by denying our own feelings rather than facing them.
You see so many commercials advertising to medicate your depression away. Medicine can be an option but I also feel that sometimes it is best to let your feelings show. That way your change in behavior can alert those close to you that you may need support even though you may not have realized it yourself yet. I think Pixar’s film Inside Out exemplified this concept through the dichotomy between Joy and Sadness. It was only by allowing Sadness her chance to be expressed that the parents were alerted to their daughter’s needs.
Maybe if we remove the stigma from depression we can increase the chances of having more people feel comfortable enough to voice it.
If someone trusts you enough to express their feelings of depression, please try to limit judgment and offer your support instead. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional, talking to a professional about your feelings is not weakness.
Mental Health America is a site with great resources on mental health and resources for screening. Daily Strength offers support groups that you can join to express yourself with others who may be where you are mentally. Depression is just as serious as any disease or illness and you don’t have to feel like you’re wrong to feel it.