What Depression Looks Like
Black clothes, black hair, bangs that cover their eyes, tattoos on their arms, and a melancholy personality. That's what I thought depression looked like back in junior high thanks to all the stereotypes and prejudices. I know for a fact those stereotypes and prejudices are most of the time completely wrong.
I've learned that people who suffer from depression are usually the people you would least expect it from. They are sometimes the people with the loudest laugh, biggest personality, kindest soul, largest smile, or wear the brightest clothes. I'm not sure if the reason for those attributes are to hide the depression or if it's just a coincidence.
Behind closed doors though, for me personally, is a totally different story. I have spent many nights crying, sometimes for a reason and sometimes for no reason (that's part of my anxiety as well). I have looked at other people's social media accounts wishing my life was as cool as theirs. Until I took a step back and looked at my own social media pages... my life looked pretty put together from an outsider's point of view. That's when I realized that maybe there were more people who were suffering from depression than I thought.
This realization is the reason why I made this blog. I remember in my outpatient program I had said that I couldn't look at any social media at the time. It was hard for me to look at other people smiling and having a great time when I was sitting in my outpatient program. I had said, "You don't see anyone posting 'Oh just checking in at my mental illness outpatient program'". That's when someone in my program said, "Well why can't we?" We then talked about embarrassment and self-esteem issues for a half hour.
Here I am now saying that I was in a mental illness outpatient program for a month and a half. No one knew this besides my close family and friends, and now maybe you. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I didn't feel like I could post anything because nothing in my life at that time felt worthy to show off.
Instead of being ashamed or embarrassed by it now, I'm sharing this all with you so you know you're not alone. I wish I had known more about the people that were on my social media also suffering from depression and anxiety. I wish I really knew how someone's life was instead of assuming how it was based on their social media. I wish I knew how easy it is to make your life look so perfect on social media. I wish I had someone who seemed to have it all figured out reach out to me and tell me I wasn't alone.
That's why I'm here for you now. I want to be that person for you.