Monday, June 8, 2015

The Face of Depression

The other day I was chatting with some coworkers about Facebook and the things that people tend to share with others through the bravery that is social media. My one co-worker shared that one of her close friends, a neighbor, recently posted about how she has been battling depression the last few years, some days so bad she can barely get out of bed, and that she just wanted everyone to know. My co-worker continued about how shocked she was that not only did her friend share this information on Facebook, but that she suffered at all. She explained that by looking at her, you never would have guessed she was depressed.

So what does depression look like?

Depression looks like your best friend, your sister, your mother, your co-worker. Depression looks happy and cool. Depression looks interested, but too busy to interact with you. Depression carries itself through each day carrying on conversations with you just like it always has, returning a text, commenting on your Facebook status......depression can look just like you.

Depression does not come with a list of features a person must portray in order to be diagnosed. You cannot always tell by talking to someone. You can not always tell by being near someone. You can not tell by asking, because a person with depression will not tell you.

So if there is no sure way to know what it looks like, how can we help the loved ones in our lives that are suffering? How do we know they need our help? Well, the easiest way would be to stop being an asshole. Be a little less selfish. Just be a friend to everyone, even on the days you really don't feel like it. But the realistic answer is that you can't. You need to hope that you've created a bridge of trust that if a person in your life was suffering, that they can confide in you and seek help in your shelter. Depression will not call you on the phone and invite you over to hear about it's day, but it will sit and stay awhile if you genuinely want to hear what it has to say. Depression doesn't want to be judged or told to get over it, or that it's just a phase and this too shall pass; depression is suffering and doesn't need to be negated into something less than it thinks it already is.

Depression is the opposite of everything you thought it was. It does not have a face. It does not have a stereotype. It does not judge and can find a home in anyone. 

No comments:

Post a Comment