These past few months have been a tough one after reports of countless suicides surfaced. This alone caused social media sites to be flooded with empowering survival stories, each conveying a strong message of hope. The new hashtag, #faceofdepression, is becoming more viral each day as people involve themselves in widespread conversation. This only further proves that depression is a troublesome disorder.
But what does a depressed individual look like? How does a person with suicidal thoughts really look? You might think they’re the type who’ll fall on the floor crying all night – but no. In reality, they’re just like us common people. You’ll barely even know if one suffers from this disorder.
This is exactly what #faceofdepression wants to convey – the sad truth about depression. See for yourself below.
“My daughter as well. The night before she ended up in the hospital they went to the daddy daughter dance and had an amazing time. Thankfully she’s still alive today and learning to beat her illness. She was 8 at the time” – Rayna Gawel
You can’t tell can you? You can’t tell by the look in my eyes or the sound of my voice even. You’re thinking “You’re smiling though!” Yes. Yes, I am smiling. I smiled for you. I smiled so I don’t make you feel bad. I don’t want you to feel like I do. I also don’t want you to feel like there is something you can do to make me “feel better”.
There isn’t anything anyone can do. I have to work through it on my own. The worst part is that this bout snuck up on me. I recognize the familiarity of it all though. Empty. Lonely. Heavy. Tired. So tired. Everything is loud. Everything is annoying. I have no patience. I want to be left alone. I want to stay in bed. I don’t want to work out. I want to eat everything without cooking anything.
The best part is that I haven’t felt like this in a very long time AND that I recognize it for what is. I’m the one who bakes and does crafts. You see that on the outside but you don’t see the darkness inside. For those that are also suffering….PLEASE SEEK HELP. Treatment is different for each person. Do what is best for you. I’m doing what works for me while I get back to Monique. So for now – I smile, and let people know I’m struggling. – Monique Holley-Peak
“This is my boyfriend two weeks before hanging himself. Will never understand it…” – Agnieszka Ostrowska
“This is my son , right before going to his computer to look up how to properly hang himself. Two days later he followed through.” – Tasha Bernstein Collins
“This is depression in our home. I tried to hang myself in my attic when the board broke and I broke thru the ceiling alerting my family. I fight every day. My husband tries his best but can’t break through. I don’t understand it. I don’t know why I can’t get rid of it. I have a wonderful family. I feel selfish, lost, sick and angry at myself. My brain has always been a little scrambled and I’ve fought just to make it thru school, I can’t keep a job. I can’t stay in task long enough or I take too long. I leave before I get fired. It’s hard to feel worthless and I hate feeling like a burden to my family. I have so much pain inside. I’m in therapy I have meds. All I know is even though I feel like suicide would make life easier for my family, I also feel like if I could just get my head fixed and could be someone worthy, I really would like to stay around. I have been trying for so long I don’t know if it’s gonna happen for me. Today I am here. We will see how tomorrow goes tomorrow. I take it day for day and some times hour by hour. Sometimes i think If I can get through one more hour I’ll go to bed and I’ll sleep til tomorrow and see how it goes. Today has been ok. I’m trying to find something good today to give hope for tomorrow. Today I try.” – Zoe Vanmeter
“My #faceofdepression and yes it is possible to be depressed with a child. Hearing, “You don’t have a reason to be depressed with her around” doesn’t do shit but make me feel worse about myself Being told, “All you need is exercise and a good diet” just makes me want to throat punch you even though you’re coming from a good place Depression keeps you from doing things you want to do because it’s literally a chemical imbalance in your brain.” – Brittany Schroeder
“This is what depression looked like not long before we lost our beloved Luke. Depression is a SERIOUS illness. Don’t dismiss people who are hurting.” – Lisa Althoff
Currently at the doctor seeking help, most have no idea what I’m going through and that I cry in the shower or in the car on my way home from work or can’t sleep at night because of panic attacks
“Bipolar disorder here,(with a heavy emphasis on the depression side)…I get up, put on a full face of makeup, wear a fun dress, all while struggling with depression, anxiety and sometimes suicidal thoughts..” – Stephanie Malanowski- Martin
“Sometimes it looks optimistic. Sometimes it doesn’t. And having a smart, beautiful child doesn’t mean those feelings don’t exist or that they’re not valid. She loves me on my good days and my bad days.” – Jordan Pauline Cain
“Major Depression & PPD here. 3 weeks pp with #2 & going to the doctor is helping. Most times I feel like I’m drowning but last couple of days it’s been easier. Sometimes just talking about it can be cathartic. PLEASE seek help if you need it. It’s not failure. Sometimes you just need a little more time to get your sh*t together and that’s OK, because being a functional parent is hard f****ng work.” – Code Natelli
“When people think about depression, they tend to have a very specific idea of how it manifests itself. I’m in the middle of a very real depressive episode and here I am at work with my plants and headphones.” – Moly Miller
“I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for years and years. I started experiencing symptoms around 12 and wasn’t diagnosed or treated until I was 25. (Early on docs told me I didn’t seem depressed.) Once my kiddo was born, my postpartum depression fused with my everyday depression and I almost lost it. It was my dream to be a happy SAHP, and even though I stayed home for over a year, I felt worse and worse every day. It took all of my energy to make sure my baby was taken care of. I developed severe sleep apnea, gained a lot of weight, and couldn’t function outside of my parental duties.” – Jules Whitney
“Stuck in a panic attack, yes, that’s sweat running down my Face. Battling for 15 years now, the fearless good times in between two bad phases are the reason I’m still fighting. Nevertheless I’m tired to explain what a panic attack feels like or what the reasons are I’m suffering from this disease. It’s not my fault and I don’t want to feel guilty anymore.”
– Steffi Klein
Depressed since high’school, drop’out, one suicide attempt, severely agoraphobic. In my country having a mental illness means that “Your parents didn’t beat you enough”, or, “Your husband should throw you out of the house, maybe then you’ll get a job”. So I learned to smile even in my worst days.
Got diagnosed with borderline a few months ago. Hard to hear but all fell into place. The depressions are hard, very hard. Thankfully i’ve been diagnosed, got a great counselor and am attending group-therapy. Keep strong everyone! – Lieke Van Kinderen
A day on the beach with my beautiful family. All the time hiding deep suicidal thoughts. Men are not allowed to be depressed. Two overdoses, hours of researching ways to die, even planning a trip to Dignitas to take the pressure off my family. –
“The last images we have of my eldest son’s father. Mother’s day 2012. We felt he was making improvements, but Jesse completed suicide June 12, 2012.” -Alora Stegall
“When you put on your war face but inside is where the battle happens.” – Kurtz Frausun
The most touching contribution to the #faceofdepression campaign was a video courtesy of Talinda Bentley, who is the widow of the late Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington. The footage shows the singer laughing and smiling just hours before his devastating suicide. Talinda, like any victims of the disorder, wants the world to know how serious depression is.
If you think or know someone who is struggling with depression, it’s better to ask the hard questions before it’s too late.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 if you or someone you know needs urgent help. Call 1-800-273-8255 or go to their official website to live chat with a counselor.
I’ll end this article with a quote that says,
“People think depression is sadness, crying or dressing in black. But people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb.”
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