Chris Abatzis – Death To Stock
What Does Depression Look Like?
Depression doesn’t have a face or the ability to switch off.
Have you heard the story of the Hollywood Star that made the world laugh with his comedy but then committed suicide?
Or how the reality television participant who seemed to be living the life but then took her own? How about the world-renowned author that channelled her depression into a series of magical books?
“He can’t be depressed; he goes to work everyday”
The overwhelming feeling of sadness engulfs you the minute you walk into your home.
All necessary tasks like eating and washing become irrelevant; your only motivation is to get to work and function. The motivation disappears, priorities change, and your thoughts change.
This evening it’s just you and this ‘black cloud’ for company.
“She can’t have depression; she goes out with her friends!”
Your friends see you all dressed up. Your followers hit like on the fire selfie you uploaded in the club bathroom.
The drinks are flowing, and the music is blaring, but you’re sitting in a corner, people-watching, overthinking, slowly sinking into a hole of rumination and negative thought patterns.
The world seems to be moving in slow motion as you sit and stare into the abyss, not seeing anything or anyone in front of you.
You showed up because, for whatever reason, you felt you had to.
Chris Abatzis – Death To Stock
There is no set list of symptoms for any mental health disorder, just as our minds are unique, as is each person’s ill mental health episode.
How a person appears during bouts of ill mental health does not necessarily determine how they are feeling or how well they are. Just as we can smile at a passerby or thank a shop assistant for their help when we are mentally well, the same can be done during periods of ill mental health.
The friend who listens to your problems always and has a massive smile on her face every day could be the one suffering the most. To be depressed is not necessarily to walk around with slumped shoulders, a defeated demeanour and a negative outlook on life. We must also remember that ill mental health comes in waves.
A person might – or seem to – have a long period of excellent mental health but deal with episodes of depression every so often. Depression is not limited to specific circumstances or situations. Each disorder and circumstance is unique to any individual.
Why does depression mean we cannot be seen in public?
The individual you see out with their friends has a story to tell. If you sat down and talked with her about her feelings, she might tell you what it took for her to get to the restaurant.
You’d find out how she’s feeling despite her displaying a smile on her face. She might even divulge what she’s feeling right then or how hard things have been for her lately and for how long. You might also hear why she decided to come out that night.
The male co-worker you see daily, who smiles and says ‘Good Morning’ to everyone, has more to him than his outgoing personality. Have you ever asked him how he is? I mean really asked him, and wanted an answer longer than the generic ‘Not too bad’ response?
You might find out that although he gets things done at work, his home life is a different story. It may seem like he has his life together at work, but you might be able to decipher from his chat that he struggles with life behind closed doors. He functions at work, but anything outside that routine drastically overwhelms him. You might find out why he can turn up to work. You might be able to find out why he’s depressed.
How can we recognise that someone around us is depressed?
A person will not always admit to feeling depressed, so it is the communication between you that could alert you to how they are feeling.
It’s not always the case that we stop and make time to hear how a person is doing, but those little moments could save someone’s life.
The truth is, we can never really know what someone is thinking, but there is a way to delve deeper and get some inside information. Only then can we make an effort to really be there for someone.
*Originally published in 2018 on KikiBlahBlah.com. Written by El Formosa, writer and former editorial assistant for Mental Movement Magazine. Creator of Mental Health in Music.
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