Do You Really See Me?
I often sit here and wonder this question: Do you really see me, or do you just see the smile on my face and assume everything is OK?
Depression is something that is often hidden away deep inside a person, eating them from the inside out. It is not something that you can put a bandage on and often not something that many people will admit to.
It is often seen as a sign of weakness and not something mentioned. It is an illness that is so often fought alone, too often without medical help or ability to help through this difficult time.
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Do You Really See Me The Person With Depression
I know outwardly, I look fine, I am lucky to have a loving family. However, what you don’t see is the pain I feel on the inside.
I have learnt ways to manage my depression and anxiety, but I have little ‘tells’ that my hubby is great at noticing. He knows when I just don’t feel like me!
It is the ability to hide those feelings, to disguise those emotions and to suffer those bad days isolating ourselves from the world because it is too painful to even think about.
This is what makes depression so difficult, not only to diagnose but to understand that what you are feeling isn’t normal and there are measures you can take that will make this world a more bearable place!
Hiding In Plain Sight
It is so difficult to imagine mental illness, it is a condition that is so easily missed. The symptoms which people may suffer from can and do vary, you might be surprised that there are different types of depression too!
What is so difficult to understand, is how easy it is to not notice a person is suffering from the illness. It is often hiding behind a pretend wall, but however hard you look it is still easy to miss!
The most important thing you can do is talk to a person, make sure they are feeling OK and that you are there for them if they need to talk.
Talking about how you feel and letting people know about your insecurities is not easy. Often people who suffer from depression dislike talking. They don’t think their feelings are worthy of being important enough to want to share them.
Finding Someone You Trust
This is the hardest thing for a person to do, finding the support and understanding of another person, someone you can trust and to open up to that person.
To talk to someone about how you are feeling, the thoughts that are going through your head isn’t the easiest of tasks. However, it is one of the most important first steps to managing and possibly even recovering from this depressive episode.
Sometimes, it is easier to speak to a professional like a doctor or counsellor, they’re trained in the medical condition. It is less personal and sometimes easier than talking to someone you know well, like a friend or family member.
So, while you might want to reach out and talk to someone who you feel might need some support, let them know you are there for them but don’t pressure them into talking.
Sometimes just attending an appointment, is worth more than words can express.
I have found cognitive behavioral theory a great help whilst going through my own therapy!
Putting On A Front: Do You Really See Me?
It is so easy to hide feelings from other people, it is even easy to hide and find excuses in your own mind for not seeking help.
There is too much at risk for some people to want to ask for help. They see a mental illness as a weakness a sign that they are not up to the job!
If you had any other illness you would seek medical attention and you would seek support and understanding. With mental illness it is different and it is this difference that I am fighting to change.
I am lucky that I have the medical help I need, my depression is manageable, there are days that I can manage it better than others but I know I have the support of some great people who I can turn to if I need more help.
Away From The Familiar: Do You Really See Me?
However, away from the people I know, I don’t go out of my way and talk about my depression, except for right here! I don’t expect people to understand how I feel or are even interested in my current mental health.
It is, therefore, easier for me to put on a front, to put on a fake smile and pretend everything is fine!
However, there comes a point where you do have to talk, you do have to discuss your feelings; making sure that you find the right person who will understand and support you is important.
Have you ever felt invisible to the people around you? Comment below!
Do you really see me, is about seeing me behind the screen I erect around myself, my defences against the whole world.
Being aware of how these defences get built can help you watch these being built by other people and offering the right help and understanding is the most important action you can take with a person suffering from depression!
Looking for more articles on depression? Check out, Why Depression Affects Organizing!