Depression: "The Façade of Depression"
As someone who suffers from the silent disease of depression as an ongoing part of my life, I realize there will be times that I cycle through bouts of depression. Sometimes these bouts are shorter than other times. Sometimes it may be more severe or longer than other times.
Throughout the years I realize I have become “the great pretender” during some of these bouts of depression. Most of the people I come in contact with will not be aware of the turmoil that battles with me during those times. My words, my actions, my expressions become what others expect to see from me. So on goes the mask, the smile, the confidence, and I am the dependable person they expect to see.
When I go through those times I know within myself what I need to do. I need tell someone I can trust. This needs to be someone who can allow me to be sad and cry if I need to do so. Someone who is willing to offer endless hugs of reassurance and not judge. However when in the depths of depression, it is very difficult to reach out and share and ask for help even when you have that person even when you KNOW that’s what you SHOULD do (as I have mentioned in a previous blog post about depression).
Depression frightens some people, they are afraid to talk to, approach, encourage, and befriend etc someone who lives with depression. They may even have a tendency to avoid or to judge others who suffer from this silent disease.
Being in the middle of a bout of depression and feeling there is no one to turn to is a very helpless feeling. Inside we are screaming “hug me, listen to me, and allow me to cry, reassure me that I will get through this and you won’t turn your back on me or judge me”. But all too often we (the one who is depressed) will put on the façade. Yup we will put that smile on our face and be the strong, confident person everyone expects us to be. We keep life around us working as well as we can until we no longer can pretend. When we reach that point we have been depressed longer than most people realize. We have been physically and emotionally exhausted and the façade fades away. This is not the case with everyone who suffers from depression but I do believe it represents a large portion of us.
I do realize that “putting myself out there”, regarding this silent disease make me vulnerable to those who may read this. Some will keep their distance; some will pre-judge me or label me; some may dare to challenge me or attack me. But hopefully most will learn and open their hearts to those who suffer from depression.