As it’s Mental Health Day I thought I’d put it out there:
I have depression.
This is very typically flippant of me, but trust me, this is a big deal.
I don’t tell people. 99% of my family and friends don’t know (or at least, I haven’t told them). And that’s the way I like it.
It sounds so BORING and TEDIOUS. And so many people just.do.not.get.it.
‘But what’s wrong?’ Nothing
‘Why do you feel sad?’I don’t know
‘Why don’t you go to the doctor?’I’m scared
And, if I don’t understand it, how can I expect anyone else to? So, I don’t tell people. And I’m sure there’s a lot of you who do the same thing, for similar reasons.
I know it started as PND, and I’ve never completely shaken it off; it waxes and wanes.
Some months I don’t even think about the D word.
Other months I am so gripped by it that I struggle to get out of bed in the morning.
Not that you would know, I’m pretty pro at covering it up (at least, I think I am). I have a good concealing face. Though you can tell. A sure-fire sign is when I stop bothering with my hair, make-up and outfits. That shit seems pretty insignificant when you’re on the verge of walking out the door and never coming back.
I wish this were a slightly more inspirational post, but unfortunately it’s just my truth.
And I suppose that the purpose of it is just to share, because the taboo is still strong, and if I have made one person think ‘Oh, I didn’t know she was depressed’, then my mission has been accomplished.
Because we never know what’s inside someone else. And we never know what they are struggling with.
For me, I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want a label, I don’t want the inevitable ‘But what have you got to be depressed about?’ comments.
Just a little understanding if I flake out on you. And maybe a genuine ‘How are you?’ and a sympathetic ear to the answer. Just a little human decency, really.
I wouldn’t dream of generalising, but I think care and understanding is at the crux of helping all human illnesses, both physical and emotional.
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt,
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter,
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care.