Monday, December 26, 2016
I pictured the Depressed person to look drained in every sense of the word. I imagined someone thin to the point you can see their collarbone showing beneath the collar of their too-big t-shirt; I imagined messy hair and cold hands; I imagined no make-up and worn-out (grey, for some reason) clothes.
So when the symptoms started showing, I was confused. How could I- someone who spends at least an hour in the bathroom every day to do her hair, who doesn’t go anywhere without her favorite lipstick, who always wears heels, even to go to school – be depressed? That didn’t make any sense. Pretty, well put together girls can’t have that kind of problem. My life isn't that bad. Honestly, what do I have to be depressed about?
Well, it turns out they can. Also, it turns out depression has many different faces, not just the stereotypical one that society has instilled in our minds since the beginning of time.
And while it can look like that sometimes, it can also take a lot of other shapes.
Depression can look like the funny teenage boy who makes everyone laugh during class with his jokes, the one that teachers love just as much as anyone else; it can look like the fit girl you see at the gym, with the ponytail and abs of steel.
Depression can be a family father, a rockstar, a nun; it can be black, asian; straight, gay, bisexual; it can be religious or atheist.
Depression can take any shape and form it wants and that’s maybe what makes it so scary.
As sad and negative as that may sound, though, it also means that you are not actually as alone as you think you are. Just because you don’t see anyone looking like what you imagine a depressed person should, it doesn’t mean that the people surrounding you are not struggling with their own demons. They might be fighting a battle just like yours.
And most importantly, if you don’t look like what you think a depressed person should, it doesn’t make what you’re feeling any less valid or real.
Kindness is certainly not a cure, but it is the first step to a more empathetic and understanding attitude towards depression and those who suffer from it.