I saw this picture a little while ago and thought it represented how other peoples perceptions of depression have made me feel.
Social media is full of people sharing every little detail about their seemingly perfect lives. They spend so much time seeking attention from others with posts of their perfectly dressed children, their expensive new purchases, their fabulous social lives and perfectly presented houses. Photographs are carefully selected and filtered to show themselves in the best possible light. They create an elaborate online identity and hope that others will be envious of what they have. The problem I have with this, is when so many people are being celebrated for being fake it makes things much harder for those of us who are feeling sad or perhaps not looking our best to speak out and be understood.
In my own experience I’ve found that sometimes people are only interested in your happy times and don’t want to be around for you when you need them the most. It almost feels like depression might be contagious. They don’t want anyone bursting their little bubble. I hear things like “you’re always so negative” or “cheer yourself up”, comments that are more about making things easier for them to be around me, than actually making things easier for me. It is hard to be around someone with depression, I really do get that, but its a million times harder for me to be around myself. People stay away and carry on with their own lives, until I’m ready to hold up that sign to say I’m not sad anymore, you can come back now. Depression is a really lonely place to be. So instead of wasting time creating an imaginary, perfect life online, try letting someone in who needs a little help to be positive. Try living in the real world, where it’s not always happiness and light. Speak up when you’re having a bad day and post those selfies that show you as you are. There might be one of your friends who really could do with a bit of help to feel less alone.