Jul 27, 2016
Through drawings or illustrations, you can understand more than thousands of words put together could ever convey. Besides, when there are pictures involved, the audience is always more engaged – especially when it comes to mental illnesses such as depression.
And we need understanding desperately!
Well well, wouldn’t you know, people don’t understand what depression feels like any more than they understand how to nail green jelly to the wall. Imagine that! I feel myself slipping into cynicism again, so have mercy on me. It’s just, I grow weary of trying to explain myself. Maybe this will help. There are 13 graphs that explain what depression feels like better than any old report. These images put the facts of depression in your face so that you cannot substitute the truth with some motivational speech.
Let’s take a look at these images, shall we.
1. Unfortunately, most people assume that depression represents one thing, and one thing only – sadness. Depression is almost like an entity, it has layers, and these layers can be peeled away to reveal the true picture. Depression represents things like hopelessness, self-loathing and anxiety as well. So try to see the whole image.
2. With depression, productivity levels are low, that is, except for the time spent mustering up the energy to get out of bed in the morning. That takes loads of energy, and this is where a huge portion of energy stores are spent. I’m serious! So is this condition.
3. Guess what? There are sick days and then there are ‘sick’ days. One of the most unfortunate issues with depression is that companies do not allow mental health days. Most of us have to lie about why we cannot go to work. Some days, we are simply in the corner trying to gain the courage to go outside. Now, how would you explain that your employer without sounding irresponsible?
4. When people minimize depression, it makes the mentally ill feel hopeless. Most people who don’t understand what depression feels like and make it seem like a minor setback are prone to have all the advice about what would make you feel better. They love to tell you that you should just ‘be happy’ and ‘start exercising’, but they lack the ability to talk and provide comfort. Odd, isn’t it?
5. I will make this one short. There are good days, but unfortunately, most of us spend our good days being worried about when the good days will end. It’s a trap. Worrying of this nature leads to more bad days.
6. When the others see you attempting to heal, they don’t expect you to fall down again, but you do. Healing is not a straight course. During the healing process, we endure many setbacks. In fact, healing, as far as depression goes, is generally a life-long journey of, you got it, ups and downs.
7. When you have depression, you shouldn’t try to be friends with everyone. There are some people, toxic people, who you have to let go. These people tend to make you feel like you are too much trouble for the effort. True friends will do what it takes to help you and be there for you.
8. I might pretend so that you don’t feel bad about failing me, but I don’t just cheer up because you think I should. It doesn’t work that way. I wait for you to leave and then return to how I really feel. Telling me to cheer up is a waste of time.
9. I bet you’ve heard loads of people say, “I’m depressed.” More times than not, they are not suffering from depression, they are the ones who are just sad. People throw words around and lessen the meaning. This, as well, does not lead to healing for those who are really sick.
10. I weep for my lost dreams on a daily basis. I want to do so many things, and these things are humanly possible within my day. The problem is, there is this huge wall between me and what I want to do.It’s not just an easy task and no, I cannot just do it. Sometimes it gets so bad, and I think of something I need to do, but the wall is there…and I start to panic. When this happens, there’s no way I can tackle that wall.
11. Yes, we do make mountains out of molehills, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s part of our perception of things. What’s worse is when we get angry with ourselves, we are just as critical – regret and condemnation. Yeah, everything seems bigger than it should be.
12. I dealt with this one today while brushing my hair. I was so tired that I couldn’t finish without crying. I wasn’t crying because I couldn’t physically finish, I was crying because I was tired of everything and tired of trying each day to be better. Tired means many things, but mainly it refers to a condition which cannot be fixed with rest.
13. I’m leaving you with a light at the end of the tunnel. You are stronger than you think. Don’t give up.
Face the facts, depression is real, serious and complicated. But with education and an open mind, you can help yourself and your loved ones learn to cope with their darkness. I hope these graphs, along with my words, will shed light on what depression feels like. And remember, sometimes, words aren’t enough. Those who suffer from depression need to see that you care and are trying to understand. They need an illustration of love.
After all, true healing comes from true love and understanding. Just keep trying, it means so much.