Fake Expressions and Hidden Emotions: Are You Secretly Being Consumed By Depression?

All too often, we as a society tend to overlook the importance of maintaining great mental health. We acknowledge the mental illnesses we classify as “more serious” such as schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. We typically, as a whole, agree that a person should definitely receive treatment and support for those “serious” mental illnesses. However, when one mentions the word “depression”, society’s reaction is typically different. Why is that? Why are we inclined to feel that the mental illness, depression, is less serious than any other mental illness? I’ve heard people say many things to a person truly suffering from depression:

“Just pray. You will be fine.”

“There is nothing wrong with you. You’re just seeking attention.”

“Here you go having another one of your episodes. I’m over you putting on that woe-is-me act.”

“Just take your medicine and go to counseling. What is so hard about that?”

“You must like being sad. You have the freedom to feel whatever emotion you want to feel. Sadness is what you choose”

“You aren’t going to take your own life. How many times have you said that before?”

How do I know all of this? Sure, I’ve been down at times. We all go through trials that knock us off balance in life sometimes. However, this blog post isn’t dedicated to me. This post is to serve as the voice for a family member whose name I won’t mention. I love this family member with every part of my heart. I would go to the ends of the world for this person because this person has been to the ends of the world for me. I would not be a college graduate today without this person’s help with my son and their constant encouragement. I’ve watched this family member grow from the time of birth to their adulthood. It hurts my heart to know that every negative comment above has been said to my family member. What hurts worse is witnessing the self-esteem of my family member diminish before my eyes as result of the things that have been said. It hurts to witness my family member wanting to give in to depression and give up on life. It hurts to know that I can’t lift that weight of this family member myself. Comments such as the ones that are mentioned above reflect the natural reasoning of the rational person with good mental health. However, I will be the voice for those that are unable to have a voice loud enough to speak for themselves.

Depression is very real. It should not be taken lightly. It should not be overlooked if you ever feel that you are personally depressed. Today, I am