My depression looks like…

I used to think depression looked like someone crying all the time, someone with a sad face who is weeping and wailing. And sometimes depression does look like that! But not always.

Last year I had a really bad time with my mental health, I hit a big wall and I couldn’t shake it. I struggled to exist, it was a really dark and terrible time. Through talking therapy and antidepressants, I came through that valley of sadness to a place where I could see the light again.

Im still on antidepressants and for me they have been a life saver. But last week I found out that my surgeries haven’t worked and I have another hernia. My stomach is a map of scars and underneath I have adhesions and mesh and pig skin and all sorts of pain and discomfort and it’s hit me hard.

I feel low and I’m struggling, I can’t come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably never be better, that I may always struggle with pain and I won’t be physically fit and healthy for the rest of my life.

And it got me thinking about how my depression looks and just how different it is from person to person.

My depression looks like a smile, a forced cheery “I’m fine!”, it looks like me sleeping a lot, it looks like me avoiding friends. My depression looks like me wearing a hat because I can’t bring Myself to shower and my hair is dirty. My depression looks like me pushing through and managing to work and be cheerful to the outside world.

My depression looks like me crying because I missed the blackberries in my allotment. It looks like my stiff upper lip as I excuse myself to sit with my head between my knees in the loo because I can’t breathe and it’s all too much. It looks like me smiling too big and laughing too forced because I don’t want you to see my sadness because if you’re nice to me it will all spill out and I don’t want to scare you.

It looks like brief moments of honesty when I can bring myself to write things like this.

Depression takes many forms, don’t be mistaken into thinking the person smiling in front of you is a-ok.

If you’re reading this and have depression, could you do me a favour and share what your depression looks like using #mydepressionlookslike – because I honestly believe that by talking and sharing we can create a more nurturing, understanding and caring environment where depression stops being a taboo,where people stop suffering in silence, where people stop dying.



✌?& ❤️

Sam xx

5 replies
  1. Tony Mason
    Tony Mason says:

    I know exactly what you mean Sam, its bad enough coming to terms within yourself for your first Stoma surgery but sadly for a lot of us its just the start of a very long hard road that is littered with hope, pain,knock backs and more pain, no one or nothing can prepare you, if is up to us as individuals to find the inner strength to continue , but also out there , there are very rare people who give us hope through the way they deal with all the s**t, and you are one of those people

  2. Rhonda
    Rhonda says:

    Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living. Life is not easy!!!! You are so much stronger than you think and have an amazing family and support system- don’t be afraid to lean on them. When you have people that love you they are there for you during good times and bad. Life is like a roller coaster- ups and downs- that’s life.

  3. Niamh
    Niamh says:

    I can’t disguise my depression anything like as well and I’m obsessed with hiding it. It’s a sad fact that people often turn away when they realise you’re depressed. It’s as if they think it’s cotagious. I always want to sleep I guess to get away from it and I can sleep for hours. I cuddle my dog who’s now cuddled up against me. But there are few people I feel comfortable admitting it to. Like you I yearn fir the me I was before I got sick. The me I was before the bag and the shit coming out the side of my body. I know it’s pointkess and unrealistic and I have to adjust as I’ve been told many times by people who have no idea what it’s likevto have a bag of shit hanging from your body I had a terrible weekend which was entirely my own fault as I stupidly ate a bag of cashews. Anyone with a colostomy knows what that does but I just forgot about it while I read and munched away bum still dealing with the consequences and the overwhelming stink. But Sam you’ve been through far worse than me and you’re still there communicating and sharing. You are an inspiration whether you like it or not!

  4. julie
    julie says:

    My depression looks like the rest of the world is behind a net curtain and I can’t get there.
    It looks like the ‘class clown’ who is always happy and smiling.
    It looks like waking up and not wanting the day to happen.
    It looks like always being helpful and willing to go the extra mile to make everyone else happy.
    It looks like I am going to be this way forever…..

  5. Jennifer Reemeijer
    Jennifer Reemeijer says:

    My depression looks like a ridiculously neat and tidy home that looks like no-one lives in (because I can control that).
    My depression looks like smiling with people and collapsing at home when I am by myself.
    My depression looks like a crushing exhaustion that you think will never end and you will never have energy again.
    My depression looks like steamed rice with melted cheese because cooking a decent meal is too much like work.
    My depression looks like histrionics as one more thing that I rely on doesn’t work (because my coping abilities are nil).
    My depression looks like anxiety because it is hard to tell if that is really my condition.
    My depression looks like 12 years of medication that I wish I didn’t need to get through my daily life (and will hopefully not need for much longer as my circumstances have changed- for the better!).
    My depression looks like obsessive list-making, a bit like this one.


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