You Don’t Look Depressed

Earlier this year, when I was still living in Nepal, I sat down with one of my friends who is like an older brother to me. When I had come home that day, he took one look at my face and knew something was wrong.

So we talked. I told him about how I had recently been to the doctor, and they had prescribed me anti-depressants.

All he could say was “Oh shit…. But… You don’t look depressed.”

I just kinda shrugged. I didn’t know what to say.

Honestly, I had hardly noticed myself. I told myself that if I kept going for runs, doing yoga, and meditating that I would be okay. That I would feel better. 

And I was used to putting on a facade. Less than 2 weeks before I was prescribed antidepressants I went bungee jumping. I had spent evenings out with friends, talking and laughing. I carried on this external picture of being okay. I did such a good job that I almost fooled myself.

At least in public. Very few people saw the other side of me. The side who came home and cried every night. The side who stayed in bed for days at a time. The panic attacks over what seemed like nothing.

But one person did see all of that. And not only did they see it, but they said something. They went to the hospital with me and arranged for me to see a doctor. They held my hand as I cried talking to the doctor about everything.

And I’m so grateful for that.  I’m so grateful that I am getting the help that I need. Even though it made me feel weak.

Because even though life isn’t going how I planned, even though things are tough right now… I feel okay. I have more good days than bad. And it’s crazy to me. Feeling decent every day is a concept I’m still struggling to totally grasp.

The point is, depression looks different for everyone. Yes, sometimes it looks like someone who can’t get out of bed. Sometimes it looks like someone who is experiencing self-harm.

But sometimes it looks like someone who moves halfway around the world, out of their comfort zone, learning a new language. Or someone who overcomes their fear of heights by jumping off a bridge.

Take care of your friends, especially during these times. Check in, even if  it seems like nothing is wrong. It just might mean the world to them.

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