Whenever I have to think about explaining what you don’t see with depression the first thing that comes to mind is a quote from The Mask
We all wear masks metaphorically speaking
Spoken in a horribly smug, nasally way. But it’s true. For those with mental health problems and those without.
As part of Depression Awareness Week 2016, Blurt have a campaign running on social media which is all about what you don’t see. The first thing that popped in my head was that quote. The second was something I’ve sketched by hand a few times but have never really done anything with. So I made a prettier version on the computer and put it on Twitter:
I could easily feel how I feel with a tonne of negative thoughts. It’s much harder to fill in what people say. In fact, I could only do this because of getting feedback for my end of year performance review at work. Otherwise I would have drawn a blank.
Anyway, the point of this… what I show people and how I feel are very different. I tend to not let many people in. This partly because I don’t want to be defined by my illness and partly because no one knows what to do or say. The other piece I shared under the hashtag was people not asking how I was after they’d found out I had depression. I stopped telling people then, which made it worse. I would rather lie and say I’m fine than not be asked how I am. I wrote a post about this not so long ago.