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Why I'm Embarrassed to Tell People I Struggle With Depression

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I wanted to share the viral post about the girl with depression who brushed her hair for the first time in four weeks, but I felt embarrassed.

I felt really embarrassed to admit how much I really struggle with depression. It’s scary to think how people will look at you after you tell them the “d” word. Will they give you sympathy you don’t want or avoid you because you are too much? It’s hard going to college and missing classes because you struggle even to literally lift your head because you’re just so exhausted. You keep telling yourself 10 more minutes, 10 more minutes, but eventually you just give up and stay in bed for the day. Like it’s not just emotionally tired, it’s physical exhaustion.

It’s even harder to get up when you think about what you have to do. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, wash your face, put on makeup, get clothes on. Like that literally feels like so much when you go through those low moments. And then you think about the social aspect. You aren’t you when you’re depressed; your conversations become forced, you are easily agitated, you don’t think straight and have no filter, you say things you don’t mean, you become awkward and quiet. Suddenly your depression is coupled with social anxiety, and you have no idea what to do. 

Then comes missing class. Having to make up excuses to people in my classes why I haven’t been in class for awhile because I’m embarrassed to say, “I have depression.” In my experience the second someone hears you have depression, there are two things they usually do: either they will tell you to get over it/cure it, or they’ll suddenly distance themselves from you. People don’t understand why you are like that and it scares them, or they genuinely want to help you by telling you to just be happy. A lot of people think you’re lazy, but really you’re just struggling to stay afloat. 

With depression, you have to be careful with who you make friends with because some people make you feel more insecure than you already are. They’ll make you think that no one could ever like you. And that’s really easy to believe when you look in the mirror and don’t even like yourself.

When people hear depression, they think of someone who is sad all the time. I’m not sad all the time, I’m actually rarely sad. Depression is more empty than sad. When I’m not going through depression though, I’m happy go lucky, I love being around friends, I just want to have a good time. Depression makes me flaky though. It makes me late. It makes me not do work. It makes me procrastinate. It makes me stay in. It makes me feel alone and isolate myself. It makes me think everyone hates me, because I mean, how can anyone like me if I don’t like me?

If you know someone with depression/anxiety, in my experience, the best way to help is just reassuring them you do like them. For me, that’s one of the biggest things that can lead to bad depressive episodes — the feeling that no one like you. Just let them know you are here for them.

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Thinkstock photo via happyframe

Originally published: August 22, 2017
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