September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and throughout the last few weeks, Instagram has become flooded by empowering survival stories, raising social awareness on the illness. A new hashtag, #faceofdepression, is adding an essential layer of depth to the public conversation about hidden depression symptoms, and it's one we just can't ignore.

What do depressed people look like? What does someone with suicidal thoughts appear? What does depression feels like? Many of us would probably picture a crumpled up, crying shell of a person on a bathroom floor. The reality that #faceofdepression is trying to explain, however, is that people who are struggling with feeling depressed often hide it in their everyday lives - meaning that they look like just about any other person you'd pass on the street.

One of the most touching contributions to the campaign was a video shared by Talinda Bentley, widow of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, showing him laughing and smiling just 36 hours before his tragic suicide. Don't take everything at 'face' value. If you think or know someone is showing the signs of depression, ask the hard questions before it's too late.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 if you or someone you know needs urgent treatment of depression. Call 1-800-273-8255 or go to their official website to live chat with a counselor.

#1

Face Of Depression

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Hope Floats
Community Member
3 years ago

The first picture is how people expect you to look when you're suicidal. . The second is reality. . Laughter doesn't always equate to happiness.

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#2

Face Of Depression

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Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

I'm so sad for his family

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#3

Face Of Depression

You can't tell can you? You can't tell by the look in my eyes or the sound of my voice even. You're thinking "You're smiling though!" Yes. Yes, I am smiling. I smiled for you. I smiled so I don't make you feel bad. I don't want you to feel like I do. I also don't want you to feel like there is something you can do to make me "feel better". There isn't anything anyone can do. I have to work through it on my own. The worst part is that this bout snuck up on me. I recognize the familiarity of it all though. Empty Lonely Heavy Tired So tired Everything is loud Everything is annoying I have no patience I want to be left alone I want to stay in bed I don't want to work out I want to eat everything without cooking anything The best part is that I haven't felt like this in a very long time AND that I recognize it for what is. I'm the one who bakes and does crafts. You see that on the outside but you don't see the darkness inside. For those that are also suffering....PLEASE SEEK HELP. Treatment is different for each person. Do what is best for you. I'm doing what works for me while I get back to Monique. So for now - I smile, and let people know I'm struggling.

Monique Holley-Peak Report

sh
Community Member
3 years ago

THIS! She describes it so well... "The worst part is that this bout snuck up on me. I recognize the familiarity of it all though. Empty Lonely Heavy Tired So tired Everything is loud Everything is annoying I have no patience I want to be left alone I want to stay in bed I don't want to work out I want to eat everything without cooking anything "

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#4

Face Of Depression

My daughter as well. The night before she ended up in the hospital they went to the daddy daughter dance and had an amazing time. Thankfully she's still alive today and learning to beat her illness. She was 8 at the time

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Aurelia Grey
Community Member
3 years ago

Mercy. Hurts to look at her, hurts to learn how young she was, I hope things are better.

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#5

Face Of Depression

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Neb
Community Member
3 years ago

And this is why everyone needs to learn to listen. Appearance is not everything.

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#6

Face Of Depression

This is my son , right before going to his computer to look up how to properly hang himself. Two days later he followed through.

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JillVille Child Care
Community Member
3 years ago

I am so sorry :( I could not imagine the loss of a child this way. I have 4 teenagers. My heart is breaking for your family.

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#7

Face Of Depression

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Lyn Limpert
Community Member
3 years ago

Nailed it. I was wondering why my behavior is so strange. Now I know.

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#8

Face Of Depression

This is depression in our home. I tried to hang myself in my attic when the board broke and I broke thru the ceiling alerting my family. I fight every day. My husband tries his best but can't break through. I don't understand it. I don't know why I can't get rid of it. I have a wonderful family. I feel selfish, lost, sick and angry at myself. My brain has always been a little scrambled and I've fought just to make it thru school, I can't keep a job. I can't stay in task long enough or I take too long. I leave before I get fired. It's hard to feel worthless and I hate feeling like a burden to my family. I have so much pain inside. I'm in therapy I have meds. All I know is even though I feel like suicide would make life easier for my family, I also feel like if I could just get my head fixed and could be someone worthy, I really would like to stay around. I have been trying for so long I don't know if it's gonna happen for me. Today I am here. We will see how tomorrow goes tomorrow. I take it day for day and some times hour by hour. Sometimes i think If I can get through one more hour I'll go to bed and I'll sleep til tomorrow and see how it goes. Today has been ok. I'm trying to find something good today to give hope for tomorrow. Today I try.

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Caroline Huot
Community Member
3 years ago

Not just hour by hour honey... minute by minute, second by second!! I've been there... Take care xx

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#9

Face Of Depression

My #faceofdepression and yes it is possible to be depressed with a child. Hearing, "You don't have a reason to be depressed with her around" doesn't do shit but make me feel worse about myself Being told, "All you need is exercise and a good diet" just makes me want to throat punch you even though you're coming from a good place Depression keeps you from doing things you want to do because it's literally a chemical imbalance in your brain.

Brittany Schroeder Report

Elaine Van Zon
Community Member
3 years ago

yes ,been there, well meaning people saying utterly stupid things. I hate " We've all been there" They are trying to make us feel they understand but succeed only in showing how little they understand. No you havn't been there - you have NO idea. Your daughter is adorable ,you are doing a great and brave job as her Mum. I pray you find something that will ease your pain and make your smile real on the inside too

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#10

Face Of Depression

This is my boyfriend two weeks before hanging himself. Will never understand it...

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KK
Community Member
3 years ago

Posts like these can hit very close to home. Please reach out for help if you struggle with thoughts of suicide. It can be prevented. There is help available in your country, take a look: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

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#11

Face Of Depression

This is what depression looked like not long before we lost our beloved Luke. Depression is a SERIOUS illness. Don't dismiss people who are hurting.

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Nini
Community Member
3 years ago

Depression is like a worm, crawling under your skin and eating your flesh without anybody noticing. Because no one cares about what's inside of you. And everybody overreacts when something's seeable. But when "something" is noticeable is when you need people not to see, then you smile, every time for no reason, so they won't ask what you don't want to talk about. Because no matter what, when and whoever pretends to be here for you, everything looks fake, sounds wrong, and it hurts to realize how much you suck at life. And someday, it becomes too painful, you want to run away but everything's the same wherever you go. This is at that point that "suicide", "silence" and "darkness" start to look sweet, inspiring, necessary. Depression is a worm that deforms reality and makes "freedom" and "peace" rhyme with "death". I feel sorry for y'all, I wish your beloveds could have found a better way to relieve themselves from this pain.

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#12

Face Of Depression

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Tasha Harris
Community Member
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing , it helps.

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#13

Face Of Depression

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Kim Lorton
Community Member
3 years ago

Glad you are alive!

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#14

Face Of Depression

Bipolar disorder here,(with a heavy emphasis on the depression side)...I get up, put on a full face of makeup, wear a fun dress, all while struggling with depression, anxiety and sometimes suicidal thoughts..

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MonsterMash
Community Member
3 years ago

You're beautiful! Thank you for being strong .

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#15

Face Of Depression

Currently at the doctor seeking help, most have no idea what I'm going through and that I cry in the shower or in the car on my way home from work or can't sleep at night because of panic attacks

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Dani Donovan
Community Member
3 years ago

So glad you are seeking help. You're not alone!

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#16

Face Of Depression

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Neb
Community Member
3 years ago

These are some crazy criteria - if you cannot get up from bed or do not brush hair, it is way too late. Also, there is functional depression, where everything looks OK from the surface. Only looks.

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#17

Face Of Depression

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Jade Lynn
Community Member
3 years ago

As someone who is going through depression, ptsd, and suidice attempts etc, i feel like i can see it in the eyes of others when they are hurting. Makeup or no make up. I wish the best for all of us. Thank you and everyone else for sharing

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#18

Face Of Depression

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Neb
Community Member
3 years ago

So true...

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#19

Face Of Depression

Major Depression & PPD here. 3 weeks pp with #2 & going to the doctor is helping. Most times I feel like I'm drowning but last couple of days it's been easier. Sometimes just talking about it can be cathartic. PLEASE seek help if you need it. It's not failure. Sometimes you just need a little more time to get your shit together and that's ok, because being a functional parent is hard fucking work.

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Jenna Bois
Community Member
3 years ago

You need to take care of you to be the best parent you can. I'm glad you're finding talk therapy helping. You got this :)

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#20

Face Of Depression

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Duc Anh
Community Member
3 years ago

I dont know what happened to you, but whatever, you look beautiful

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#21

Face Of Depression

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Nicole Yates
Community Member
3 years ago

Yep I understand. Why is hair washing the hardest part?!

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#22

Face Of Depression

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Meagan Collette
Community Member
3 years ago

I get you; I struggle with feeling like a failure every time I need to go back on medication.

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#23

Face Of Depression

The face of depression. Sometimes it looks optimistic. Sometimes it doesn't. And having a smart, beautiful child doesn't mean those feelings don't exist or that they're not valid. She loves me on my good days and my bad days.

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Jenna Bois
Community Member
3 years ago

I identify with this so much. Even on the bad days I find a reason to go on in my daughter. Because she just sees her mom, not the depression.

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#24

I Suffer From Fybromyalgia, Arthritis And Anxiety. The Years Have Been A Struggle.

I suffer from fybromyalgia, arthritis and anxiety. The years have been a struggle.

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JillVille Child Care
Community Member
3 years ago

You are so beautiful! Love your eyes, definitely a caring emotional person in there :)

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#25

Face Of Depression

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Sarah Laurent
Community Member
3 years ago

People need you, and love you, I promise. Even while crying, in bed, red wine or whatever ;)

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#26

Face Of Depression

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Alžběta Laurincová
Community Member
3 years ago

I know it won't help you, but you are a very beuatiful woman! I love your eyes.

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#27

Face Of Depression

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Emmajones
Community Member
3 years ago

Thank you for speaking out.

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#28

Face Of Depression

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Jan Benante
Community Member
3 years ago

You are stronger than you know. Just keep on keeping on.

#29

Face Of Depression

When people think about depression, they tend to have a very specific idea of how it manifests itself. I'm in the middle of a very real depressive episode and here I am at work with my plants and headphones

Molly Miller Report

Lily Winterhart
Community Member
3 years ago

EnLyte might work for you like it did for me.

#30

Face Of Depression

I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for years and years. I started experiencing symptoms around 12 and wasn't diagnosed or treated until I was 25. (Early on docs told me I didn't seem depressed.) Once my kiddo was born, my postpartum depression fused with my everyday depression and I almost lost it. It was my dream to be a happy SAHP, and even though I stayed home for over a year, I felt worse and worse every day. It took all of my energy to make sure my baby was taken care of. I developed severe sleep apnea, gained a lot of weight, and couldn't function outside of my parental duties.

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Nadine
Community Member
3 years ago

Being a mom with or without depression takes so much inner strength. Bless you for fighting and starting so strong. Been there, know that feeling

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#31

Depressed Since High'school, Drop'out, One Suicide Attempt, Severely Agoraphobic. In My Country Having A Mental Illness Means That "Your Parents Didn't Beat You Enough", Or, "Your Husband Should Throw You Out Of The House, Maybe Then You'll Get A Job". So I Learned To Smile Even In My Worst Days.

Depressed since high'school, drop'out, one suicide attempt, severely agoraphobic. In my country having a mental illness means that "Your parents didn't beat you enough", or, "Your husband should throw you out of the house, maybe then you'll get a job". So I learned to smile even in my worst days.

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Réka Viczián
Community Member
3 years ago

It's not just your country, middle-and-east europe still has room for improvement in the field of mental illnesses. I hope you have more good days than bad and wish you strength to get to the good ones!

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#32

Me, Two Days After A Failed Suicide Attempt. People Don't "Look" Depressed Because Depression Isn't A Facial Expression.

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Community Member
3 years ago

Me, Two Days After A Failed Suicide Attempt. People Don’t “Look” Depressed, Because Depression Isn’t A Facial Expression.

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#33

Stuck In A Panic Attack

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Community Member
3 years ago

Stuck in a panic attack, yes, that's sweat running down my Face. Battling for 15 years now, the fearless good times in between two bad phases are the reason I'm still fighting. Nevertheless I'm tired to explain what a panic attack feels like or what the reasons are I'm suffering from this disease. It's not my fault and I don't want to feel guilty anymore.

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#34

Face Of Depression

GAD and depression for probably two decades. My childhood nickname was "smiley". My positive attitude gets remarked on often. My brain still fires weird regardless.

Sarah Howard Report

Tam-Tam
Community Member
3 years ago

I def relate. Sometimes the bigger my smile is in public, the more severe my depression is...and that is confusing understandably to a lot of people around me. Pls remember you are beautiful and worthy of happiness!

#35

Face Of Depression

I have suffered from depression for more than 2 thirds of my life. Think about that. Most of my life has been in pain and misery. Most of my life has been spent fighting my demons of suicidal ideation and convincing myself to stay, to keep fighting. There are days, even now, that I can draft my goodbye note in my head. There are days I can almost convince myself that my son and my family could be better off without me. Yet, this is no way makes me an unfit mother. One thing I never fail at for my son is loving him. Showing him he is loved. I know some of you say "you shouldn't have children if you are mentally ill" and to you I say: Eat a bag of dicks. My son saved my life. My son saves my life every day. I will not keep from him that I am sick when he is old enough to understand. I'd rather he see me battle my mind, than think even a fraction of my pain was caused by him.

Sara Louise Report

BoredBirgit
Community Member
3 years ago

2 Cuties.

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#36

I've Been Diagnosed With Borderline A Few Weeks Ago. My Head Needs Rest, My Puppy Needs A Hug

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Community Member
3 years ago

Got diagnosed with borderline a few months ago. Hard to hear but all fell into place. The depressions are hard, very hard. Thankfully i've been diagnosed, got a great counselor and am attending group-therapy. Keep strong everyone and thank you all for sharing your stories.

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#37

Two Months After Attempting Suicide And While I Was Considering Trying Again Every Day. Every Person Who Meets Me And I Tell I Have Depression Say; 'You Just Don't Seem The Type!' There Is No Type.

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Community Member
3 years ago

Two months after attempting suicide - while I was considering trying again daily. Everyone who meets me and who I tell I have depression say: 'You don't seem the type!' There is no type.

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#38

The Last Images We Have Of My Eldest Son's Father. Mother's Day 2012. We Felt He Was Making Improvements, But Jesse Completed Suicide June 12, 2012.

The last images we have of my eldest son's father. Mother's day 2012. We felt he was making improvements, but Jesse completed suicide June 12, 2012.

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

I'm so sorry.

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#39

About Three Hours Before A Massive Panic Attack That Ultimately Ended In Self Harm.

About three hours before a massive panic attack that ultimately ended in self harm.

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makki
Community Member
3 years ago

You're very pretty I love your smile!

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#40

When You Put On Your War Face But Inside Is Where The Battle Happens.

When you put on your war face but inside is where the battle happens.

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Karin Ahrenhold
Community Member
3 years ago

great picture, great words - how well I know that..

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#41

I Never Feel Normal, Accepted Or Accepted. I Struggle Always. I'm Thankful For My Support.

I never feel normal, accepted or accepted. I struggle always. I'm thankful for my support.

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Ivelina Gancheva
Community Member
3 years ago

Dude, you cool, you remind me of the singer Banks visually. Be strong!

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#42

The Guy In Red Was My Dad, Less Than 2 Months Before He Took His Life. He Was 60 Years Old. He Told Us As Kids That He Had To Talk Himself Out Of Suicide Every Day. He Succeeded, But Not Without Letting Every One Of His Loved Ones Know How Much He Loved Us. I Miss Him Terribly, He Will Never Get To Meet My Kids Or Walk Me Down The Isle.

The guy in red was my dad, less than 2 months before he took his life. He was 60 years old. He told us as kids that he had to talk himself out of suicide every day. He succeeded, but not without letting every one of his loved ones know how much he loved us. I miss him terribly, he will never get to meet my kids or walk me down the isle.

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Jade Lynn
Community Member
3 years ago

I'm so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry for his struggle.

#43

Face Of Depression

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Kevin Goldman
Community Member
3 years ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cNjUO8_Vuw

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#44

Taken Few Days Ago... Face Of Depression, Anxiety, Ednos, Bpd And Suicidal Thoughts. I'm Ashmed

Taken few days ago... Face of depression, anxiety, ednos, bpd and suicidal thoughts. I'm ashmed

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Neb
Community Member
3 years ago

You should not be ashamed. Would you be ashamed if you had cancer?

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#45

Depressed For Years, Nobody Noticed Till Last Year, It’s Amazing How Depression Can Hide

Depressed for years, nobody noticed till last year, it’s amazing how depression can hide.

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Anita Ghigi
Community Member
3 years ago

Such cool hair.

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#46

Decided To Get Out Of Bed For The First Time In Months To Look Nice For A Picture

Decided to get out of bed for the first time in months to look nice for a picture.

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Chantelle Dixie
Community Member
3 years ago

Scarlet Johannson is that you? (Don't know if I spelt her name correctly) you do remind me of her but I hope you can fight through this tough time I'm struggling atm

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#47

This Is What Depression And Anxiety Looks Like. I Was In A Bad Place. I Am Fine Now, But Sometimes It Comes Back, And I Hate It. Luckily I Have Got A Support System Around Me That Helps Me Through When Out Gets Bad. But Most People Would Never Have Guess When I Struggle!

This is what depression and anxiety looks like. I was in a bad place. I am fine now, but sometimes it comes back, and I hate it. Luckily I have got a support system around me that helps me through when out gets bad. But most people would never have guess when I struggle!

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#48

"You're Young And Smart" They Say. "Depression Don't Exist" They Say.

"Depression? But you're young and smart" they say. And here I am with 11 suicide attempts.

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awesome_sauce.71
Community Member
3 years ago

you are very pretty! I want to grow up and be as pretty as you and maybe my moms.It will all be okay

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#49

Anxiety And Depression For Many Years, I Put A Mask On I Guess At Times And Try To Make Out I'm The Fun, Smiling Happy One, But What Goes On Inside Is Darker At Times. Worry So Much About Things, Its Like The End Of The World When Changes Happen. I Get Paniced By Things, Angry And Distant Or I Breakdown And Cry. Its Not Only Mental But Physical Too, Ibs And Stress Symptoms That Make Me Feel Weak And Tired. My Artistic Part Of My Brain Does Help Break Things Up Time To Time, A Way Of Expressing Something That I Cant Feel. I Wish At Times I Could Eventually Feel More In Control, But Then I'd Be Scared Of That Feeling.

Anxiety and depression for many years, I put a mask on I guess at times and try to make out I'm the fun, smiling happy one, but what goes on inside is darker at times. Worry so much about things, its like the end of the world when changes happen. I get paniced by things, angry and distant or I breakdown and cry. Its not only mental but physical too, ibs and stress symptoms that make me feel weak and tired. My artistic part of my brain does help break things up time to time, a way of expressing something that I cant feel. I wish at times I could eventually feel more in control, but then I'd be scared of that feeling.

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Kevin Goldman
Community Member
3 years ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cNjUO8_Vuw

#50

Depressed For 4 Years

Depressed for 4 years.

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