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.
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.
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
This is my son , right before going to his computer to look up how to properly hang himself. Two days later he followed through.
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.
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.
This is my boyfriend two weeks before hanging himself. Will never understand it...
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.
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..
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
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.
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.
I suffer from fybromyalgia, arthritis and anxiety. The years have been a struggle.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About three hours before a massive panic attack that ultimately ended in self harm.
When you put on your war face but inside is where the battle happens.
I never feel normal, accepted or accepted. I struggle always. I'm thankful for my support.
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.
Taken few days ago... Face of depression, anxiety, ednos, bpd and suicidal thoughts. I'm ashmed
Depressed for years, nobody noticed till last year, it’s amazing how depression can hide.
Decided to get out of bed for the first time in months to look nice for a picture.
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!
"Depression? But you're young and smart" they say. And here I am with 11 suicide attempts.
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.
Depressed for 4 years.
#facesofdepression You Would Not Know When I Go Out Into The World What I'm Fearing Inside. It's My Anxiety That Causes Depression And Sometimes That's Taken For Laziness Or An Unabitious Work Habit. It's Anything But That. It's Pure Fear That Leads To Depression That I Haven't Accomplished My Goals Or Raised My Son Right Etc Etc. I Can And Will Overcome This.
A day on the beach with my beautiful family. All the time hiding deep suicidal thoughts. Men are not allowed to be depressed. Two overdoses, hours of researching ways to die, even planning a trip to Dignitas to take the pressure off my family.
Suicidal on and off for the past 9 years.
I always say I am happily depressed.
Most of the time, I can hide my depression well. Here lately, not so much...
This is my beautiful popular hilarious son, weeks before he killed. The whole town was stunned. Never give up helping your child .
Just because you can't see depression it doesn't mean it's not there!
He gave up 7 years ago.
It’s more “manageable “ now, but some days it is a struggle to get out of bed.
The nights are the worse..The weekends too..And at any given time in an ordinary day....I hate my life and all the meds.
Smile on outside broken inside
Depression has no one look, who are you? Is a tough question for me, the person I am when I wake up and when I go to bed is much different than the person I am when I cake makeup on my face. I am happy on camera but am dying inside. Wish people knew, but it's a critics world and I am my worst enemy. Depression runs my life and no one ever has a clue, my smile and charm hide my true self. We all have our masks. Depression comes in many forms. Staying strong one day at a time. We can beat this together.