When people find out I suffer from depression I nearly always get the same responses; “I had no idea” “I never would have known” “But you are so together!”
The truth is that actually I am not as together as I seem.
Friends, family, colleagues all think I am holding things together and coping. In reality I am just powering through.
Physically I am here, emotionally I am not. I dissociate to cope. I detach. I put on a brave face.
I get up each morning and go to work when I really want to stay in bed and hide all day.
I wear a smile and laugh and joke when really I just want to cry.
I don’t cover my arms as much because the scars are fading but my legs are covered in cuts.
The truth is I am purely just going through the motions of day to day life. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have depression. That doesn’t mean that I am not suffering.
This kind of depression is the worst. This kind of depression is the scariest. It is known as High Functioning Depression, and it is one of the most deadly forms of depression.
I have always been someone who pushes myself. I always set myself goals and targets and I always strive to meet them. On the outside I seem happy, determined and together. In reality I am in despair and live in fear. In reality I fight a battle every single day to survive.
We cannot overlook the overachievers or those people that seem so together. Perception may not be reality.
High functioning depression is a killer.
Think about when you see a story of someone committing suicide on the news. The one phrase that is nearly always mentioned is “By all accounts the victim was living a perfect life”
Except they weren’t, we aren’t and we can crumble under pressure. Within the space of only a few hours we can crash.
No-one notices our increased fatigue and lack of energy. We say we are just tired.
No-one notices the sadness and pain creeping in because we continue to wear our smile.
No-one notices the cuts on our body because they are always covered.
People with high functioning depression are often hard on themselves. We self-criticise a lot. We begin to feel like we are a burden. We start to believe that we are wasting others time. We will not reach out for help because we do not want to cause problems.
Instead of just powering through, our thoughts now turn to death and suicide. We begin to feel hopeless. Even though we have a family, friends, a job and a life, we still begin to believe that the world and everyone in it would be better off without us.
We begin to crumble piece by piece until it is too late.
I walk on egg shells every single day because I could crash at any moment. I fight a battle every day and keep going through the motions.
However I am not as together as I seem.
I suffer with high functioning depression……
And one day, without you knowing and with no one noticing…..
It could kill me!
Thanks for reading.
**Image courtesy of Google Images**