Depression is a Quiet Bastard
I while ago I decided to take the bag off my battle with depression. It was a secret I no longer wanted to keep. I’ve battled depression, anxiety, OCD, and BiPolar 2 my whole life. I didn’t tell anyone mostly out of shame. Mental illness didn’t seem like a “real” disease. In the past I hinted at suffering from it but was usually met with “heart in the right place but not at all helpful” sayings like “just cheer up” or “everybody has a bad day” or “think of all the people who have it worse” or “I know how you feel, I was depressed once” or “why are you so sensitive?” Well, you get the idea.
But depression is a real disease. It’s a quiet and nasty disease. Those of us who suffer from it don’t want it, don’t like it, aren’t looking for attention and can’t just cheer up.
When I first posted about my battle with depression and reaching the low point in my life when I tried to kill myself, I was shocked at how many messages I received from people who also battle depression. It was astounding and eye-opening. I think more people suffer from depression than anyone cares to admit. People thanked me for writing that post and were relieved to know they weren’t alone and could confide in someone.
Colleen Butters and Depression is Quiet
I first came upon the Depression is Quite comic on the Beyond Blue Facebook page. An extremely quick look at some of the comments gives you an idea of what it’s like to suffer from depression.
“So tired of being told get over it, be a real man.”
“What do you do when you are mid 50,s and just tied of fighting every bloody day?”
“You feel worthless, unwanted, and not wanting to wake up each day.”
“There are days where I wish i didn’t wake up. I am tired of feeling like this. Will it ever end?
And those are basically the first four comments.
From the Beyond Blue page I was able to find the woman who drew the comic. Her name is Colleen Butters (How much do I love her name?) and she has a wonderful tumblr site.
What really struck me was the “Notes” part of this comic. The Notes show who liked it, who shared it, etc. Colleen has a lot of wonderful comics which have gotten many likes and shares. A quick glance of her site shows posts getting likes and shares in the 300-500 range. Her comic Depression is Quiet has 617,519 likes and shares.
Here’s a bit of what Colleen says on her site.
“You would be surprised with how many people in your life could be going through depression at this very moment. People hide it like a paper bag over their heads out of fear of being judged, made fun of, seen as weak, or just not taken seriously. Depression should not be taken lightly, it holds us down from our purpose and potential in life. Those who tell you that it doesn’t exist have never experienced depression in their life, therefore not understanding the symptoms and how it’s something that cannot be fixed in a day! Your feelings are real, your feelings are shared upon millions. Don’t hide it, talk to someone about it. With the right help, you can rediscover your confidence and begin life anew with our undying love and support!”
Colleen, thanks so much for this beautiful comic.
Depression is Quiet
Symptoms and Help
Here are symptoms of depression:
- Persistent sad or “empty” mood.
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless, pessimistic and/or guilty.
- Substance abuse.
- Fatigue or loss of interest in ordinary activities, including sex.
- Disturbances in eating and sleeping patterns.
- Irritability, increased crying, anxiety or panic attacks.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
- Thoughts of suicide; suicide plans or attempts.
- Persistent physical symptoms or pains that do not respond to treatment.
Don’t be ashamed of getting help.
If you or anybody you know is struggling with depression and you fear it could be life-threatening, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline here in the U.S. is open 24/7 on 1-800-273-8255.