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As someone who has depression, and major anxiety from stress, I believe that no one can actually show or prove that they're depressed. Depression comes in all forms and sizes; everyone, even animals, can have it. It's like this invisible grey cloud with continuous rain (maybe even showers when the feelings of depression/anxiety/stress are getting too much) that constantly hovers over a person who can just smile through it. It can be in that beautiful popular model on Instagram who receives thousands of likes and comments full of praise, love, and compliments everyday. It's in that girl who's always smiling and joking around with her friends. It's in that guy who's really good at school, sports, and always surrounded with people who love him.
My co-workers, a few friends, and even my own family see me and believe that I'm never really stressed, or upset... that I'm not an easily offended person or that I don't really get upset. They like to believe this because I like to laugh, smile, and joke around. They always tell me that I have "smiling eyes," so that makes me look like a more cheery person. Though once they find out that I have depression, they're shocked. They can't believe it. People would tell me the clichés "just be happy," "don't stress over it," or even the all time ignorant "depression is something that you just think yourself into, it's not real." Before, I only told a handful of people about my mental illness. Most of them were open-minded and understanding, the rest didn't seem to want to accept and believe it. My own parents refused to send me to a therapist because they wanted me to trust them in believing that depression isn't a thing. Now, I share it and my story to prove to people that anyone and everyone can have depression.
I guess, really thinking about it, I've had depression and anxiety all my life. There was just this really traumatizing point in my life where it triggered the depression in me so much, making it a big part of me and my life. I had people who were trying to help me, trying to keep me happy... but it didn't really work. As much as I wanted to be happier and not let almost every little thing get to me, it was just too hard.
When my depression and/or anxiety starts to become too overwhelming: I become easily irritated, I get the urge to start breaking down and just cry, but if I can't do that... I just get quiet. I also tend to get distant from everyone. I used to have a friend that tried everything he could to make me feel better and special. After a few years, I guess he just realized and accepted that he could never really keep me happy and moved on. I lost a friend, and an old love because of my mental illness. I don't want to be depressed. I don't want anxiety, or get extremely stressed over small things. I don't want to push everyone in my life away.
Depression has made me suicidal. Many who would hear this statement would think that I'm just being over dramatic, or constantly want attention. I've tried to commit suicide at least 3 times since my depression became severe. All three times I had a few of my friends to keep me calm, and continue to make me feel loved. As much as I accept and believe their love... I just still find it hard... to keep living. Depression makes every stressful adult situation I encounter almost impossible to see myself get past it. I find myself breaking down and then contemplating whether all this is worth it. Whether everything I'm going through is going to make me happy in the end.
Don't ignore the people who are obviously asking for help. Don't see it as asking for attention. Please help by talking, comforting and/or sending love to anyone who's sad or feeling their lowest point. We prefer one-on-one person conversations, phone calls, or just texting. Don't force us to talk to you or tell you our problems. If we don't say anything, most likely we just need space.
Depression is real.