Our next guest post is from Millie who blogs over at A Queen With Wings. In this post, she reflects on how depression can cause us to hang onto our masks, not allowing anyone – including ourselves – to see what is truly going on inside our heads. She also offers some encouragement and advice for removing those masks and embracing our reality in order to change it.
Everyone wears masks in this world. People lying to each other to hide their true feelings, sometimes to spare others from something dreadful and sometimes to save themselves. But for people with depression, it’s a different case.
People with depression wear a different mask and for a very different reason. They do wear it to hide their feelings but not always because they want to spare someone’s feelings, or their own, but simply because they know that no one will understand.
Reasons behind the mask
- The first and probably the most common: No one will understand.
- People can’t muster the courage to speak up. Why? Well, cause that is what the person will ask.
- That’s the third reason: Not being able to explain why.
- Fourth: Not finding the person one can talk, cause it’s not easy to find someone who would believe in the pain that you are going through.
- Fifth: Not understanding what’s going on. Most of the people don’t realise that they depressed until it’s too late. It starts with hiding pure feelings, which turn into something dark over the time.
- Sixth: It’s easier. This is not something that will sink into some people’s thoughts but it’s true. As time passes it does seem easier to keep it all in rather than talking it out.
Fight Back – Take off the mask
The only way one can fight depression is to realise the situation and talk to someone. It might seem like a hard task but it’s worth trying. Talk to someone. If you can’t find someone in your life then try looking for a psychiatrist. If that’s not possible there are plenty of apps online where you can talk to people with depression or someone who wants to help, though I would suggest being a bit cautious while doing so.
And always remember…
- You’re not alone.
- There are plenty of people out there who are like you and going through the same and will understand.
- There are plenty of people in this world who are not depressed but are kind enough to try to understand and help you.
- You can always turn to your family and friends.
- You can fight this. This is not the end.
- Take off the mask and let the people around you see who you really are and what you are going through.
- Let people see your pain.
- Admitting to your pain doesn’t make you weak it prepares you to fight for your better future.
- You deserve better than this and you should always fight for it.
- Ask for help – there is nothing wrong with it.
- Take off the mask and embrace your sadness only to fight to get back your happiness.
Millie is a blogger, student, human rights activist and intersectional feminist, based in Kolkata, India. You can see more of her and her work over on her blog and social media platforms:
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness then please don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. You are not alone and help is available. By opening up and starting the conversation we can move forward together and look to a mentally healthy future. Below are links to a range of fantastic organisations that can provide information, advice and services.
The Samaritans: http://www.samaritans.org
Young Minds: http://www.youngminds.org.uk
Papyrus (prevention of young suicide): https://www.papyrus-uk.org
Self Harm UK: https://www.selfharm.co.uk
Time to Change: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk
Rethink Mental Illness: http://www.rethink.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://www.afsp.org
Please do not struggle alone.