“Depression is a dark cloud that is always looming over. Somedays the sun breaks through, and on those days, I smile, I laugh, I am OK. Other days, rain pours from this cloud and pounds against the ground, drowning out everyone and everything surrounding. On these days, I just can’t fake a smile; I can’t pretend I am OK. Most days, this cloud just keep the sky overcast — not a bad day, but not exactly a good one either. It’s just a day.”

“Depression takes all of my motivation, my joy, my positivity. It literally drains the life out of me. Anxiety makes me afraid of everything. My mind never slows down.”

“In these dark hours, I am going over every awful thing I have ever done. I am thinking of things I could have done better. I am thinking of the future, terrified I will never amount to anything. I am thinking of the present, the million better ways I could be spending my time to improve myself and my future.”

To My Parents: I Am Lying When I Tell You I Am Fine

Most people would never know that I’ve been suicidal, simply by looking at me. If there was anyone in my life who had consistently seen me every day for the past 5 years, they might see a slight difference in my overall mood from day to day, but I tend to keep my true feelings bottled up inside and no one ever sees them. Based on what I’ve learned of Chester Bennington, I suspect he was very much the same. I think this photo his wife posted on Twitter recently is proof that it’s not always obvious that someone is suicidal.

Look at that smile. He was with his family, and very clearly happy in that moment. I often find it very easy to be present in the moment, although, to be honest, it’s been a lot more difficult in the past 15 months. But usually, it comes very naturally, for me to smile and joke around and genuinely enjoy the moment. It’s once I’m alone that things go bad.

It’s still surprising, even to me, that this guy with this happy smile, took his life only a few days after that photo was taken.

The reason it’s so important to address mental health accessibility for youth, Kurdyak said, is that some of the most common mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, have their first onset between the ages of 16 and 30.

“So you really need early and prompt access when these illnesses develop to have better outcomes down the road. And any delay in treatment we know affects the individuals lives as a result,” he said.

~ CTV News — Young Canadians struggling to access mental health services: study

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This is so relatable!

“Sometimes I have what seems like a burst of anger and people think I have anger issues and that I’m being rude to people. I’m actually having anxiety and getting overwhelmed and it comes out as frustration and anger. I wish when it happened those close to me would take a minute to ask if I’m OK and what they can do for me instead of getting annoyed or saying I have anger issues. I hate that people think I’m rude to others when really, I just have anxiety.” — Sarah A.

~ The Mighty15 Secrets of ‘Rude’ People With Anxiety

Before I knew I had anxiety and depression, I had convinced myself that I had anger issues. I’ve you’ve read some of my earlier posts about how I ended up getting diagnosed, you’ll know that I realized something was legitimately wrong after hearing Wil Wheaton’s story on Aisha Tyler’s podcast. It felt like he was describing me. I’d forgotten this until just now, as I started writing this paragraph, but I had had the thought, on several occasions, to go to the doctor before hearing Wil’s story, but I was sure that I’d be told I just have anger issues and that I needed to suck it up and deal with it or that I needed to go to anger management. I think it was the moments where I found myself sobbing over the stupidest shit and being completely overwhelmed with everything in my life that made me think that, but then I’d remember all the anger I kept bottled up that was beginning to spill out at work when I was getting close to reaching my breaking point. I think that’s why hearing Wil describe his experience, at the exact moment I did, has such an impact on me. He explained how he was not “sad” but just always agitated and it was exactly how I was feeling right around that time, in addition to simply being completely overwhelmed. Once I found out I had anxiety and depression – and did some research to figure out exactly what that meant – it was like suddenly the lightbulb went on and everything in my entire life made complete sense.

“Even the littlest things could affect me in the biggest way.”

You don’t realize how incredibly hurtful the smallest thing can feel when a person is actively struggling with depression. Especially​ hidden/concealed/functioning/high functioning/smiling depression. We may look fine on the outside, but that’s just the nature of our personalities. Depression is tearing us apart on the inside already and we could be having what feels like the worst possible day of our lives. Add your small comment or joke and it could easily send us over the edge. It’s possible to know what someone else is dealing with at any given moment.

The Words People With Depression Leave Unsaid

This is painfully true.

Sometimes saying I have a headache is simply easier than:

“You know what? I’m not OK. I feel so, so low and nothing is working. I hate myself. I feel stupid, nobody loves me, nobody understands and at this moment in time, it doesn’t feel like anything will ever get better. I feel guilty for feeling like this. I feel so alone.”

Why It’s Easier to Say I Have a ‘Headache’ Than Say I’m Depressed

I’m not a robot. I still experience happiness — but it’s fleeting. I’ll laugh hard over a joke or smile through an entire episode of my favorite show, but as soon as it’s over, I’ll snap right back to my sadness.

It’s like the happy moment never happened at all. Like it was wiped from my brain as soon as it ended.

It’s almost scary when I find others who describe exactly how I feel. When I was in the deepest part of my latest depressive episode, this is exactly how I felt. Especially the snapping back… Except it wasn’t really sadness, it was just nothingness. One second I’d be laughing at my dog being a weirdo, and then it would stop abruptly and I’d immediately be back to feeling nothing.

When You Don’t Have Enough Energy to Hate How Depression Makes You Feel

Just because it looks like I’m always doing well doesn’t mean I am.

I’ve developed a natural defence mechanism (not intentionally, it just happens) where I basically hide everything I truly feel. When it starts spilling out, that’s a good indicator that it’s really bad because probably only 5% of how I REALLY feel actually comes out to see the light of day. The other 95% is boiling inside me, building, creating stress out of nothing and causing so much anguish that I feel like I’m going to burst, but I never do. Instead, it leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms for release. Course when depression leads me to feeling nothing at all, that’s a whole different can of worms.

Having severe depression doesn’t mean I look severe.

Just because I don’t look depressed doesn’t mean I’m not. And just because I, and my life, don’t resemble the idea you have in your head about what “severe depression” must be, doesn’t change the reality of having it.

This is something my counsellor said to me a lot when I was in my deepest depressive state. My life looks good on paper, yet I’m still unhappy.

Pills don’t make me happy, period. No matter how happy I am, it is never because of the medication I take. Medication is a life vest, but I still have to do the swimming. Medication can not make you happy. It simply can’t.

That’s also not at all how antidepressants work. They don’t make you happy. They adjust how the chemicals in your brain work, to ease depressive symptoms and help get you back to, somewhat, “normal.” In truth, a lot of people say they make their emotions feel flat. They help to get you out of the pit of despair but that’s all they do. They can’t create happiness for you out of nothing. They just get you to the point where you’re able to find happiness on your own because when you’re trapped in the blackness of depression, happiness is nowhere to be seen. Not to mention, simply making you happy wouldn’t solve a thing.

19 Problems Only Happy People With Depression Understand

Around the time I kind of, unintentionally, stopped posting on here, this happened, and it hit me really hard. A lot harder than I expected.

What We’re Reminded of After Amy Bleuel’s Passing

Why Amy Bleuel’s Death Does Not Invalidate Her Message

When I first heard about Amy’s passing, wasn’t able to find the right words to express how I feel about it. I still haven’t. I probably never will.

I’m still in the middle of my own battle. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve lost count of how many times I came right up to the edge. The fact I’m still here is not a feat of strength, by any means. In all honesty, fear is the only thing that has prevented me from stepping off the edge and completely giving up on life. Fear is the reason I’m still here. Fear of failure. Fear of missing out of the things I used to dream about. Problem is, the longer I keep going, the further away those dreams seem to be, they feel less achievable than they used to be.

The fact that Amy wasn’t able to hold on, especially after all the work she’s done for the mental health community is absolutely heart breaking, especially as someone who has come so close myself. To be honest, I’m still having a difficult time even comprehending it, even though I didn’t know her. It certainly doesn’t invalidate her message. It’s more a reminder of the fact that this stuff, this pain, the struggle, it doesn’t just go away. Even when someone looks fine on the outside, it doesn’t mean they are.

Even though we may be mental health activists, even though we put our stories out there hoping to inspire other, even though we are comforted by being a part of a community where we share common struggles, we are still battling.