A lot of individuals struggle with this thing I like to call silent depression. Sometimes you can look at someone and just know that they are depressed. Other times, you can look at someone and think to yourself, “Wow! They have it all together! Their life must be awesome!” Little did you know that the person who looks happy is actually struggling with this thing called “silent depression”.
For some individuals, they hid their depression. Why? The reasons can differ from person to person. Sometimes it’s just easier to not deal with it. Maybe they don’t want to talk about it. Maybe they are ashamed of it. Maybe the feeling is so strong that they don’t even know what it is they are feeling, so they mask it. Maybe no one will understand. Whatever the reason is, it’s okay. That is how they are coping for the time being, but that needs to change.
Depression is a tricky thing. Everyone has struggled with it at one point or another. Just because someone doesn’t talk about it doesn’t mean they never have dealt with it. Depression is a deep and personal thing that people go through when they go through it. So what should we do as a society? Listen. The reason I like to call it silent depression is because some people don’t talk about it…ever. Why? A lot of the time it is because they don’t have anyone who will listen; or if they do tell someone, that person they tell may begin the comparison conversation. “You think you have it bad? Listen to what I am going through…” I’m sure we have all had a comparison conversation before. It is not fun.
Silent depression is dangerous. Sometimes it can lead to people beginning to self-harm or have suicidal thoughts. I want to encourage you to have meaningful conversations with people, taking the time to ask questions and listen to the answers. That may sound like a simple task, but believe it or not, it’s difficult for some people to do. If you try this, you will not be disappointed. You never know how you may help someone just by asking a simple question.
So, how do we begin to end silent depression?
Easy – Start to listen!