Friday, 23 June 2017

No one expects depression

No one expects depression.

No one expects it in the teen striving for attention.

No one expects it to be high-achieving.

No one expects it to be sitting in a lecture theatre with 200 other people, diligently taking down notes.

No one expects it to be status after status on social media.

No one expects it to be the fast-talking, enthusiastic volunteer.

No one expects it to be at a concert, singing their heart out.

No one expects it to be the one with their whole life ahead of them to look forward to.

No one expects it to be the girl dancing with her friends, taking pictures with drinks in hand.

Or the one with the confidence to hook up with a guy she met on a night out.

No one expects depression to be all consuming but yet still invisible.

No one expects depression to be high-functioning; to be able to leave the bed yet alone the house.

No one expects depression to go unnoticed.

No one expects to be oblivious to their own depression.

No one expects asking for help with depression to get them nowhere.

I didn’t know what I expected depression to be. But it wasn’t this.
It wasn’t the carrying on as normal. The hiding it from friends and family.
I thought depression was noticeable. That there'd be a big warning sign at least internally, if not externally. That I would know what was going on inside my head, and what was wrong with me.
But when I was diagnosed, I was expected to carry on as normal. To stay in the city away from my family. To go to class. To sit my exams.

Where were the straitjackets I was promised on TV? Why wasn’t I lying down, looking serene while at therapy? Why was my madness not visible?

No one expects depression to look normal. But the reality is that it does. There are people with depression waiting in line with you at the coffee shop, getting the same bus to work with you everyday, living in the apartment next door.
You can't tell.
And when it hits you, you weren't expecting the sheer force of the hit. But you're expected to cope, to carry on, to recover.

Mental illness doesn't live up to expectations.
So don't be so quick to leap to conclusions. 

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