Tuesday, 4 April 2017

What Does Depression Look Like?


How many times have you read an article about depression and seen a photo of someone, normally a woman, with their head in their hands. Sometimes they are sitting in bed, sometimes the photo is moody black and white. 

It is like the go to "depressed" look but why? Don't get me wrong I have spent many a time sitting in my bed with mascara all down my face but there is much more to it than that. 

You see depression doesn't really have a "look". Yes, depression can have an impact on your physical appearance but it is different for every person.

The typical stock photos you get what you search depression 

I recently saw comments on an article about a girl who took a photo every day of herself during a bad wave of depression. One of the comments claimed that the girl was "obviously" lying about her mental health because how could she even take photos if she is depressed. 

This bothered me greatly especially since the comment came from someone who said they also suffer from depression. We need to remember that it affects us all differently and not every day is going to be the same. 

So yeah, I've been that girl with her head in her hands but I have also been the girl who puts on a ridiculous Micky Mouse cap and takes wonderful selfies. Sometimes it is a ridiculous moustache. 

That's the thing about a "hidden" illness, you can't always see it. Obviously. 

Taking less of an interest in your appearance can be a symptom of depression but that doesn't effect everyone all of the time. Personally, I use make up and fashion as a way of coping with how I feel. I can put on a character for the day and that can make my day just that little bit easier. 

Inside I might feel empty and sometimes I let that emptiness win over but not every day. Going to events, seeing friends or even just going to the shops can be a difficult task. You may not think so because of my social media feeds. If you went on my Instagram right now you would see photos of cocktails, tasty food and yes, again, wonderful selfies. 

Those things might make you think that I am fine and dandy all the time. That I am a happy and healthy girl all day, every day but remember we all like to show the best version of ourselves online. The best version isn't always the full story. 

Depression can come in waves. For me it feels like it something just at the back of my head, always there and lingering. Sometimes I let it take over but sometimes I fight back. It is a constant battle in my head. One that many of us are fighting and you might not even know it. 

This why you can't narrow down this illness into one sad looking photo and assume that is how everyone looks 247. Depression has many faces.  

Till the next time


  1. This is so important. Depression is something I've been talking about so openly for a few years now, and my friends are people who often struggle with mental health too, so I kinda forget how the general public thinks about this stuff! And it is particularly awful when we talk to someone who's been depressed and just... doesn't get why another depressed person is doing x or y. Like, "I didn't do THAT, surely this is a matter of them being jerks and not depressed." Or worse, the typical, "If I could overcome it, why can't they?" But yeah. I've had people mention to me that x person didn't look depressed and I'm like... yeah, we're allowed to have respites, too? to laugh, even? :P Everyone is different, the disease affects us all differently, even in the same week. :P Thanks for writing this.

  2. Stephen Harrold5 April 2017 at 04:23

    Wonderfully well written. Rings so true for me. Thank you. x

  3. This is a super important message, depression does indeed have many faces, so thankyou for sharing :) It has always annoyed me too whenever I see the stereotypical photos on posts about depression, the black and white face-in-hands look. It makes so many people form an image of what they think depression should look like, and this just makes it even harder to open up when you're struggling with mental health issues.

    I was always worried to tell people how I was feeling when I was younger in case they would think I was saying it for attention, because of the way I'd seen people judge others in the past, or that people would say '...but you don't act/look depressed' and quiz me :( It wish that websites that share posts about mental health would start to consider the type of photos they are using, and help people to understand that depression is an invisible illness that affects people in many different ways, and you can't always tell what is going on in someone's life x

    Sarah | Raiin Monkey