What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

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What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

As cliché as it may sound, it’s okay to not be okay. The thought of staying positive every minute of the day sounds like a great idea that we all must strive for until you realize it simply isn’t humanly possible.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe and have reaped the benefits of having a positive outlook on the world, but I can’t deny the fact that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the phases of depression and sadness that I had to go through. Everything happens for a reason. 

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It majorly affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.

Depression is one extreme to another, you’re either so high with happiness or so down that you doubt the world will have color again. And the worst part is that many people live their lives not knowing or denying the fact that they have depression, which makes it even worse and they choose to hide it – behind their best fake smile. 

Related: 10 Hidden Traits Of Depression You Might Not Know About

But what does depression look like? 

Mental disorders in general are cumbersome to deal with because they cannot be easily diagnosed like physical illnesses. It’s certainly not something that you have to see to believe. Sometimes you may be having a good laugh and thoughtful conversations with a close friend who may be going through crippling depression and you wouldn’t even be given the slightest of hints.

In other words: there is no face of mental illness.

No face of depression or anxiety. No face of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. No specific look or standard that one can point out in a crowd of people. These illnesses come in every color and in every shape, at different times and through all ages.

A person suffering from depression may not “look” like they have depression because we are encouraged to carry on as best we can every day given the circumstances. They won’t necessarily have any outward signs of their condition, but this doesn’t make it any less real.

“Depression affects all personalities and can look very different in various people,” says Jodi Aman, psychotherapist and author of “You 1, Anxiety 0: Win Your Life Back from Fear and Panic.”

“A highly functioning person can be suffering invisibly too,” she says.

Words that shout back to us now

Because of our negligence of mental health and the stigma attached to it, we have lost some of the most beautiful souls that have blessed this world with the gift of their life. Great personalities with amazing talent have shattered the hearts of their fans because they chose to give up rather than reach out for help and the truth is you can’t even blame them for it. 

Below are a number of heartfelt quotes we’ve collected by celebrities and well-known personalities that battled with depression. Although their words may not have been enough to save themselves, they are enough to let another person know that they are not alone in this battle. 

Related: 5 Myths About Depression That Should Be Done Away With Immediately.

1. “If my eyes could show my soul, everyone would cry when they saw me smile.” ― Kurt Cobain.

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

2. “Alone in a world, With millions of souls
Walking in circles
Trapped in their dreams
unhealthy, unclean
walking in circles, now
do not disturb
scream in silence
everyone’s sleeping”
― Chester Bennington

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

3. “I used to think the worst thing in life is to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” ― Robin Williams

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

4. I’ve spent most of my life running away from myself.” – Marilyn Monroe

Related: 7 Warning Signs Of Depression That You Need To Know

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

5. “No matter where life takes me, you’ll find me with a smile. Presumed to be happy, always laughing like a child. I never thought life could be this sweet! It’s got me cheesing from cheek to cheek!” ― Mac Miller

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

6. “Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” ― Anthony Bourdain

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

7. “Success isn’t what makes you happy. It really isn’t. Success is doing what makes you happy and doing good work and hopefully having a fruitful life. If I’ve felt like I’ve done good work, that makes me happy.” ― Philip Seymour Hoffman

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

8. “There wasn’t a key moment when I knew I wanted to quit.” ― Chris Cornell

Related: Why Sleeping Is The Easiest (And Hardest) Part Of Living With Depression

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

9. “I used to think that you could get to a level of success where the laws of the universe didn’t apply. But they do. It’s still life on life’s terms, not on movie-star terms. I still have to work at relationships. I still have to work on my weight and some of my other demons.”― Chris Farley

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

Related: How to Ask for Help With Depression: 8 Ways To Reach Out & Start Recovering.

The excuse of ‘he/she didn’t look depressed’ needs to come to an end.

It’s essential to occasionally check on people that matter to you. Depression is a battle that can’t be fought alone. It’s more than just a bout of the blues. Depression isn’t a weakness that you can simply “snap out” of.

Reach out to those who are in need of help and hope.

“A misconception of depression is that you can just snap out of it or that something happened to cause you to feel depressed,” says Kathryn Moore, Ph.D., a psychologist at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center in Santa Monica, California.

“When you are clinically depressed, you feel very sad or hopeless for no external reason. Depression can be more of low-grade chronic unhappiness with life, or it can be intense feelings of hopelessness and negative thoughts about yourself and your life,” she adds.

It takes time, effort, and care from both sides to heal a person suffering from depression. Some cases of depression may require long-term treatment with a proper support system. But don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy, or both. There’s always hope.

What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

Depression doesn’t discriminate.

Though the degree of intensity may vary, we all go through it. Depression doesn’t just hit the ‘kids with bad upbringings’. You can have a very privileged background with parents who love you unconditionally, parents who give you anything and everything you could want. But some bad things can happen, planting a seed for you to carry for life. We’re all in this together and we are all responsible for ourselves and the people around us.

Related: 10 Best Ways You Can Support A Loved One with Depression.

There is absolutely no way to tell what someone is fighting other than engaging in a simple yet meaningful conversation. Ask your best friend, your colleague, or the stranger next to you how they are doing in a genuine manner. Check up on those you are close to, because it’s a cold world out there and some people want to just leave.

Life is not always beautiful, but sometimes it’s extraordinary, and it’s definitely worth sticking around for. I know not everyone can be saved. But if we can save even one person, I still think we’re doing the best we possibly can.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the names of some celebrities with major depressive disorder?

Ellen Degeneres, Dwayne Johnson, Lady Gaga, J.k. Rowling, and Princess Diana, are well-known celebrities who have been open about their depression.

Can repetitive depression cause mental disorders?

Recurrent depression can negatively affect the human brain and impair our cognitive skills and overall life quality.

What is depression and why does it exist among musicians?

Depression is a mental health disorder. Unconventional working hours, hectic touring schedules, and the pressure to be creative might make musicians vulnerable to depression.

What is another disability that can be caused by major depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder that can be debilitating and prevent a patient from being functional in their day-to-day life.

Does depression happen over time or suddenly?

There are several reasons for depression and thus for some, it might get triggered due to a sudden event, and for others, it might develop over a long time.


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  1. Toni Segarra Avatar
    Toni Segarra

    Everything we say about ourselves as ugly, pretty, macabre, heartbreaking. We all had it too. Although the intensity is not the same. It is like moving. It doesn’t matter if you move ten, fifty, one hundred, kilometers. Than go around the world. We all move the legs, the feet. They will hurt us if we are ambitious. If we want to be the champions of going from one place to another without stopping.

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