Depression Looks Different For Everyone

My Depression Doesn't Look Like Yours, And That's OK With Me

You can be high functioning and even happy, but that doesn't take away your inner demons.


If someone were to ask what depression looks like, most would picture gloomy days, dark clouds and an overly tired woman who can't get out of bed. Depression is dark, ugly and weighted. But to be honest, it's not always.

My depression doesn't look like this. It's in and out. There are good days and bad days and anxiety in between.

My depression hovers like a billowy cloud, ready to pour rain at any moment. It's there to steal my moments. Ready to take away whatever semblance of happiness has showered my day. It shows up like a thief in the night. It's quiet, lurking and unforgivable.

My depression doesn't look like me missing work, curled up in a ball at home. It's me, pushing through a workday, slapping a fake smile on my face and feeling the anxiety of not faking it good enough. It's using a high pitched voice to assert myself in moments when I'd rather collapse in on myself.

My depression is laughing one day and crying the next. It is spilled milk AND crying about it. It's not crying at a funeral and then crying for an hour over dropping a drink. My depression is confusing. It's emotional.

It's heavy. Yet pausing.

It's reminding myself to breathe. My depression is getting so wrapped up in my feelings that I forget to eat. It's drowning in anxiety, worried about how everyone feels about me. It's going over last conversations, wishing I'd said something differently. It's constantly apologizing to everyone for everything.

My depression is avoiding committed relationships so I never have to admit how much validation I need. It's pretending not to care while caring oh so much.

My depression isn't spending all day in bed, rather it's staying up all night, never able to sleep. My depression doesn't come with thoughts of suicide or harming myself. However, it fills me with thoughts of shame and guilt and a heavy reminder that no matter what I do, I'm not good enough.

Sometimes we decide what people's mental health is, without really having a clue. Society slaps a stigma on anxiety and depression and decides what it CAN and SHOULD look like, without ever consulting someone who's going through it.

My depression might take a pause. It might even leave me alone for a month. But it will still find me. With my friends, when I'm out in public, or alone in my car. It will find its way back in. It will claw its way around my heart, burning all my veins to keep itself warm.

My depression doesn't look like yours. And that's OK.

There's no perfect way to have anxiety. Not everyone will experience depression or anxiety in the same way, but that doesn't take away its impact. You can be high functioning and appear "normal" all while battling something inside.

So if you see someone looking tired, stressed, or a little bit frazzled. Leave them alone. Offer to help. Give them a smile.

Just don't judge them.

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.

We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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7 Things I Learned In An Inpatient Therapy Facility

Don't worry about what path others around you are on, make your own and be content with doing so.


First, I would like to start off saying that there is such a stigma around "Psych Wards" and how they treat their patients. In the movies, everybody is stuck there against their will and they are all running into walls and delusional. This is not the case at all and in fact, most people check themselves into the facility for the help they truly think they need. Even though I did not check myself in, I was brought to the facility and endured a short (but long at the same time) journey.

I could not stop crying when I first got to the unit and honestly, I think it's best that I got all my emotions out my first day. As I was sitting in the lounge area in my paper scrubs I kept thinking that I didn't belong there and they were "holding me against my will." With my best interest in mind, they decided to keep me for 2-3 days and then I would be able to go home. I kept saying that I didn't want to be there and didn't embrace the group therapies for the first couple of hours I was there. It didn't hit me until later in the day that there was no way they were going to let me out if I didn't participate and learn something from this experience.

I started having an open mind and embraced the group therapy and all of the people around me. That is when I started to learn that it's okay to come to these types of facilities and get help for planning out the rest of your life.

1. Take Care Of Yourself First

Don't worry about what path others around you are on, make your own and be content with doing so.

2. Other People May Have Bigger Problems Than You, But This Does NOT Minimize Your Struggle

There are people here that have seen more than you may ever see, but this doesn't invalidate your feelings.

3. It Will Make You Really Appreciate Small Things That You May Not Have In The Facility 

You lose all privacy privileges, this is for safety of the patients and the staff, but don't take an unlocked door for granted.

4. Start Off Every Morning With A Goal 

After you've had breakfast, think about your mood on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the worst and 10 the best), think about a word to describe your mood, a short term goal that can be achieved by the end of the day, and a long term goal for the future.

5. Journal, Journal, Journal

It is important to get all of your feelings out and onto paper. Once you look back to what you've written, it is no longer a barrier in your life, put it to the side and keep fighting for what you want.

6. Get To Know Someone Before You Think You Know Their Whole Story 

7. Take Everything Day By Day, Minute By Minute

Everything can be very overwhelming, however, if you take a deep breath in and just take things as they come to you, then you will be much calmer in the end.

I am not ashamed that I went to an Inpatient Facility. At first, I did NOT want to talk about my experience outside of my immediate family, but then I realized, what is the big deal? I finally went, got help, and now I am on the right track in my life. I am grateful I had this opportunity and I will be using everything that I learned here for the rest of my life.

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