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Depression: Invisible and misunderstood

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year with depression being one of the most common next to anxiety; quite an alarming statistic. So with this in mind it's probably fair to say that most of us at some point will know someone or have personal experience of depression giving us some understanding of it yet stigma still surrounds it, misunderstanding still exists, intolerance is still unhelpfully voiced.

Feelings you can't explain Depression can either be triggered by a certain event, be recurrent or sometimes you can't even explain why you feel so low. You can't explain why all of a sudden you don't enjoy what you used to or why you see no point to anything, why you're constantly crying or withdrawing from those around you. If you have the energy, you are still able to function but inside feels black, dead, empty, numb. It's frightening, your brain feels broken, the world seems bleak and lonely, the colour has gone.

Feelings that won't go away You try to consider how "lucky" you are but that makes you feel worse because even that doesn't make the bad feelings go away. Those around you try to tell you positive things about yourself but you just can't see it. You have a good day and people assume you are "better" but one good day doesn't mean that there won't be any more bad days. the feeling of failing at being okay if they do return is hard to cope with.

No quick cure Depression isn't something you can "just get over," it's not simply a case of needing to "pull yourself together" or to just "make an effort to be happy". If it was that simple then wouldn't people just do those very things? Remarks like that do more harm than good. Depression isn't something anyone would choose to experience, choose to live with, would choose to "wallow in and not get over".

Recovering from depression Recovery from depression is possible, there is no quick fix, it takes time and the path will be different for each individual. Alongside professional help what is needed is compassion, support and more importantly understanding from others, after all you wouldn't tell someone with a broken leg to "just get over it"........would you?

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