How to recognize the face of depression

I suppose mental illness is rather baffling to most people. They have no clue what to look for if you’re not strutting down the street naked flinging poo at passersby. But, if you are with or related to someone with a mental illness, then you should want to educate yourself on what signs to look for when someone *may* be in need of help. Not recognizing these signs can be devastating in many ways.

I keep thinking if the donor had been more willing to believe that I was mentally ill rather than just a bitch, we wouldn’t be where we are now. I warned him from the get go how bad things could get for me and would he be able to handle it. I should have known anyone ignorant and arrogant enough to grin and say, “Well, I will just have to cheer you up and out of it”, was just going to be the near death of me. Mental illness is not cured by jokes or humor or smiling. Nor is it aided by someone enabling you to wallow in your own illness all the while telling you that you are doing okay.

This was me 2 months ago.

My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

Even holding my kid, I look like an embalmed corpse. I smiled because I wanted my kid to have a couple of pictures of us together and me not looking like I wanted to stab someone’s eyes out. I didn’t feel that smile at all.

One month back on meds, this is how I look.

How could the people around me see this change and not say or do anything?

I was so paranoid and nervous, I barely left the house. I could barely use a phone.

I had stopped talking to my friends on line.

I was too panic ridden to even listen to music.

I had even lost interest in shopping.

I was overly critical, stressed out, never happy with anything, and for the most part didn’t interact much with anyone but my kid.

When such drastic changes take place in a person’s appearance and interests, you have to KNOW all is not well with them.

I was so paralyzed that it took something drastic to get me out of my deer-in-the-headlights state.

But if someone had just spoken up, said, “We need to get you some help, this isn’t like you” I would not have lost so many months of my life to my own irrational thinking and illnesses.

Even if the donor hadn’t cared enough to help me to save us, you’d have thought he would have had enough faith in me to see all the drastic changes and maybe ask a family member of mine if this was my normal demeanor or if I needed help.

God knows I begged him to make some calls and get me help. I knew I was going under.

He kept telling me I was doing better off the meds, not a zombie anymore. (Which he now denies and says I went off my meds to torture him so everything is my fault.)

If you truly love someone and see any of these signs…speak up. Do not let them drown as I was allowed to drown.

Mental illness does not just go away.

And tossing someone a lifeline is sometimes the only way to spark their sick minds into action.


7 Responses to “How to recognize the face of depression”

  1. A lot of people won’t see what they don’t want to. I’ve been bawling my eyes out in the middle of a crowded shopping centre (on more that one occasion) have people look me in the EYE and then look away. They could see I was obviously distressed, but they chose to turn a blind eye to someone else’s pain.
    They didn’t want to get involved.
    And these were strangers.

    I think with close loved ones, family and friends, I think it is just too scary and hard.

    • You are right about that. My sister and stepmonster have both said if he had just come to them and asked if this was my normal behavior, they could have intervened because they knew it was not me,it was my illness and I saw them so rarely and put on a good show, so they had no clue. But he didn’t want to know, it was easier to vilify me and impugn my character rather than face that I was sick. It’s a sick sad world but sadder still when you can’t even rely on those who love you to toss you a lifeline.

      • They mean well, they do. But sometimes I guess it is easier for them to pretend we are fine, like we pretend we are, then to scratch the surface and find the truth. Particularly if they have their own mental health to navigate like a lot of mine do.

  2. Well, I don’t know how many times I asked hubby if between the stress of a sucky job and little money and my issues and a child, if maybe he wasn’t having some depression of his own. He accused me of trying to transfer my issues on him and insisted he was happy.
    I keep telling myself he has to have had some sort of mental break to be behaving this way, I mean, five weeks and not even a call to ask about his kid? My stepmonster comes in and he waits on her and doesn’t even ask about his daughter? I can empathize if he too was at rock bottom, but after five weeks and him not even caring to check on his kid, my benefit of the doubt and empathy mindset are drying up.
    I was a basketcase but I never abandoned my kid. That is inexcusable.

    • Mine abandoned six, as I’ve already mentioned. And while I wouldn’t let him be within the same city as me, he still shirked his duties financially.
      Still, I’d rather make my own way, barely making enough to live, than accept anything from him. But I’m an adult, and can make that decision and don’t have to support anyone else.

      He should be supporting you and your kid, at least until she is 18 and therefore able to support herself/make her own choices.

      • I don’t expect him to support me, I am a big girl, but he helped bring this child into the world therefore he has a responsibility toward her care. This is the third kid he has abandoned and gotten away scot free, and as much as I want to be fierce independent woman and not take a cent from him, I think it is about how time a woman let him know he can’t just go around making kids and splitting without consequence. My state law says even if he doesn’t pay support if a court says he can visit, there’s nothing I can do about it, so why shouldn’t I make him pay support? Time for him to grow up, as much as the law will allow me to force him to. That’s not spite, that is called being an adult, taking responsibility for your actions, and if he were any kind of man or father, it wouldn’t have come to me and the law forcing him to do the right thing.

  3. Reblogged this on Take a Ride on My Mood Swing and commented:

    This was from four years ago right after my life imploded and I became a single mom. I thought it was relevant since there’s so much misinformation out there on what is and isn’t “valid mental illness.”
    Good time to repost this. Sadly, I’m back to looking like a corpse, but such is the bipolar coaster.

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