Facial expressions such as being happy, sad, excited, surprised, scared, angry etc. usually have a very common distinct look which are easily identified by us all. When we do see someone we know or don’t know which show such expressions, we can determine quite promptly how they are feeling.
So what does depression look like? Well there is no defined answer that I can provide for there are many emotional side effects to depression and not all emotions are shown by facial expressions or body language although a person’s body language can provide some leading indicators.
For many that have experienced depression, there are so many emotions running through the mind and body but many have such emotions concealed within. As an observer of a person suffering from depression, in many circumstances you would be excused for assuming the person that appears to be very happy however in actual fact they may be extremely low and unhappy.
In relation to my personal experience with depression, I had never experienced depression prior to my incident on the 19th April 2013 and if I did I was not consciously aware of it being present. Depression for me came as a result of trying to understand what was happening with my brain for I had experienced ailments such as short term memory loss, cognitive function limitations amongst other ailments as a result of loss of oxygen to my brain. Living each day not knowing why I couldn’t function as I had prior to my incident, not able to be provided with any answers for 2 years of what was wrong with me as well as people brushing you off saying you will be fine is “Depressing”.
I suppose I was one of the lucky ones that whilst I was experiencing thoughts of taking my own life, I never made an attempt to do so. Thoughts of jumping into my 4WD vehicle, driving into the middle of the Pilbara to disappear forever was regularly present in my mind for I truly thought I would be doing everyone a favour. You see this is how destructive the mind can become in making you feel the lowest of self-worth and that the world is better off if you weren’t around. Leaving this world by suicide in my mind would relieve everyone in my life of me being a burden to them and I can tell you that these thoughts were crystal clear.
What I would also do is to bottle my emotions up inside, with my external expressions being happy and content with life. On other occasions where I couldn’t sustain my true emotions inside any longer, I would bare all of my emotions for all to see…tears of sadness…the whole lot!
With the support of family, friends and specialists providing my cognitive rehabilitation and psychological support, I have come a long way towards being a happy person. If I was to say that I don’t feel effects from depression anymore then I would just be lying to myself and to those reading these blogs on my website. There are days where I have good days where I am functioning quite well and there are other days where my brain can barely function which just brings me down. It raises questions again as to why I can’t function as I had done prior to my incident. Once I accepted that my level of function and ability are what they are, it is easier to give myself a break , be kind to myself and just go with the flow. I can happily share with you that I am not in the depressive state as I was a year and beyond…life is better…just different.
I had heard of HOPE, I could see HOPE and now I can share with you all that I have experienced HOPE…”Hold On, Pain Ends”
I have attached a series of photos that show some of the emotions I had both concealed within and exposed for the world to see. There are only a few of many emotions but try and imagine a person looking happy, at peace and yet this turmoil is going on in their mind. Many of the photos where you will notice that I am angry with my hands over my head or fingers in my ears are times of pure frustration. Frustration at not being able to problem solve a simple task, frustration at not being able to perform a task on my computer or the multiple noises and conversations being heard at one time when in a café with my wife not being able to focus on our conversation. Anyway, this list goes on but I hope this provides you all with an insight into the emotions of depression and “what depression looks like” for me personally.
Music: Courtesy of RocKwiz / Sunday Morning / “The Sound Of Silence” / feat. Emma Louise & Husky)
Thanks Husky for your support, I appreciate it greatly!
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