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Most people imagine depression equals “really sad," and unless you've experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it's different for everyone.


To find out how depression shows itself in ways other people can't see, we asked The Mighty mental health community to share one thing people don't realize they're doing because they have depression.

Here's what they had to say:

1. “In social situations, some people don't realize I withdraw or don't speak much because of depression. Instead, they think I'm being rude or purposefully antisocial." — Laura B.

2. “I struggle to get out of bed, sometimes for hours. Then just the thought of taking a shower is exhausting. If I manage to do that, I am ready for a nap. People don't understand, but anxiety and depression is exhausting, much like an actual physical fight with a professional boxer." — Juli J.

3. “Agreeing to social plans but canceling last minute. Using an excuse but really you just chickened out. It makes you think your friends don't actually want to see you, they just feel bad. Obligation." — Brynne L.

4. “Hiding in my phone. Yes, I am addicted to it, but not like other people. I don't socialize, I play games or browse online stores to distract myself from my negative thoughts. It's my safe bubble." — Eveline L.

5. “Going to bed at 9 p.m. and sleeping throughout the night until 10 or 11 a.m." — Karissa D.

6. “Isolating myself, not living up to my potential at work due to lack of interest in anything, making self-deprecating jokes. I've said many times before, 'I laugh, so that I don't cry.' Unfortunately, it's all too true." — Kelly K.

man dealing with depressionman sitting on chair covering his eyesPhoto by christopher lemercier on Unsplash

7. “When I reach out when I'm depressed it's 'cause I am wanting to have someone to tell me I'm not alone. Not because I want attention." — Tina B.

8. “I don't like talking on the phone. I prefer to text. Less pressure there. Also being anti-social. Not because I don't like being around people, but because I'm pretty sure everyone can't stand me." — Meghan B.

9. “I overcompensate in my work environment… and I work front line at a Fitness Centre, so I feel the need to portray an 'extra happy, bubbly personality.' As soon as I walk out the doors at the end of the day, I feel myself 'fall.' It's exhausting… I am a professional at hiding it." — Lynda H.

10. “The excessive drinking. Most people assume I'm trying to be the 'life of the party' or just like drinking in general. I often get praised for it. But my issues are much deeper than that." — Teresa A.

11. “Hiding out in my room for hours at a time watching Netflix or Hulu to distract my mind or taking frequent trips to the bathroom or into another room at social gatherings because social situations sometimes get to me." — Kelci F.

12. “Saying I'm tired or don't feel good… they don't realize how much depression can affect you physically as well as emotionally." — Lauren G.

more at instagram @joshrh19

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

13. “Answering slowly. It makes my brain run slower, and I can't think of the answers to the questions as quickly. Especially when someone is asking what I want to do — I don't really want anything. I isolate myself so I don't have to be forced into a situation where I have to respond because it's exhausting." — Erin W.

14. “Sometimes I'll forget to eat all day. I can feel my stomach growling but don't have the willpower to get up and make something to eat." — Kenzi I.

15. “I don't talk much in large groups of people, especially when I first meet them. I withdraw because of my anxiety and depression. People think I'm 'stuck up.' I'm actually scared out of my mind worrying they don't like me, or that they think I'm 'crazy' by just looking at me…" — Hanni W.

16. “Not keeping in touch with anyone, bad personal hygiene and extremely bad reactions to seemingly trivial things." — Jenny B.

17. “Being angry, mean or rude to people I love without realizing it in the moment. I realize my actions and words later and feel awful I had taken out my anger on people who don't deserve it." — Christie C.

18. “Purposely working on the holidays so I can avoid spending time with family. It's overwhelming to be around them and to talk about the future and life so I avoid it." — Aislinn G.

19. “My house is a huge mess." — Cynthia H.

20. “I volunteer for everything, from going to PTO meetings to babysitting to cleaning someone else's house for them. I surround myself with situations and obligations that force me to get out of bed and get out of the house because if I'm not needed, I won't be wanted." — Carleigh W.


This story was originally published on The Mighty and originally appeared here on 07.21.17

Modern Families

A comic from The Oatmeal illustrates how we're missing the mark on happiness.

I do the things that are meaningful to me, even if they don't make me "happy."

By Matthew Inman/The Oatmeal. Used with permission.

How to Be Perfectly Happy


Matthew Inman is the Eisner Award-winning author of The Oatmeal. He's published six books, including New York Times Best-Sellers such as "How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You"and "The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances."He enjoys running marathons, writing comics, and eating cake.

You can read more of Matthew's comics here.




Comic by Matthew Inman/The Oatmeal. Used with permission.

























More comics from The Oatmeal:When your house is burning down, you should brush your teeth.



My dog: the paradox



It's going to be okay.

More comics from The Oatmeal:

It's going to be okay.


This article originally appeared on 12.02.16

Samantha Moriá Reynolds's advice on sick children.

It's cold and flu seasons, folks. During this time of year, we're all on a mission to avoid the demon viruses that threaten to invade our bodies and wage Armageddon on our immune systems.





But no matter how much vitamin C we consume or how diligently we wash our hands, we still have to rely on others to be smart about exposing people to their sick germs.

And that goes doubly for kids, who inexplicably do things like lick their own palms and rub communal crayons under their noses.

That's why a mom's recent Facebook post about keeping kids home when they have a fever has been shared more than 170,000 times. Samantha Moriá Reynolds shared a photo of a thermometer with a temperature of 101.4 with the following message:

This morning, Sam woke up and noticed her son wasn't feeling well.
Sam took her son's temperature, and wow! A fever.
Sam gave her son Tylenol and then...
Sam did NOT send her son to school.
Even after the fever went down a couple hours later, Sam did NOT send her son to school.
Sam missed work knowing that the well-being of her son and the kids who attend his school is more important than work missed.

Sam's son was invited to THREE birthday parties over the weekend. Sam's son has been so excited to go, but he will unfortunately also have to miss them because Sam's son is SICK. Sam knows passing along a sickness would not be a great birthday gift regardless of how bummed her son may be.

Sam knows her son is still contagious until he is fever-free, WITHOUT medication, for 24 hours. If Sam's son is running a fever at 7am on Sunday, Sam's son will also not be attending school on Monday.

Be. Like. Sam.

Some parents will give their kids fever-reducing medication, the fever will go down, the kid will feel a bit better, and off they go to school. But fever meds like Tylenol don't do anything to kill the virus that's infecting the kid's body. They just mask the symptoms of the illness and provide some relief to a miserable kiddo. If a fever goes down with medication, the child is still sick and still contagious.

The same goes for adults who try to tough it out by popping a Dayquil before heading off to work. If you want to infect your coworkers and make them hate you, keep doing that.

Granted, some parents may have a hard time finding childcare or taking time off work, and there's a lot to be said for employers being understanding and granting leave to care for sick children. Our whole society needs to work together on this front to make sure people don't feel like they have no choice but to send a sick kid to school. But that starts with parents insisting that their feverish kids stay home from school until they are no longer a threat to other people's health and well-being.

The coronavirus outbreak keeps making headlines and the mounting death numbers from it are making people nervous, but the truth is that the plain old flu already kills thousands of Americans every single year. This season, more than 8,000 people have already died from flu and flu complications, and we're still in the thick of the season.

The best way to keep illness from spreading is to stay away from other people when you are sick and to keep sick kids home until they are fever-free for 24 hours.

Be like Sam. Keep sick kids home. It takes a village to keep us all healthy.


This article originally appeared on 01.30.20

There are some powerful strategies to let go of shame

Let’s first start here: what is shame? Shame is an acute feeling of aloneness that comes when we have a perceived break in connection with others. It’s the lived experience of, "I am unlovable" or "No one would want to be with me if they knew this about me." Interestingly, we can feel shame even when we are all by ourselves simply by thinking back to something that left us feeling alienated.

And what about shame in children? Why does shame begin so early? Well, children are actually particularly susceptible to shame because their survival depends on attachment with adult caregivers. As a result, they're particularly attuned to what leaves them feeling alone - and feeling alone is what brings on shame. Think of it this way: Children are always looking to their grownups to try to figure out, "What parts of me bring closeness and safety? What parts of me bring aloneness and danger? Am I good? Am I loveable? Do I make sense?" Shame develops to "keep away" the "bad parts" of a child (of course we know that there are no bad parts! But kids often draw this conclusion when parts of them are continually met with rejection or punishment) - so, actually, shame develops as a form of protection!



So how does shame in childhood relate to shame in adulthood? In adulthood, our early circuitry comes alive in our present, especially when we see things around us today that were associated with shame decades ago. For example: Maybe your family had a preoccupation with cleanliness and your body learned to store shame next to any "mess" you were experiencing - well, you can bet that shame will come up again as an adult when your home isn’t as organized as you want it to be.

ways to let go of shamewoman sitting on bench over viewing mountainPhoto by Sage Friedman on Unsplash

Here’s another example: Crying was never met with empathy in your childhood home - rather it was met with a “Stop feeling sorry for yourself!” response - which may lead your body to store shame next to feelings of sadness or need. This means that despite wanting to parent differently than you were parented, when you see your child crying your shame circuit gets activated. Your body thinks it’s protecting you - it’s probably saying, inside, “Oh! Crying! That’s not allowed! So shame takes over to try and push that feeling down.

Ok, now let’s do what we do best here at Good Inside: translate big ideas into actionable, manageable strategies. Let’s focus on Mantras to De-Shame so we can manage the shame in our life - this both helps us grow and helps us show up to our kids not as triggered but as grounded.

See below for 5 mantras to work into your life. And remember, like anything else, de-shaming requires practice and it requires talking to yourself - so use these in front of a mirror. Yes, I mean it! Actually say them aloud into a mirror. See what comes up for you. You might surprise yourself.

5 Mantras for De-shaming Your Self
  • “My child’s manners are not a measure of whether they are a nice kid or whether I am a good parent. We are both good inside.”
  • “Messy houses mean people live here. My house is a mess, I am not a mess.”
  • “Good people make mistakes. I am still a good person when I (forget to call a friend on her birthday / get critical feedback / yell at my kids).”
  • “The challenges I face in my life are on the road toward progress. I don’t have to “get rid” of obstacles, I can stay in the difficult stage just as I am.”
  • “I make sense. My feelings are real and worthy, and I am not alone.”

Want to learn more about the Good Inside approach? At Good Inside you’ll find at-your-fingertips resources, a community that just gets it, and expert advice from Dr. Becky and her team of coaches. Everything you need to help you become the parent you want to be


Kelly Nadel, is the Clinical Training Director at Good Inside