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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Sarah Schuster


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

Family

If you don't have it, chronic anxiety can be hard to understand. These comics can help.

Ever felt like you can't explain how your anxiety feels? Artist Marzi has a solution.

Attention anyone with anxiety who spent time in class with their head down doodling in a notebook: This is a comic series for you.

Introvert Doodles started as a “self-pep talk” by a comic artist who goes by Marzi. She was inspired to explore her identity as an introvert after a personality test made her realize her introverted tendencies weren’t flaws — they were part of her personality.

On her site, she explains (in a doodle, of course):


Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

“I was surprised when others connected with my doodles on Instagram,” she told The Mighty in an email. (“I’d love to hear from you. Just not over the phone,” she writes on her site.) “I realized I wasn’t the only one discovering that it’s OK to be an introvert.”

She also features comics about life with anxiety — although, she says, having anxiety and being an introvert are not synonymous.

“My anxiety began in my teens. I consider myself lucky, as right now it’s managed pretty well with medication,” she said. “I’m an introvert who happens to have anxiety …. Being an introvert simply means you draw your energy from within, and social outings drain your energy. It’s a personality you’re born with and not something that needs to be fixed.”

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

“Sometimes anxiety and introversion overlap,” Marzi said.

“In those cases, it’s helpful to identify the differences, so you know which tendencies to work on and which to embrace. I’ve learned that some things I was trying so hard to fix, didn’t need to be fixed at all. For example, it’s OK that I don’t have a big group of friends; it’s perfectly alright to just have one or two. It’s fine to leave a party early when I’m overstimulated. There’s nothing wrong with being quiet and only talking when I have something to say. As for the anxiety, I’m actively working to manage it.”

She says introverts like herself are finding a voice — and learning that, while their strengths are different from those of extroverts, they are no less valuable.

And while living with anxiety sometimes comes along with being an introvert, it’s not something that should be dismissed.

“The most important thing I want those without anxiety to understand is this: Even though the perceived danger may be irrational, the fear itself is very real,” she said. “So please, try to be patient.”

The comics show her understanding of how anxiety can make even the smallest things difficult.

Here are six more of her relatable anxiety doodles:

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

But it's worth celebrating every time you can overcome it.

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

She knows the feeling of a panic attack:

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

But she also helps guide friends and family through tough moments too.

Image by Marzi/@introvertdoodles.

To see more from Marzie, visit her site, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and check out her book, "The Introvert Activity Guide."