There’s a hidden demon inside some people. It lurks, undetected, and then emerges at the most inconvenient and unexpected time. It feeds off of insecurity, doubt, and self-hatred. Unfortunately, people can’t see depression. It’s not a physical deformity, something on display for the world to see, it’s an emotional deformity, visible only to the sufferer, like a personal hell to burn in alone.
Depression is found mostly in teens 16 to 24 and adults ages 45 to 64. It manifests as a sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, and extreme sadness, and can sometimes be expressed through anger and bitterness. People with depression may withdraw from friends, family and activities. Extreme cases may result in self harm and even suicide.
There is an issue arising in our society. People are giving depression a negative connotation, accusing those who claim to have depression of being melodramatic. The consequences of these assumptions are serious. Ignoring obvious signs of depression can be catastrophic.
Many misconceptions about depression are developed from those that broadcast their suffering. They plaster their struggles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other form of social media, hoping the general public will sympathize with them. Attention seekers pound their friends with complaints about depression, making it seem less of illness and more of an excuse, so they can blame their bad moods on something.
When teens pretend to be clinically depressed, they hope that they will get sympathy from their peers and that people will pay more attention to them. This is extremely unfair to the people who actually struggle with depression.
The majority of people pretending to be depressed are looking for attention from the people around them. This could be because they did not receive enough at home growing up, they grew up being ignored or bullied by their peers, or any number of reasons. They may feel that they had no support or friends, and now they are looking for acceptance.
This is not to say that no one is actually depressed. Many people have depression and are trying not to get attention and are truly upset. Not as many people are truly depressed as they say they are, and not as many people are as happy on the inside as they seem. Our society needs a balance between what’s real and what’s exaggerated, and it needs to happen soon.