Depression Inside vs. Outside   Leave a comment

When people ask how you are there ought to be a rating system you can use.  Sometimes it’s too complicated to explain how you are.  Sometimes it just goes back to the reality that nobody can see inside your head or read your mind.

So I think there need to be two scales, maybe 1 to 10 that you could use to let someone else know how you are, when someone who knows you fight depression asks how you are doing.  (Which, thank you to those of you who do ask.)

There is one scale for your functioning, the outside stuff others can see, the things that need to get done and how typically you are getting them done.  Is everybody clothed and fed at your house and can you find the car keys and take care of the cat and the toddler?  Can you drive the kids to soccer practice?

The other scale is how you really are.

That’s the one that nobody can actually see, the one that I’ve found to be hard to explain, the internal something is wrong that is not rational, the internal something that one desperately wants to be right again.  (I guess I’m not so much writing about circumstantial depression, i.e. depression that has a cause such as a major loss in your life.  I’m talking about the depression that visits you despite your doing a lot of things right, things you’re supposed to do to take care of yourself.)  This is the gray cloud that lands on you for no reason.  This is the goo you slog through on the way to the next bus stop in your day.  It’s the lack of interest in things you usually enjoy.  It’s the internal thing sapping your joy. 

It’s the internal reality that others cannot see, but that I think needs to be acknowledged.  I don’t know if it would help, but perhaps some sort of shorthand would, “Internal is a 5, external a 7,” or a 2 or 3 or whatever.  If you’re functioning, that’s great, we’re glad.  At the same time, we know that a lot of times in life you have to fake it til you make it.  The inside may not match up with the outside.  And that’s OK, it doesn’t have to right away.  It will someday.

But for now, there’s more to me than meets the eye.

Maybe this is obvious and there’s no point in blogging about it. We all hold things inside of us that others cannot see and don’t know about.  So those with depression aren’t the privileged few.

Maybe we all need an internal/external scale, a validation of the dichotomy we all live with at some level.  I think that makes me feel less crazy.  And that’s worth something.

 

Posted June 1, 2019 by swanatbagend in mental health

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