Depression Doesn’t Look Like Depression

As early summer hit – that time when kids and pools collide – an article circulated my Facebook world titled “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning.”  I skimmed as I have older children who now often take charge of younger children, and I thought to pass it on to them.

As I drove around the past few weeks, the title of the article changed. The content of the article changed…at least, in my mind it did.

The point of the article was to educate us and help us to reconstruct our visual understanding and recognition of a very real problem.  Children drown in pools often because those around them do recognize the warning signs.  We think drowning looks one way. And we are wrong.

The same is true of depression – or any mental illness, really.

Unlike drowning, depression has no singular season. There is not a single time in the year that one should become hyper-vigilant about knowing the signs of depression or mental illness.  And – unlike the drowning article – a single 500 word article with some bullets cannot sum up the entire warning signs of all mental illnesses.

We need to get educated!

I am currently reading Troubled Minds by Amy Simpson and plan to have a review of it out one of these days.  I have only 40 pages left, but life has interrupted me.  The point is that it is one book that I can already recommend.  The internet is also full of information – webmd and the Mayo Clinic each have excellent resources about mental health warning signs.

Depression may not look like depression – or at least our perception of it.  It’s time to find out what it does look like so that we can help those around us…or get help ourselves!