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!


Filed under health

12 responses to “Depression Doesn’t Look Like Depression

  1. J. Hoins

    Thank you! I have been struggling lately and I needed to read this. You couldn’t have posted this at a better time.


  2. Great thoughts! I do agree with you 🙂


  3. Danelle Olson

    I too have started reading “Troubled Minds.” Although I am well aware of what depression feels like, the author of the book has helpfully reminded me of what how hard it is for people to deal with depression on the other side. (I am referring here to those people in our lives who have to live us, as my mom likes to put it.) It’s hard to have depression, but it’s also hard to love and take care of somebody who has depression. We are suppose to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, but many times such light does not seem to exist. Too add to this, a friend of mine said to me: “Even when we look ahead to better days, we know in our hearts that they won’t last.” This too is depressing. Metaphorically speaking, the band-aids help to slow down the bleeding, but we never get the bleeding stopped completely. There is always a wound, and as Frodo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings movie put it: “There are some things that time cannot mend. Wounds that go to deep…that have taken hold.”

    Danelle Olson



  4. Excellent post. I look forward to taking a look at the book. I like what Danelle above says about wounds and the Frodo Baggins quote on wounds. Back in March when I wrote a post about scars I found this quote. “God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.” by Elbert Hubbard. The thing is – as this post points out, the scars don’t always look like scars. Thanks Stacy.


  5. deb

    Wonderful comments and a real need for the book and for this blog-my appreciation goes deep.


  6. Really good point! Depression may look like different things in different people.


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