Every day, people choose to take their lives.
A person can behave joyfully, all the while struggling with their inner demons. They may be smiling, though they feel their soul is bleeding.
I came across these individuals’ stories, all of whom suffer from depression or are close to someone who is.
Their stories are a reminder to all of us that we must never stop talking about the disease. That we must never stop asking our loved ones how they really feel and understand that a person may feel bad, even if he or she does not show it outwardly.
Their stories are a reminder that we must dare challenge the prejudices and misunderstandings so many of us still have about depression.
Just before the face is smiling doesn’t mean their heart is too.
This is important:
”’You don’t look suicidal’… I remember these words coming out from the doctor’s mouth after I’d just told him that I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember in that moment my 14 year old self felt invalidation, dumb and embarrassed. Those words nearly cost me my life. In both these photos I’m suicidal, perhaps not in the same way but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around. Stop the judgment. Stop the stigma.”
Singer of US rock band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, committed suicide in July this year. His wife later shared this image of her husband. As you can see, Chester seems well as he smiles widely with his family.
”This was days before my husband took his own life. Suicidal thoughts were there, but you’d never know,” his wife Talinda Bennington writes.
Here’s how mother Rayna describes her daughter’s suicide attempt:
“My daughter as well. The night before she ended up in the hospital they went to the daddy daughter dance and had an amazing time. Thankfully she’s still alive today and learning to beat her illness. She was 8 at the time.”
“This photo was taken just 7 hours before I tried to take my own life for the 3rd time. This picture was taken in the morning, we went for a walk and for some food with Eli. We laughed and enjoyed our time. That evening I rook an overdose that left me in hospital for a week. We need to learn how suicidal tendencies can present themselves beyond our ignorance to the topic.”
Agnieszka Ostrowska writes about her boyfriend who chose to take his life. No one in the family knew he was unwell. And I don’t blame them. How could I, when he looks like this?
“This is my boyfriend two weeks before hanging himself. Will never understand it…”
Tasha Bernstein talks about her son, Gavin, who didn’t live past 17 years old.
“This is my son , right before going to his computer to look up how to properly hang himself. Two days later he followed through.”
Here’s what Zoe has to say about his depression:
“This is depression in our home. I tried to hang myself in my attic when the board broke and I broke thru the ceiling alerting my family. I fight every day. My husband tries his best but can’t break through. I don’t understand it. I don’t know why I can’t get rid of it. I have a wonderful family. I feel selfish, lost, sick and angry at myself. I’m trying to find something good today to give hope for tomorrow. Today I try.”
Mom Brittany shared an honest post about her illness, something you’d never guess through this picture.
“Yes, it is possible to be depressed with a child. Hearing, “You don’t have a reason to be depressed with her around” doesn’t do shit but make me feel worse about myself Being told, “All you need is exercise and a good diet” just makes me want to throat punch you even though you’re coming from a good place Depression keeps you from doing things you want to do because it’s literally a chemical imbalance in your brain.”
This last picture I think says everything. Same person, two completely different faces — and one disease.
”Depression doesn’t have a ‘LOOK’. I can stand up, have a great day and still be suicidal. Sometimes, the days I ‘look’ the least depressed are the ones I’m suffering the hardest. Depression doesn’t have a ‘face’, stop the stigma.”
This shows that you can never really be sure how someone is feeling, strictly based on their appearance.
If you or someone close to you feel depressed, seek the help of a medical professional. Let’s continue to share the true ‘face’ of depression until the stigma and misunderstandings end!