When Susie slits open her wrist and her blood stained tears trickle down her face, it’s not beautiful.
When Michael looks at food like it’s an anti-roach agent, it’s not beautiful.
When Martha screams and yells in agony and pain and has no one responding to her cries, it’s not beautiful.
When Arthur silently walks to school with big bags formed under his eyes from not sleeping, it’s not beautiful.
They don’t show the signs and they may not necessarily speak of them but when they feel helpless and hopeless, their life feels like a dark void that they just seem to keep slipping into, when they see no end and when they are more than convinced to succumb to the mental drainage that they feel at any given occasion, it’s not beautiful. Feeling like you have reached a dead end and that you are banging on a door clasped shut, crying and wailing, and giving all you have to break it open but it’s just not happening, is not beautiful in any way. It’s synonymous to a solitary confinement in a room as meek as your body, on a ship sailing but destined to lead nowhere. Depression is not beautiful and nothing about it is remotely glorifying or uplifting, depression is the gradual corrosion of the human psyche and it’s as lethal as any disease, but it’s just undercover from the naked eye. No one seems to notice while you gently die on the inside and your soul refrains from feeling yours anymore and it is harbored by a body that refuses to co-operate.
Being depressed is not what they flaunt over the Internet, it’s not mascara running down your cheeks and it’s not a temporary mental instability. It’s never as they make it out to be, over dosage of pills because your boyfriend broke up with you, it’s never sad music and feeling your heart beat in sync with each lyric when you can abandon the rhythm within a day’s time, and if I dare be more colloquial, depression is not and never will be being a wuss about petty issues in your life that won’t take more than a handful of days here and there to be fixed. Depression cannot be paraphrased as the poetic darkness that the beings of the Internet won’t terminate to possess, it’s not writing about ashes, guns, smoke, lipstick stains and dust. Poetry is beautiful as it is dark if it’s done right but nothing about depression comes close to being remotely beautiful. Or romantic.
Depression is not pretty, it’s ugly. It’s the ugliest thing you will ever see. Which ironically, you will never really see it unless you sail that ship. You cannot lay your eyes upon a person and declare him depressed, it does not work like other illnesses do. Depression, if put brutally, is the deterioration of your thoughts, it’s having a tap slowly drain the happiness out of you, it’s heading towards a tangible nothingness. Depression, a thought process that is stained with fear and moroseness, is not a day’s planning. It’s not a child’s play to deal with and it certainly isn’t a convenience to find your way out. You generally don’t find your way out with ease. It’s the accumulation of years and years of being incompetent and insufficient. It’s being unfazed by the little drops of happiness that drip down your ceiling, for all you can see is yourself blindfolded and walking down a path that you have never tread. It’s knowing that you will lose your way and perhaps never make it back, but it’s being incapable of stepping out and taking a detour. You do it anyway.
So, when Susie slit her wrists and bandaged them, wore a full sleeved tee, what people fail to see is how many times she’s been called worthless in her life, the people that have spat in her face and chewed her up and spit her out, over and over again until she began to feel that it was all her fault and she decided to treat herself that way, self-harm. When Michael refuses food, no one knows of his eating disorder and how he has been bullied for having an excessive amount of adipose tissues than the rest. As Martha cries and wails, what most are unaware of is that she had been laughed at and giggled at when she let her emotions flow, how people pleasured from the pain that she could only seem to feel and not show, to an extent that it didn’t matter anymore, her emotions were simmered to null for her. Arthur’s insomnia was majorly influenced by the physical abuse he bore, his father venting his pent up frustration on him. And even if his fear exhausted him, his nightmares kept him up all night in a way that sleep became a memory so distant that it was no longer vivid.
Unlike most diseases, like illnesses, physical ones, there is no trace of the internal corrosion on the outside. There is no way to point out a depressed person among the crowd. They don’t stereotypically walk with their heads down or a cloud of rain above their heads. It’s painfully lethal on the inside as everything you think keeps slipping out of your grasp and falling, that you are incapable of summoning your thoughts any longer. Depression is not beautiful and it never will be. Quit romanticizing it. Quit it. I know that teenagers need their high by making cigarettes look glamorous and heartbreaks an epiphany but depression is nowhere close to it. Depression is and always will be debris and destruction, until you fix your way back up.
To help a depressed person, let him know you’re there for him. Make your presence felt and make sure they know that you’re not going to fizzle out like the rest of them did. Tell them why you’re there and help them pick their shards up, stitch them at the seams and most importantly, talk to them like they are human. Like you and I, like they are normal and not a patient. Do not invade their space and give them time, once they trust you, there is no going back. Stop denying their depression in front of them if they so happen to mention it, stop telling them that they’re not depressed. You’re not them and your heart isn’t bleeding as it is pumping. You’re not crumbling under the pressure of the atmosphere like they are. Whatever you do, do not leave them. Don’t you dare, because everything that you built up and everything that you sewed back together will rip apart and they’ll succumb and circle around the same treachery that they did prior to your presence, it’ll be worse and you would never want to do that to a person. Never.
Finally, stop trying to make depression look beautiful, it’s painful, it’s hurtful and it feels like a shout in the void. It’s an ache etched in the psyche and by not talking about it openly, you’re only discrediting it of its magnitude and you’re taking away the help people could need, the ones who shall not dare raise their voice for it is barely audible. Depression is a target on the psyche and it only goes on a downward spiral. It’s not beautiful and it never will be.