What did I look like when I was depressed?

by Mohamed Maoui 3 months ago in depression

Depression doesn't have a look

What did I look like when I was depressed?

During my depression, I could have three different faces. The first one is when I am feeling some joy because I am not breaking down, thinking that maybe I got to to the end of the dark tunnel I have been walking in for a while. When I am in this state, I feel happy, optimistic and excited about tomorrow. I feel like all my sad moments were just a passing cloud, and that all my traumas happened for a reason, a positive one. My view of the world changes and my mood is stable all the time. My mother used to tell me that my eyes usually shine whenever I am genuinely happy, and the following pictures shows that. I remember I was smiling for real, I wasn't faking it that time, I was in relief, I was out of the prison called depression.

I was far away from anyone who abused me. I felt better, and when I’m better, I’m happy.

The second one is when I am trying to smile and force myself to be happy, even though I am feeling completely empty from the inside. Usually, I would relapse shortly after I am in this state:

See that wide smile? On this day, I remember I didn't want to go to school and I felt extremely tired.

Still, I talked myself into going to work because "you need the money, Mohamed".

I’d already had anxiety for several years. But around this time, I started skipping school and staying in my bed for hours completely paralyzed.

The last look is when I am in the middle of the depressive storm, the photo below was taken at 4 am, I remember it was a cold winter where I felt completely hopeless because even with the medication I was not getting better, and my face shows how tired of fighting I was, and how much I needed to cry.

I spent the whole night awake thinking of every detail, every discussion I would have, every eye contact I would make and every meeting I will have to attend at school without having my heart exploded.

For me, personally, my depression will always be there. It will never just “go away”. And I’m okay with that. There are days where I’ll isolate, avoid, and wallow in my anxiety, and I allow myself to do that — as long as it isn’t hurting myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and there would be days where I will feel the happiest person ever, and I have learned with time how to cherish those moments and I love myself regardless of my mental health.

I just still feel sorry for myself because the impact on my depression on me has gone too far to the point where it completely paralyzed me.

Depression doesn’t have a specific look, you can’t tell if a person is depressed or not by looking at his face. Look at how beautiful Jiah Khan, a Bollywood actress looks in this picture

This picture was taken while the actress was going through the hardest phase of her life, she committed suicide shortly due to clinical depression on the age of 25 few days after. So please do not expect me to cry for you to demonstrate my disease.

Many people are great at hiding their disease. You can’t tell if someone is struggling with depression or not unless you see them from the inside. Depression does not have a look, and even people who look the happiest ever can attempt suicide at any time.

This is why it’s very important to check up on your friends and people you love from time to time, and to ask twice about how they are really doing.

Mohamed Maoui
Mohamed Maoui
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Mohamed Maoui

Human Rights Activist | Mental Health Advocate | Blogger and graduate student in bioengineering.

See all posts by Mohamed Maoui