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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Fyffe

But There Was No Sign!

Sid is a young professional rising in the financial world. He has the car, the luxury loft apartment, stunner of a girlfriend. Sid is going places. Well, he was going places, that is, until he went into his bathroom, sat in the bathtub, and put a bullet through his head. You see, Sid was depressed, but he hid it very well. At his funeral, people kept saying, “We had no idea! We knew from time to time he seemed a bit down, but not this bad!”

Depression (#depression) does not always wear a sad face. Depression can look angry or irritable. Depression can prompt reckless behavior or complain of aches and pains. Depression can make a once loved hobby something that is avoided. Depression can turn a person into a workaholic simply to avoid talking to friends and family about how bad they feel. Sometimes depression may not feel sad at all.

Take a look at the photo. One to two of those smiling faces hide depression. 16.2 million adults in the USA have had at least one major depressive episode in 2018. That is 6.7% of all adults in the country. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Almost 1 million people take their lives every year because of depression. For every one person who dies by suicide, 20 more make the attempt but don’t succeed. Chances are very good there are some people in your world who are depressed, and you don’t even know.

Smiles can hide depression.

So, what can you do? Educate yourself about the symptoms of depression. Be attentive to your friends and family. Look for the little signs like feelings of guilt, helplessness, decreased energy, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, difficulty sleeping, appetite and/or weight changes. Be brave and directly ask someone if they have suicidal thoughts. Asking will not prompt a person to commit suicide. In fact, it can be a relief that they don’t have to hide it from you anymore. Let’s bring depression out of the closet of shame and openly speak about it. We must speak up because the depressed person may not have the energy to do so unless we start the conversation.

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