The Coronavirus and Depression: Don’t Be Fooled By Social Media
Don’t let someone’s social media life fool you into believing, good or bad, that what you see is a full picture of someone’s life.
Recently I’ve been going through a depressive episode. Because I don’t want everyone to know the struggles I’m feeling while alone at home, I continue to post happy things on social media. No one wants to constantly read all the negative feelings someone is experiencing; so quite a few people struggling do what they can to make sure others aren’t constantly worried about them.
BUT WHY AREN’T YOU REACHING OUT TO ME TO TALK?!
I hear that question a lot.
I have my very small close support group that I allow in when I need it. It’s not all of my friends and that doesn’t mean that any friends I’m not telling my struggles to are any less of a friend.
My therapist is the number one person that I chat with… EVERY week.
Some of my friends I just need to still be the "good time" people in my life. It’s like when you lose a loved one, and when you go out in public, everyone treats you differently because they don’t know how to respond. I don’t want ALL my friends to act that way to me. That wouldn’t help me pull out of this depressive episode.
So if one of your friends isn’t communicating as much with you, at the present time, don’t guilt them for their distance just because you see them posting positivity on social media or when they’re with you they aren’t bawling their eyes out to you about all their problems. Be glad that they aren’t in such a deep hole that they’ve even quit presenting in public. They'll come back around.
On the flip side
If you are going through a tough time, don’t only expect your friends to be the one to reach out to you and pull you up. This job is also on you. You have to take the steps, even when you have ZERO desire, or strength, or whatever, to reach out and break the “hopeless, dark” cycle that plays out during depressive episodes. Make changes in your life that will help you see the other side.
Too many people don’t want to reach out when they’re struggling because they feel like they’ll be a burden to their friends and family. THAT’S DEPRESSION TALKING.
More often than not, if something bad happens to someone, their family doesn’t say “whew, he/she was such a burden, glad that’s done.” They usually are sad, and question what more they could have done. Remember that when you think telling someone is going to make you a burden to them.
Don’t be a victim to your depression. Allow yourself some time to process the sadness, then actively work to figure out how to also start helping yourself. I believe therapy is something EVERY SINGLE PERSON could benefit from, and I promise you're not "crazy" because you seek help. That's something completely untrue that the older generation (like my grandmother) would say, but it's SO far from the truth.
Real strength IS asking for help.
And like Jerry Springer, my final thought is this:
No matter how healthy, mentally or physically, you are, this pandemic is effecting EVERYONE in some way or another. WE have never been through something like this, and we have no idea what the end game looks like. Even a psychic I talked to a month ago couldn’t see the future of the coronavirus pandemic. Sure, at some point, we’ll have a vaccine or something, but life will forever be changed after this.
Don’t judge yourself or others too harshly as we navigate our new world.