“I’m not depressed… I’m just fine! Look, I’m working/attending school/managing my household just fine! So what if I don’t enjoy [insert hobby here] like I used to….? Stop worrying over nothing.”
How many of us have shrugged off the concern of our families and friends, citing our high functioning as proof that we are “just fine”? If a loved one is worried enough to voice their concern, it is likely that we are not “just fine.” In the Pamper Your Mind August podcast, Kristin Woodling speaks with a former patient who did his best to carry on with his normal life, despite experiencing symptoms of depression for quite a while before seeking extra support. Many high functioning individuals will go to work, spend time with loved ones, pay the bills, and do routine household chores under the looming cloud of depression and pretend to be “just fine”. One thing that my experience as a psychologist has shown me is that people often delay asking for help, even if they know that they need the support. It may be because we have images that we want to uphold, or feel embarrassed that we aren’t able to manage our stressors. Sometimes, having a loved one share their worry can increase the sense of shame, knowing that others can tell that you’re struggling. But letting others support us through times of difficulty can be a sign of strength.
If you are struggling to get out from underneath the cloud of depression, ask for help. You don’t have to wrestle with depression alone. The sooner you seek support, the sooner you can learn the skills you need so that you can stop pretending to be “just fine” and start feeling like yourself again!
Written by: Dr. Susana Marikle