This weekend Twitter was rapidly filled with posts using the #mydepressionlookslike hashtag. The viral trend inspired people everywhere to share their story, tell the world how depression would look like if it had a face, a body, a character, something of its own.
Sometimes viral trends are helpful. In a cloud of black and blue and white and gold dresses, cigars hidden in brick walls, and challenges that pose serious safety issues, the Internet manages to introduce a trend that actually helps its dwellers.
This is the story of the #mydepressionlookslike hashtag. People that suffer from the terrible conditions decided to personify their illness, demystifying plenty of false myths while doing so.
According to the Mental Health National Institute, depression is a common mood disorder. The problem is that it takes over the life of the sufferer, interfering with all of his or her daily routines like eating, working, sleeping, or doing chores.
Depression is a sickness as serious as an infection because once it gets a grip on you, it invades every cell of your body, altering the way you think, the way you feel, the way you perceive life as a whole. Some patients are so affected by the void that the disorder creates that they start engaging in extreme activities, just to be able to shed its symptoms.
The hashtag grew increasingly popular over the weekend, more and more people deciding to share their story, shedding some light on an illness that was, and unfortunately still is, considered a mere whim.
Those who were brave enough to give a face to their depression wrote moving posts like “#mydepressionlookslike not being able to get out of bed due to emotional exhaustion some days while outsiders think you’re just simply lazy.”
Others wrote “#mydepressionlookslike using humor and tweeting ironic nihilist memes to mask the fact I wanna die,” or even “#mydepressionlookslike wishing everyone would leave me alone and at the same time, wishing someone would see me struggling.”
Representatives from the SA Mental Health Federation declared that the more the public talks about depression, the better the impact on society. Mental health disorders have been considered a stigma for a long while now, and every time the sufferers talk about their illnesses, awareness is spread.
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