This is The Face of Depression

You might be asking yourself, why is Charlie posting a picture of himself clearly posing for a headshot?

Is it narcissism? No, though I’m not one to ever shy away from admitting my own narcissism.

Rather, this is the face of depression.

One of the most important lessons I learned in counseling school is that everything is on a spectrum — addiction, sexuality, gender — they all come in shades. And while this adds complexity, it also brings with it freedom. Freedom for each human being to be an original rather than grouped into one of two categories.

Still, it never occurred to me that it could be the same for depression. Not, at least, until I started taking an anti-depressant earlier this year and improved so much I could no longer deny it — I’d been depressed on and off for decades.

Honestly, I just never asked hard questions of my mental state. Like, why do I feel less happy than others seem? Why do I have times when I just want to sleep constantly? Why do I go through periods where my brain is so loud there is nothing I can do to escape it?

It’s because I was depressed.

But because I wasn’t on the far end of the depression spectrum, I didn’t believe (or want to believe) that medicine could help.

Boy, was I way off.

I hate it when people write like they’re on a high horse somewhere with all the answers (I hate it even more when I write like that). Because life is just never that simple. With your uniqueness comes a different story and different needs.

I guess what I’m saying is, it can’t hurt to ask a doctor, ask a friend, or ask me. Because it may change your life — it definitely changed mine. Admittedly I still have a lot of growing up to do (my little pup reminds me of this everyday), but there’s hope again. Hope like I’ve never had before.

And isn’t that the goal? Not perfection. Not constant bliss. Not a life with all the answers. Just one filled with hope, so that when grand dreams come we’ll be ready and willing.

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