People with depression are opening up about the invisible side to the mental illness, in a bid to show that you can’t “see” the inner struggles they are dealing with on a daily basis.
The #WhatYouDontSee campaign was launched by The Blurt Foundation to coincide with Depression Awareness Week.
It has inspired a wave of people to open up about their insights and experiences of depression and other mental health issues.
“We want to highlight the reality of depression, the impact depression has had on our lives, giving people a chance to share ‘what you don’t see’,” reads Blurt’s website.
Jayne Hardy, founder of The Blurt Foundation, told The Huffington Post that the campaign comes as a response to people who have told someone with depression that they “don’t look depressed”.
“Again and again, members of our community tell us they’ve been told they don’t ‘look depressed’, that they can’t be ill because they’ve been spotted smiling, that they’re too young/old/pretty/smiley/privileged to be depressed, and so on,” she explained.
“We’re so over hearing comments like this. Depression can hit anyone, at any time, regardless of age, gender, and personal circumstance.
“You can’t tell from the outside who is suffering, because depression can’t be seen.”
The #WhatYouDontSee campaign encourages people to share ‘mhelfies’ – pictures of themselves, as someone affected by mental health issues – with a caption explaining what others can’t see.
Those who don’t want to share a selfie can simply tweet their feelings using the hashtag.
Here are just some of the tweets that have been shared so far…
#WhatYouDontSee the shame that comes with having depression and anxiety. It feels almost too cliche. (I was scared to tweet this)
— Julia Wilde (@Julia_SCI) April 20, 2016
#WhatYouDontSee the feeling of overwhelming emptiness and the act you have to put on to pretend you are excited by things in life.
— FranklyMsShankly (@SeeEmilyyPlay) April 21, 2016
#WhatYouDontSee is the brain fog + memory loss that make it very difficult (and embarrassing at times) to hold a conversation or do your job
— Gem (@ThisMyGem) April 21, 2016
#WhatYouDontSee is that people suffer in silence everyday. Be kind, you dont know other peoples battles. Don’t assume that you do.
— Rebecca Collins (@rubz52) April 20, 2016
#WhatYouDontSee The absolute exhaustion after getting home from a normal day at work faking it for the outside world.
— Phil Robinson (@phildrobinson) April 18, 2016
#WhatYouDontSee is going through the side effects of medication – insomnia, dark thoughts, hot sweats, shaking, nausea & anxiety.
— Kimberley Giles (@LittleKimmyJane) April 18, 2016
#WhatYouDontSee is the terror that someone might notice something is wrong, and the pain when no one does.
— Ben (@BenTheEpicure) April 18, 2016