Hiding behind the smile


She laughs and smiles, playing with the children, happily chatting away. Nothing much to say about what’s going on with her but the children are doing great. The eldest won a dance award and the youngest is cutting a new tooth. Full of questions about your life, she listens intently, nodding, smiling and offering words of encouragement if needed. She’s happy, right. Life is great – she said so herself. She smiles all of the time and always knows what to say to cheer other people up. Of course she’s happy!

You go home and she is alone with the children. She loves the children but she hasn’t got the energy to play with them. She flicks listlessly through the TV channels. Nothing captures her attention and it wouldn’t matter anyway because not much really interests her at the moment. The house is a mess and although she knows that she needs to clean it, she just can’t face that chore. The youngest child comes over for a cuddle. It brings tears to her eyes. She knows that the children love her unconditionally yet she can’t bring herself to be the full of energy Mother that she once was. Where has that person gone? Where has the love for life gone? It was there not so long ago, she’s sure that it was. The eldest child wants to go to the park. Getting out of the house might do everyone some good she thinks so coats and shoes go on, changing bag is packed and half an hour later everybody is ready to depart. The park is bright and sunny with children running around and parents happily chasing them. She looks enviously at the happy families. They look care free.

A friend spots her and approaches to say hello. She laughs and smiles, playing with the children, happily chatting away. Nothing much to say about what’s going on with her but the children are doing great. The eldest won a dance award and the youngest is cutting a new tooth. Full of questions about her friend’s life, she listens intently, nodding, smiling and offering words of encouragement if needed. She’s happy, right. Life is great – she said so herself. She smiles all of the time and always knows what to say to cheer other people up. Of course she’s happy!

Do we really know how people are feeling inside? According to the World Health Organisation more than 350 million people worldwide will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. This doesn’t mean that all of these people will receive help and support however. Mental Health issues such as depression still have a social stigma surrounding them even in this day and age. Many people hide how they feel for fear of not being taken seriously. Depression is an illness and if we can raise awareness of this, then maybe more people will seek the help and support that they so desperately need.

Mental Health Awareness Week

16th – 22nd May

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Image Credit – http://quotesgram.com/quotes-about-hiding-sadness/

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