I don’t want anyone to know that I want to die. It’s embarrassing all the thoughts that run through my head. I’m afraid of half of them and I don’t want to say them out loud because that makes them real. So I pretend that everything is fine. I keep my head down, do my work, listen to the professor even though I can’t understand her words. I can’t remember what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not sure if I need to be taking notes, looking at my vocabulary words or what. All I can focus on is my repetitive thoughts. I want to listen to the lecture but all I can think about is blood flowing out of me. I don’t want to exist anymore. But I am so ashamed that I’m thinking this way. Everyone sees me as this perfect person. I don’t have any flaws, I’m not a human being, I’m some flawless little barbie doll, blonde hair, big blue eyes, with a small body and warm smile. I smile because I don’t want people to know that my insides are hurting. My stomach is tied up, ropes entangled inside. I wish I could reach inside myself and untangle the knots so I could release the pain. If I did that then everyone would see that I was flawed. I was a liar, a fraud, pretending to be this perfect girl that I’m not. I refuse to let the mask go, take it off, be the person that I’ve been pretending not to be. If I do that, will it scare everyone? Will it scare me? I don’t want to look in there and see the reality of what I am feeling. I don’t want it to be real. I want to believe that everything is okay. That I’m okay. I’m never going to show people that I’m depressed. They won’t get it, they won’t accept me. My friends will abandon me. My parents will think I’m a failure. My brother will tell me I’m making it up. My sister will roll her eyes and say I’m being a drama queen. That’s why I stay silent because I don’t want people to look at me differently. I’m not depressed and I’m going to keep telling you that no matter what’s going on inside. You won’t see what I don’t show you.
High functioning depression is something that is difficult to pinpoint. People who are high functioning and depressed appear like they are doing just fine. They may even be over-achievers. But they are actually suffering. In this article on BetterHelp, they explore what it’s like to live with high functioning depression and dysthymia. This piece on The Mighty goes through a list of symptoms that someone with high functioning depression might experience. If you or someone you know is suffering from high functioning depression, don’t be afraid to seek the help of a mental health professional. There are many people who are experiencing the same thing out there and you are not alone.