For a while I’ve been thinking about chronicling how I look as it relates to depression. I think many people expect a depressed person to look or behave a certain way all the time, and that’s really not the case. Because I struggle the most with depression in the last 4 months of the year – around the time Momcat died and over the course of the holidays – I decided to take a photo of myself every day for this month and post it here.*
With each photo I’m going to post a little bit about what’s going on, along with a number to rank my depression level on a decidedly unscientific scale of 1 to 10. A score of 1 means I am feeling extremely depressed, withdrawn and reclusive; 10 is feeling happy, positive and upbeat. Five is what I think of as “even keel”: not feeling depressed to the point that I take to the bed, but in touch with my depression and using tools such as positive self-talk, journaling and affirmations so that I can function normally.
Here is today’s photo, which I took about an hour ago. On a scale of 1 to 10 my depression level today is about 5. I’m struggling with a few thoughts of insecurity and loneliness, and right before I took the photo I found out some sad news about a friend’s child being very sick. I had some good moments today, though, and a couple conversations that were fun and upbeat, so I feel pretty even.
* I originally posted that October is Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, but I’m getting conflicting sources as to whether or not that’s correct. October 6th is National Depression Screening Day, though.