Hiding Depression and Anxiety
We all have an image that we want others to see. Everyone has a facade of some sort. For instance, as much as I would like to tell you that I am who I am, and that I always present that person to everybody, I can’t. I hide behind a mask of sorts. For example, there is a part of me that is very proper and mannerly. That is the person that I normally present, especially to people that I am just getting to know. But, once I have known you for a while I am likely to burp super loud and declare, “Good one!” I will never forget the look on my mother-in-love’s face the first time that I did that—pure shock. It was priceless. Those who know me best see things in me that others do not. I do not consider this as being fake, and yet in a way it isn’t being real either.
Therefore, let’s talk about not being real. You know how it is on those days that you are feeling anxious or depressed, but you manage to smile and laugh a little when you are with your family or friends? That is what I am talking about. We hide behind a mask, pretending to be alright, when deep down inside we are not alright. At the same time, with anxiety and depression you cannot fake it until you make it. You have to face it and deal with it. It can be exhausting hiding behind a mask all the time. Don’t let that become your life.
I have been there—hiding behind my mask—and thought I was doing a good job with it. Yet, those who knew me best would ask me why I was so quiet. Truth? It was taking all my energy and focus to “respond normally” to them that I couldn’t engage normally in conversation. I had nothing to say. Have you been there? I am naturally a very talkative person. I never meet a stranger. Communication is my thing, but when I am working my “mask/facade of being okay” I am not a talkative person. That has become a red flag to my family now.
After years of battling this, my husband and children have figured out the signs that I am beginning to go down–that I am hiding behind my mask. It is almost instinctual to put on the mask. This is where my family is my biggest support group, because they take the time to ask me questions and listen to me. My family wraps their arms around me and let me know that I don’t have to hide. They see me, truly see me, and it’s okay.
Scriptures References–Anxiety & Depression
- [Mat 6:25 ESV] 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
- [Mat 6:27 ESV] 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
- [Phl 4:6 ESV] 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
- [2Co 7:6 ESV] 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
- [Psa 9:9 ESV] 9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
- [Isa 40:31 ESV] 31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
- [Isa 41:10 ESV] 10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- [Mat 11:28-30 ESV] 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
- [1Pe 5:7 ESV] 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
- [Pro 3:5-6 ESV] 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- [Phl 4:4-8 ESV] 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
- [Phl 4:13 ESV] 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
- [2Ti 1:7 ESV] 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.