Eighteen-year-old Ellie Newton suffers from depression. Can’t you tell?
Of course not. But that doesn’t stop a lot of people from believing that you have to “look sick” in order to be unwell.
An apprehensive Ellie recently took to Facebook to bust that myth once and for all.
“Scared to post this but I need to rant to try and get people to understand,” she begins, sharing a split-screen image of two selfies.
“PLEASE do not tell someone with depression/anxiety or ANY mental health issue ‘you look fine to me,’ ‘well you look normal to me,’ ‘you seem ok to me,’ ‘you seemed okay yesterday.’ I loathe being told things like this especially by doctors.
The two pictures show two sides of me. The left is the face I put on for the world while the right is raw, unedited me. And yes, there is a difference. On the left I look like any ‘normal’ teenager, wearing makeup with my hair done looking good and well presented. But this is purely a facade…this is the me I don’t show to the world. Tired, crying, puffy face, bags under my eyes, messy hair, no makeup, unbrushed hair, unkept and exhausted. This is what my illness does to me.
Just because you can’t see my illness, doesn’t mean it’s not there. I hide it, deal with it, push it to a side and keep it locked away but sometimes it comes out.
No you cannot see mental health. No it is not any less serious than other health issues. Yes it is real. Yes it shows itself in other ways. Yes it’s terrifying.
So in the future, please don’t tell me I don’t have anything wrong with me just because I look okay, thank you.“
The U.K. teen has received lots of love and encouragement from the post, which has resonated well with many others who can relate.