TV and radio host Fearne Cotton talked openly this week about her own depression in a short (only 3½ minutes) BBC podcast.
I was particularly struck by what she said about us “… doing that awful compare and despair sort of thing…”
She was describing how we look at other people’s lives and believe what they’re telling us on Facebook, Instagram, etc. – and then compare these to ourselves and our own lives.
I often talk about this with my clients, too – how we compare other people’s ‘outsides’ with our own ‘insides’: how other people appear, the images they present to the world, versus what it feels like, inside, to be us. This isn’t comparing like with like.
We don’t know how other people feel unless they tell us – and a lot of the time they’re probably going through the same sort of fears, anxieties and insecurities that we are – they might just be hiding it all really well.
In fact, Cotton says that when she talked to her friends about her depression, in the space of a week, three of them opened up to talk about their own struggles.
As she says “… depression comes in many shapes, colours, sizes, textures…” but it helps to talk about it.
She advocates, as do I, that we don’t suffer alone, in silence, but that we talk. This might be to a friend or family member – or a professional – but that we do talk to someone.