I was at an event recently and someone said something that got my attention. In that moment, I didn’t know how to respond in the moment – so here it is now.
The question was asked… “Why is it the happiest people – comedians especially – commit suicide?”
This got me thinking back to a time in college… Like any other college student, I was exhausted, wasn’t sleeping properly; working too many hours between work and school left me feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Add in the pre-diagnosed depression and anxiety as well as the not yet diagnosed bipolar disorder and you were left with a bottle of emotion and nerves.
I was sitting front row of the college class (because I was THAT kid) and a teacher was talking about depression. As he made a broad statement about college students being stressed out and how it could affect our mental health, he looked at me and said – “well except you… You’re always smiling. You’re never depressed.”
I couldn’t hold eye contact and my eyes watered… Because I had been at the hospital the night before because I was suicidal. But the teacher would have no idea.
Because I was always smiling.
Sometimes the people who seem the happiest are the people who are hurting the most. They’re the people who overcompensate for their depression because admitting something is wrong is harder than just pretending.
Many individuals use humour to mask their pain. To draw attention away from the fact that they’re not okay.
It is easy to believe that if someone’s depressed, they’ll walk around sad all the time. But that’s not reality. Reality is that one in five Canadians alone live with a mental illness or mental health concern.
Many go undiagnosed and untreated. Many feel alone and feel like no one could ever understand what they’re going through. And that breaks my heart. There are so many people who live with or have lived with some sort of mental health concern that we can all support each other. We can lift each other up.
You’re not alone. You are special. YOU are loved.
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, business owner, daughter and friend. She has a Marketing Diploma and a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.
Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health-related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.