OPINION: Can you be happy and still be depressed?

LIVING with depression as a naturally happy and optimistic person is a unique and challenging combination.

While the common perception of depression is one of constant misery, this isn’t always the case.

Many people experience happiness and optimism alongside their ongoing battle with depression.

Depression can be all-consuming.

It can dictate your mood, distort your thoughts, and isolate you.

Deep within, you can naturally be inclined to sadness, but you can come to terms with it.

You can accept that you won’t experience the unbridled bliss of youth. Emotions are broad and intense, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also experience happiness and optimism at times.

Many don’t like displaying their sadness or bad moods; you certainly don’t want others to see that dark side of you.

You understand the frustration of being unable to shake off a bad mood.

I can empathise with the feeling of having your emotions controlled by an unseen force, just as depression does.
Depression is an internal battle, and it often feels like a losing one.

But refuse to let it define you.

You are passionate, love to laugh and enjoy good times.

Don’t let depression take that away from you, at least not entirely.

Depression is not always visible on the surface.

Those who experience deep sadness can also experience profound joy. You can appreciate life more and empathise with others who are suffering. It’s a reminder that wounds don’t always manifest on the outside.

In this world, beauty and darkness coexist.

We must accept both, which means embracing happiness, positivity, and optimism and also owning your depression.

It’s a complex and sometimes contradictory reality.

By Rob HOILE, Depression and Hope Support Group

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