Why ‘faking it’ can be helpful when you have depression

You don’t have to pretend with me (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Depression often creeps into the brains of people who are least expected.

Depressive actors are usually really great actors, and most of them master the art of pretending everything is good and fresh, while in reality their brains are on fire and they die inside.

Finding out that a person who was supposed to be optimistic, optimistic and energetic is actually silently struggling with his or her inner destiny can be absolutely heartbreaking.

This can cause you to think that this person may not love you or trust you enough to be his or her true and sad old self around you, and sends you into a spiral of guilt as you begin to re-analyze your past behavior and blame yourself for noticing that he or she has problems.

But the fact is, the depressed person probably hid it from you on purpose. If you haven’t noticed that they’re falling apart inside, it’s because they’re trying so hard to be clear and together, which, to be honest, surprisingly, helps to deal with depression.

As someone who has had the pleasure of seeing depressed demons camping in her brain for years, if I really stopped pretending to others, I would never get out of bed.

This claim makes me and many others work (I know because I’ve spoken to many people suffering from depression for this book I wrote about it), and it’s a refuge for others that pushes good behavior out of us.

I only went through the first two coronaviruses and could have been a brand ambassador for the big, stoned, unwashed bums, if that’s the case.

The young woman laughs and is secretly sad.

Sometimes it can be useful to pretend (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

I had no one to talk to and no one to judge me. So when I felt bad (which was often the case), there were no pretensions, which only made things worse. The third time I isolated myself and moved back to my family, which forced me to perform more monumental tasks, such as washing and dressing, and actually helped me focus more on my mental health.

I know of course that I can be myself with my family, and especially now that they have all read my fairly honest book about living with depression, they know very well that I am a sad bag of potatoes in vaguely human form, and wouldn’t wonder if I want to stay in bed and in the dark all day. Instead I just go back to sleep and switch off, but for the rest of the time I keep staring.

Although I am a great advocate of giving yourself time to feel your damn feelings, and I know from experience that if you ignore the demons of depression and constantly pretend to exhaust yourself and make things worse, you won’t be able to feel them.

So it’s a question of balance, which seems to be the case, but I think it makes sense. If you pretend all the time and never allow yourself to accept and admit your disappointment, you will feel worse, your depression will be buried and you will feel unbearably depressed.

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If you never pretend or simulate anything (because it is so difficult and exhausting) and lie in bed every day, you will feel even worse and more unbearable.

Personally I try to look at my days or weeks and see when I have a lot of time to spend on jazz, which I know will be tiring, so I make sure I have time to lie down in the dark. The blocking chain, which cancels all projects within the foreseeable future, has made things a lot easier.

What I’m trying to say in a rather degressive way is that pretending sometimes can be very useful for a person suffering from depression and give them time to feel more in control and not let their demons of depression win.

There’s no reason to feel bad if you feel someone is putting on a show for you, because that’s probably exactly what they do to avoid getting into trouble. Don’t get angry when someone pretends to be with everyone else and shows his true cruelty around you and only with you.

Depression is different for everyone, and everyone has a different sense of well-being and other things that can help them overcome it. There is not really a good way to deal with our mental health, we all have to try to find what helps us.

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