Don’t Believe the Hype: Public Self vs Private Self

All too often we can scan through a social media feed and mistakenly think that other people are happier, sexier, thinner, and ultimately having more fun and getting laid more often.

I’m going to share a secret: After a series of very unfortunate life circumstances beyond my control I suffered through what could be characterized as a clinical depression. The criteria often used to diagnose clinical depression is – a depression lasting longer than 3 consecutive months.

Since my Nov 2013 discharge from Homewood Hospital in Guelph, Ontario (Canada’s only hospital specializing in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) till very recently, I have struggled with a situation induced depression. Not bio-chemical in nature. I am normally a happy, optimistic person, who is happiest and at peak productivity in the morning hours of the day.

However, through this depression I forced myself to launch my company and power though. Frankly, I didn’t have a choice, it was sink or swim. I dragged myself to tons of events this summer where I was photographed smiling and appearing to have a good time. Meanwhile, the dishes were piled up in the kitchen and I had not been able to get the energy to mop the floor for three months. There were a few dark nights when returning home from an event – I briefly contemplated making the ascent to the 17th floor common room of our building to jump. For that reason, over 8 years ago I made the decision to never live above the 6th floor in any apartment building.

If you are feeling sad, lonely, depressed, or isolated and looking at other peoples social media feeds and thinking that their life is more fun, glamorous, or – fill in the blank – than yours. You may be very surprised to discoverer the reality of their real lived daily experience. At the end of the day social media is a powerful marketing platform to promote our personal brand and whatever we determine it stands for.

Both Vancouver Coastal Health and the Fraser Health Authority have a plethora of amazing programs designed to assist people struggling through both situation and bio-chemically induced depression. Don’t stoically suffer alone. There is plenty of free help available for those in need.


Mood Disorder Resources:

Public Enemy: Don’t Believe the Hype