1. One of the main messages I recall from childhood was “big boys don’t cry.” Later, I was often told “you shouldn’t feel that way…look at the brighter side.” When my grandmother, who lived with us, died ( I was in junior high school) very little was said to me about it and the adults all gathered to grieve while I was given a project to do to “keep me occupied.” Luckily, as an adult, I realized I had problems with expressing my emotions and obtained therapy. Now, at the age of 68, I still have problems crying when sad and occasionally erupt in anger. But at least I don’t get stuck in those emotions but work my way through them with the help of a great wife and some good friends.

  2. As I read this, I can think of so many people I know who fit this description. Depressed but so hidden and unable to access those feelings. I think many people suffer from this and often have no idea.

  3. To the outsider, my life seems perfect. Smart, beautiful children, big house, good husband, successful career. I always look put-together, very organized, envied even. But it’s a mask I wear. I have to make sure I fight on.
    My entire life, we struggled with instability, divorce, father abandoned us, moved around, mother constantly under stress and suffering depression and overwhelmed by life. I had to be normal, perfect. Get all A’s, be a cheerleader, be happy, be independent. My earliest memories are of wanting to leave this life. I was jealous of the birds who could fly away. I wished and prayed to a God I didn’t believe in for money, security. My mom remarried a man, who had a good heart, but they argued constantly. We were always “your fucking kids” when they shouted at each other.
    I kept wishing my life away. When I get older, it will be better, and I’ll be happy. When I’m in high school, college, when I graduate, when I get a job, when I get married, when I have kids. Well, there are some wonderful moments. You can say I’m blessed. But I’m almost 40 now and I am thinking…I can retire in 20 years, then I don’t have to leave the house or face the world, then I can die.
    So I got help, again. Have tried therapy, every antidepressant known to man. New dr now. She recommended I read this blog. Tells me I am high functioning or PHD. I hope to one day soon, wake up and enjoy life. I hope my first thought will not be “when can I crawl back into bed.” It’s heavily in my family for generations. I have Chronic Major Organic blah blah …….
    Anyway, it’s helpful to know I’m not alone. Such a stigma with mental illness. Sometimes I wish I could cut off an arm or leg and trade a mental disability for a physical one, just to be neurotypical. But that’s crazy, right? Of course, I wouldn’t. But if a car were coming straight at me, I don’t know that I’d move out of the way. The only thing that keeps me going is my children.

    1. Amanda, I so appreciate you reaching out. I have heard from many just like you, sadly enough. If you’d like, please feel free to privately email me: askdrmargaret@ , and we can talk further. Thanks so much. and please thank the doctor who referred you to this website. I wish I could thank her in person as well.

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