Depression, a mental illness, yes, but is it more than that? Can it be emotional?
‚ÄúI cannot be seen. You hurry past me and I am invisible.
You do not hear me; my words hold each other back.‚Äù
Depression took twenty-five years of my life until I realised there was a connection between it and my shyness in childhood. I clearly remember when all those supressed feelings erupted and took me down with the blackest cloud I have experienced.
I was a happy child. I was sensitive and that was all encompassing. All those little spats with siblings, parents and peers didn‚Äôt wash away, they sank inwards. Every negative interaction was forensically analysed. I never fought back, I held it all in. As independent social interactions grew, I retreated further. When I hit my teens I clearly remember wanting to die purely because I was sad. I had every opportunity growing up; I went to a good school, I attended sports clubs and Scouts. There was every opportunity to release my feelings, but I just wasn‚Äôt made that way. All my pain was internalised. The sadness of not feeling included, though I was. The feeling of not being strong, my incapability to engage all processed itself in a negative way.
Shyness in childhood and teenage depression
The trajectory was a long progression from a shy child to a depressed teen. My shyness centred around a lack of self-confidence to speak, interject and express how I feel outwardly. Even now I still struggle.
I commented to a friend recently that I write better than I speak. He said he is the opposite. Both have their strengths, but ultimately expression is paramount.
There are ways through this, ways to help yourself and others from harming themselves.
Move out of your comfort zone
Put yourself in social situations without giving it much thought. Retrain your brain with regards to how you see others. Start a conversation your words aren‚Äôt poison. Granted not everyone will embrace you but that doesn‚Äôt matter. Stop punishing yourself. When you feel isolated allow yourself to be consumed by other things-venture out.
The root of shyness is sensitivity. It can be the greatest gift but only when used in the right way. Shyness can either be your friend or destroy you.
I can only speak for myself. Sensitivity led me inwards and to ultimately stand on my feelings until they took my feet from under me. So, dance around the kitchen in your pyjamas with your friend who can‚Äôt dance publicly, sing into your hairbrush, and meet friends in new places. Remember it is okay to look inwards, but set it loose. Ultimately it is how you feel that really matters and if you feel sad inside, it‚Äôs not the place for those emotions.
If you would like information regarding how our treatments can help you overcome the shy-depression cycle, please contact us below.
Use the right support networks and help those around you utilise their sensitivity.