"When a good university friend of mine told me she had suffered from depression in high school, I reacted with skepticism and little understanding: 'What do you mean, you couldn't get out of bed in the morning?'"
This is a meaningful quote from a text published by Sara Bøgh. A quote, that perfectly summons how most of us see depression as a solely mental condition or even worse — something people prescribe themselves when feeling sorry for their life choices.
Well, it's not always like that.
In fact, it's not like that 40 million times in the U.S. alone. Per the National Institute of Mental Health, 18 percent of the American population is affected by anxiety disorders, including depression, symptoms of which go beyond feeling lonely and sad.
Symptoms most of us know very little about ... but should. And thanks to this short film made by a Danish media organization The Current, will.
Titled 'Black Dog,' the video captures a day in the life of a man suffering from depression.
Directed by Marc Sutton, the short film follows a young lad as he goes by with his day unable to shake off the pessimistic feelings and thoughts caused by his condition.
"Another day in this f*cking pit ..." he starts.
Sutton's film is an accurate representation of what depressed individuals experience as it touches on many important factors that often get overlooked — such as physical fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, loss of interest in hobbies, even suicidal thoughts.
'This place is s*it. Maybe I should just go somewhere nice. Anywhere, but here ...'
The video is accompanied by the previously mentioned text by Sara Bøgh, which documents her first encounters with depression. She mentions a story about her friend who was diagnosed with severe case of such mental illness:
"Throughout her childhood she felt an immense pressure to be an outgoing, happy, talkative, extroverted girl, with no room for sadness and failure. She felt as if everyone around her expected this version of her, and if she couldn't deliver, she was a failure," Bøgh writes.
A similar scenario transcends to Sutton's video, where the main character masks his emotion in front of his parents instead of telling them how hopeless and lost he feels.
How often are anxiety and depression hidden behind these fake smiles?
With Black Dog, The Current calls for depression and other mental disorders to be recognized and treated as any other illness.
"If we can find social acceptance of so-called mental disorders, and pull them out of their taboos, sufferers will feel more comfortable coming forward, and we can treat people at earlier stages," it writes.