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Bell “Let's Talk” | With Matthew Hope

Our founder Matthew Hope bravely opens up about his mental illness, something he's kept hidden for YEARS

5 Most Common Signs of Anxiety & Depression

1. You're scared & tired — at the same time

I've been hiding my anxiety behind a huge smile since I was 10 years old. Back then, I was flat-out TERRIFIED because there was no reason to feel this bad. So I went to countless $$$ therapists, was prescribed SO MANY drugs, with EVEN MORE side-effects. Nothing worked. All this happy-acting makes you really, really tired.

2. You fear failure — but don't feel like doing anything about it

Depression attacks your focus, your energy & your ability to get things done. In high school, my straight-A grades started to slip. I was scared that I had no future & people would think I was stupid. I avoided everyone. I had constant stomach aches. I later dropped out of first year university 🧑‍🎓 Which was when I started We Are Planet Hope, with the support of my family.

3. You feel too much — and still feel numb

Days & nights are filled with racing thoughts when you're depressed. You also feel emotionally numb. I'm amazed how I can be with my brother Will who's killing himself laughing at a TikTok that I know should make me laugh too—but doesn't. Or I'm at a music festival with thousands of joyful partiers (that's me in the photo)—and feel empty inside.

4. You want to be alone — but not lonely

Anxiety convinces your brain that if you go out, you'll get rejected. So your depressed brain convinces you to stay home. A trick to shrink depression? Therapists say to try & do the OPPOSITE to what your brain is saying. Easier said than done because...

5. You want friends — but hate socializing

The truth is, people who are depressed crave connections too. We're just not feeling like ourselves — so showing up to parties, concerts, bars & events to have a good time is EXHAUSTING & makes my palms sweat just thinking about it 💦

Not sure how to support someone who's strugging with anxiety & depression? Take it from me. We don't want you to feel bad for us. Just be patient if you can, keep us in the loop & be there when we finally re-surface. As we say around here, thanks for making HOPE happen 💚

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