Depression is a state of low mood which can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, and ultimately their sense of well-being. Depression is also classed as a mental illness. In my opinion, you can’t advise a depressed person on how to ‘deal with their problems’ and how to ‘overcome’ it, if you haven’t been through the whole process and dealt with the highs and lows of depression.
A recurring conversation is that of when a person, albeit a loved one or confidante, gives you ‘advice’ on how to deal with YOUR depression. Here’s some ‘advice’ we’ll all heard before.
1.Pull yourself together-Such a simple phrase yet such a narrow minded opinion. If it was that easy to pull yourself together, don’t you think the person may have done it sooner? ‘Pulling yourself together’ is as not as easy as it sounds.
2.Stop feeling sorry for yourself-Doesn’t everyone have days where they feel sorry for themselves? Telling a person what to feel and what not to feel is not helping the person in dealing with their depression, it could result in the person feeling guilty for having them feelings. Why should they feel bad for feeling stronger emotions than others?
3.There are a lot of people worse off than you– Yes there will always be people worse off than you, but that should not stop a person from feeling a certain way. They shouldn’t feel guilt for not being appreciative for what they have. Telling someone they can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else may have it better.
4.You have no stress, no bills, no mortgage etc– To think that the only stress a person can feel is due to money and daily responsibilities and duties is naïve and in my opinion ignorant. There are many other problems and money is just one of many. Issues that we, as humans, deal with on a daily basis come in many different forms. So to weigh depression on the scale of money or certain obligations shows how ignorant one can be regarding the topic of depression.
5.YOU DON’T LOOK DEPRESSED-What? Should people look a certain way to be depressed? No. People react to things differently depending on their character and situation. To say that a person’s appearance or behaviour does not indicate that they are depressed is foolish. Do they have to put their feelings on public display for them to be believed?
There is a number of things that people say to a person suffering with depression that may not have been thought out in their head. It can result in the person dealing with depression to question their feelings and to think whether it is ‘normal’ or not. Everyone deals with depression differently and to think that rather than offering help, people jump to conclusions or make assumptions regarding the person’s issues. People don’t understand how stressful it can be to explain what’s going on inside of your head, when you don’t understand it yourself.
“People think depression is sadness, crying or dressing in black. But people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb. You wake up in the morning just to go back to bed again.”