Why do people feel the need to trivialise depression? I understand this is partly due to the fact that they personally do not understand and often it may be completely unintentional. As much as we wish they did, platitudes do not cure depression. Often it has the opposite effect. It just becomes demoralising. If illnesses were a race, why do people put depression in last place? Why do people brush openly speaking about it under the rug? We have quite a few of those in my household. I know it is not taken seriously in some cultures. Speaking from my experience. It is hard to speak up. I understand people mean well and often only want to help but these ‘statements’ do not minimise the pain if that is your intention. I know the people around me love and care for me. They would travel to the ends of this earth to make me feel better. I have an amazing, loving family and equally amazing friends but they do not understand. I cannot drill it into them. The best thing you can do is just be there. Just listen. Hold me and hug me. Love always help. Show love. Spread love. Sprinkle love. Pour love. Sow love. Just love! So many people around the world suffer from depression and yet people are still so dismissive. These are just a handful of the things people have asked me or said to me.
- “What do you have to be depressed about? You have everything going for you.”
I cannot begin to explain how much this hurt me, I drove home crying. Nobody chooses to be depressed. There are two types of depression and sometimes there is no reason for it. I have no reason to feel the way I do.
- “Try and park your thoughts!”
I only wish it was as simple. How can you ‘park’ your thoughts when they consume your mind every waking moment of every day?
- “Come on. It could be a lot worse.”
Somehow hearing this does not make it any better.
- “Just try and be positive.”
I am trying, believe me! I have no feelings.
- “If I was going through what you are going through right now, I would deal with it a lot better.” (Now they wished they could take it away from me and meant well & I love you but really?).
- “It will pass.”
Now I say this a lot myself. When you feel depressed you cannot imagine the future, you don’t see a future so envisioning the day this will pass is impossible. You are frantically trying to find ways to run away from your present reality so the future does not even come to mind. What future? Hope is a wonderful thing – if you can hold onto it. Your depression rips it out of your arms so hearing these vague statements bring little to no hope.
- “Get a grip. Snap out of it. Shake it off”
If only I could flick it off. To slap it out. (FYI tried and failed!)
- “It’s all in your mind.”
There are a lot of things on my mind. Like will this ever go away?
- “Everyone goes through this at some point. You’re not the only one.”
Everyone? So why do I feel so alone?
“I thought you were stronger than this.”
“People have dealt with worse things in life.
“I would have never guessed you felt depressed. You don’t look it.”
How am I supposed to look? Just because someone puts on a brave face and you don’t see them running to their car and bursting out into tears – doesn’t always mean they are okay. The way I look on the outside and how I present myself is not a reflection of how I feel inside.
“Depression is a myth.”
I wish it was
“I know how you feel.”
Remember although people experience different types of depression in their lifetime – nobody really knows how you feel inside. We can only assume and compare. The point is, nobody knows. You do not know how I feel. Do not make comparisons. You are different to the human being sat opposite you. Your brains are wired differently. Don’t compare.
Lastly, I wish I could go for a jog or a run every day like you say I should. Dragging yourself out of bed is an achievement some days!
One Response to “Some of the things people say …”
So true! I’ve said a few of these, both to myself and others. But like you mention, when you are depressed none of it helps! The depressed mind plays by completely different rules, and there is no rulebook to help figure it out…
Thanks for sharing, we may feel alone but we are alone together in a way