Okay, have you ever had that feeling that slowly creeps in, sometimes on a daily basis and had someone tell you,
- You should, Eat, Sleep, or exercise more.
- You have nothing to be depressed about.
- You don’t need medication to get better
- You need to get out and do something
- You’ll get over it
Now before we start, I am in no way, shape or form a licensed professional. I do have an extensive background in working with kids that have a wide range of disorders and I also speak from my personal experiences with dealing with this issue. The problem that people run into is, unless you have been through it, or are some sort of professional than it is hard to look at it from the others sides perspective. Once of the things that I do want to make clear in this article is that Depression has a lot of misconceptions that surround it and these definitely need to be squashed. The following is a list of things that some people think and reasons why people should not think this way
Depression just means you are sad, or that something bad happened to you
This is probably the easiest one to misconstrue. Yes, sadness can be a part of it, and yes something bad could of happen to you, but that is just a small part of what could cause the spiral. I know mine will act in a wide range of actions and emotions. There are times where I can be angry for no reason, which tends to be the bulk of it. There are times where I can be surrounded by friends and loved ones and still feel like the I am in the middle of space surrounded by a vast a nothingness. I guess what I am trying to get at is, don’t assume that because the person isn’t sad or hasn’t been through something that they are not struggling with a lot of internal things.
You are just trying to get attention
This is one that I cannot stress enough, please, please, please, do not just assume that the above is the case. If someone has gotten to the point where they are coming to you for help than I can tell you that they feel that they have exhausted all other option. This will just justify the feeling of not wanting anybody else to deal with their problems and most likely make things worse
Depression means you are weak
Really? Really? I have had the pleasure of growing up with and currently know plenty of really strong people. I also know some of these people that also deal with this issue on a day to day basis. Having depression has nothing to do with your character and strength as a person. On the flip side reaching out for help does not make you any less of a person either. I believe that this is a huge reason a lot of people don’t like to reach out for help. Life has plenty of things that say, strong people don’t show emotion, strong people get over their issues. The fact of the matter is, the more things are suppressed and not dealt with, the worse things can get,
You choose to be depressed
Trust me, nobody gets up and says, “you know what, I think I want to be depressed today”. If it was that easy than there would never be any discussion about it, a lot of times people don’t even know why they are depressed. You can be happy one second, sad or mad the next. The reason I finally broke and went and got help was that I got tired of not being able to get out of my moods that I was consistently stuck in.
Depression is not a real illness
Depression is just as real as getting the flu or pneumonia. The NIMH says that there is a clear difference between being sad for a few days and having depression. Depression hits in many different ways and if not treated can get worse and harder to fix. This can be treated with medication or talking with a licensed professional.
These are some of the misconceptions that I have found that a greatly detrimental to people having depression. I know the natural reaction to dealing with people that have this is to either, run the other way or to over help the situation. You cannot force people to talk to you but you cannot just push someone away if they don’t. I know it is a tricky balance but it is also a tricky subject. I have been in that position where someone pushes you to try to talk to them and in the end all it did was dig you deeper into your hole and make you not want to talk to anyone at all. The best thing to do is to just be there and they will talk to you when they are ready. Don’t take anything personal, them not wanting to talk has nothing to do with your relationship to them at all. My friend Matt was probably one of the very few people that knew what I was going through and him just chilling there was more help than anything else.
There is plenty of information on what to do when a friend or loved one is dealing with depression. Don’t take it lightly but also don’t force them into anything that they don’t want to do. Research it to better equip yourself on how to handle it and what signs to look for. Lastly do not make them believe that what they are going through is wrong, weak or whatever.
Depression is said to affect 1/10 Americans but a staggering 80% go untreated, depression also can lead to suicide, divorce, alcohol, drugs. The more and more that it becomes accepted to talk about or seek out help about the more it can begin to stop looking for negative ways to fix them. I know everybody is not like this and I know it is a tough subject to talk about but it is still an issue that needs to be put out there and taken serious.
- Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (2433)
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Veterans: 1-877-VET2VET
- Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis: 1-800-233-4357