Stupid things people say to people with depression
I've been seeing a therapist for the last two months now following my battle with depression. After my last post on the subject, I’ve come to realise that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about depression. Most of the misconceptions come from a lack of education on the subject. In addition to depression being misunderstood there is also a stigma attached to it, which tends to turn some people into judgemental know it all's. The only way to change the way people think about it is to talk about it.
I’ve heard all these comments come from the mouths of people who I have shared my struggles with. I know that they all mean well but unless you yourself have been there (or helped someone who has) it’s hard to understand what people are going through.
These classic responses are all comments I have dealt with and please take heed when I say, these are things that you should not say to your loved one who is depressed.
“You just need to snap out of it.”
Nobody chooses to be depressed! Depression is not a choice any more than diabetes or arthritis is a choice. And just like diabetics and people with arthritis can not “snap out of it” neither can people who are depressed. It is no different than many physical illnesses in that it has genetic and biological reasons for it. Trust me if we could get to cloud nine we would be there!
“You’re just being selfish. Life isn’t about being happy all the time.”
Again, depression is not a choice. People don’t become depressed because they are unhappy with their life. Well, I suppose some people do, but the majority of people have actual biological reasons for their depression. I don’t expect my life to be perfect and without any struggles. Please don’t make assumptions about someone’s character or the reasons for their depression.
“But you don’t have anything to be depressed about.”
No, I really don’t. I had a great childhood. I have loving parents. My boyfriend loves me unconditionally and I have the most beautiful pug in the world. I really don’t have anything to be depressed about. And yet, it is something that I deal with every day and on that note who do you think you are to judge anyone this way?
"We all struggle! If I can cope, what's your problem?"
This one really grinds my gears. Don't be so self righteous about it... You may have no idea what is happening in someone else's life. Please don't be so quick to judge the degree of strength another person has when they confide and trust in you enough to share something that can sometimes be embarrassing.
One more thing guys. We are building ourselves up from scratch and the best thing you can do is this.