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The Biggest 'Lie' I Tell When I'm Depressed

Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

“I’m fine.”

That’s my standard response when someone asks how I am when I’m depressed. It’s not necessarily a lie — sometimes it’s my attempt to “fake it ’til I make it.” If I tell myself I’m fine, then maybe I will be soon. As much as I want to tell people how I really feel, I’m afraid I’ll push them away. Who wants to be around someone who will bring them down?

I want to tell you I’m numb.
I want to tell you I just got done sobbing before I put my smile on.
I want to tell you I feel alone in the world.
I want to tell you I feel empty.
I want to tell you I wish the pain would end.
I want to tell you I feel like I have no purpose.
I want to tell you I have brief flashes of ending it all.
I want to tell you I’m scared.

Instead, I tell you, “I’m fine.”

If I actually said all of those things to someone, I can imagine the reaction. They would probably squirm with discomfort, not knowing what to say. They would try to figure out what to do and how to fix it. However, nobody can fix it. Just like a cast heals a broken bone, only proper treatment can heal depression.

When someone you love has depression, pay attention to the subtle cues; they’re usually there.

They may act distant.
They may be quieter than normal.
They may have a short fuse.
They may seem distracted or slow to respond.
They may not talk for long.
They may have lost the sparkle in their eye.
All of these things can signal someone isn’t as fine as they say.

So what can you do when you can’t fix it?

Give them an extra hug.
Listen without judgment.
Surprise them with a treat.
Cook them a meal.
Help them with a chore.
Plan something fun to do with them.
Give them some extra help even if they don’t ask for it.

Unsplash photo via Taylor Hernandez