Talking About Depression Is Uncomfortable, but Necessary
Why is it so much easier to say you’re angry, tired, physically ill or scared rather than saying you’re sad, depressed or anxious? If you take anger, for example, and put it up against depression, anger in a social setting is less scary to talk about. If someone asked me what was wrong and said I was angry, they’d try to find the cause and a solution to the anger. Whereas, if you tell your friend you’re feeling depressed, the conversation becomes uncomfortable for everyone — especially you, the one who’s depressed. In my experience, I’ve told people I’m depressed and don’t see the point in life anymore, then they try to give reasons to why I’m feeling so run down and tired, rather than just accepting I’m depressed.
“Maybe you’ve just worked a lot.”
“Maybe you’re getting a cold.”
“Maybe you’re just exhausted and need a good night’s sleep.”
These are some of the responses I’ve gotten; why is it so hard to accept someone is seriously depressed and dangerously low? If you skip the whole “I will find other reasons for you to be feeling like this so I don’t have to feel uncomfortable” thing, and actually sit down with the person, have a chat and try to find a solution like you would do if they told you they were angry. What’s wrong with being uncomfortable anyway? Yes, initially it’s not a nice feeling, but once you break through the horribleness, the other side usually has more benefits.
I’ve noticed when I’m getting low and depressed, I come across as angry, moody, irritated and sometimes just like an a**hole, but that’s not necessarily true (though maybe the moody part since I have bipolar). Why is this? Because, as I said, it’s easier to talk about those emotions rather than depression. Due to this, it’s easier to push people away than to let people in and that’s where depression can be dangerous.
We need to break through the uncomfortable barrier in order to really help someone. Being uncomfortable for a few seconds, minutes or hours is worth it if it saves a life. Seems a bit dramatic but it’s true. I was once contemplating my suicide and if it would hurt. However depressed and suicidal I was, I got a message on Facebook from my partner, just asking how I was. That saved my life. She saved my life without even knowing it. The littlest things can keep a person living. Remember that.
Next time someone you know is angry, really ask if they actually are angry. Don’t allow them to push you away. If someone tells you they are depressed, don’t run from it because it’s uncomfortable; allow the uncomfortableness in and it’ll pass. It could save a life.
On the contrary, if you’re depressed, reach out to someone. Break the barrier. Get help. Let them help you.
Together, we can break through the uncomfortable barrier.
Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash