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We Can't Be Bystanders to the Bullying of Depression and Anxiety

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This might sound weird, but my New Year’s resolution this year is to accept and embrace my diagnosis of major depressive disorder and anxiety, and to stand up for other people who are diagnosed instead of hiding my head in the sand.

There are kids bullied on a constant basis; there are adults bullied on a constant basis; sometimes, nobody helps. Nobody reaches out. A lot of times bullying leads to one developing depression and anxiety. It might be easier to believe the bullying is just a phase — that the bully will leave you alone eventually.

Kinda reminds me how depression and anxiety gang up on me on a daily basis. When I am bullied by my illness I am helpless, hopeless, doomed. It wreaks havoc on my mind, like a violent storm in the middle of an ocean beating the boat with its massive and soul-crushing waves. My depression picks up on my lack of a fight, and with a smile, invites my anxiety to join in on the fun. “Your never going to feel better again, you know?” “This is a life-long sentence, and your the unfortunate passenger on this ride to self-destruction and chaos.”

My anxiety helps out depression by making me worry about what clothes I have on, or the fact that no body knows what I feel and that I will never get fully better. As I have stated before, depression is a beautifully horrible illness in that everybody’s depression is different, because we feel and process emotions and thoughts differently. That is why when I see someone being bullied by their depression and anxiety, I have to step in, but be very weary of the fact that I don’t fully understand the extent of the person’s depression, and that’s OK! People just want someone to listen most of the time. Or, they just want someone to sit with them in the silence; just to feel the presence of someone who is kind and not tormenting them.

Those of us who have depression can sometimes pick up on other people being bullied. We know the all too familiar signs. It’s up to us to keep each other safe and accountable. We are like a band of warriors, together in numbers. We can tackle our depression alone, but it is so much easier to fight it with a companion or two. That is why I urge everyone who sees someone being bullied by depression and anxiety to step in and help. Even something simple like a hug or sitting with the person in silence. A simple “I’m sorry I don’t understand it, but I’m here with you through it all.” We could help cut down on suicide rates if only we paid a little more attention. I love all of you guys. I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas! Remember, don’t ever ever give up and always help someone in need when you can.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741

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Image via Thinkstock.


Originally published: December 28, 2016
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