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When Reaching Out for Help With Depression Leaves You Disappointed

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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.

As I scroll through social media, I see on my feed pictures and status updates telling people they are “safe” to talk to about suicidal thoughts. They give out the number to the suicide hotline. They post pictures saying, “I’d rather hear your struggles than hear your eulogy.” You would think this would make my heart happy. Instead, it just saddens me and even angers me. The same people I see post this are people I have personally reached out to when I was struggling. I battle depression and bipolar disorder. I rarely ever reach out for help unless it is extremely bad.

When I have reached out, it already took everything I had. I am embarrassed I am struggling and I don’t want to burden anybody with my battle. When I do reach out, it took many hours debating whether I should or not. Most of the time, I end up disappointed and even more embarrassed I asked for help.

I have been told, “You are strong, you got this.” If this were true, I wouldn’t be talking to you.

I have been told, “Hey, I am busy right now, but I know you will get through this.” If I had thought the same, I wouldn’t be talking to you.

I’ve had my feelings invalidated. I have been given cliché phrases to get me off their back.

Nobody took my depression seriously until I attempted suicide in 2017 and ended up in the hospital. It was not long after when people stopped caring again. Depression often doesn’t just go away. I find myself, once again, in a place where asking for help is useless. I have gotten tired of trying to ask for help. It is hard not to come off as needy or desperate. All the resources “out there” feel pretty useless, too. The national suicide hotline did not help me in any way. They merely brainstormed with me ideas to distract myself from my depression.

Recently, my best friend took her life. She was a case manager and had friends in the mental health field, yet nobody knew or saw it coming, including me. Maybe she felt the same as I do. We need reform. We need to take depression seriously. Instead of posting an “inspirational” picture or quote to encourage people to seek help, let us be the help. Let us be available when somebody needs us to sit in the dark moments with them. Let us not pass off people in need because we are “busy” or because they are “strong.” Help them be strong. People are strong because they are not given the choice to be weak. It is literally a matter of life or death. Walk the walk instead of talk the talk.

Getty image by lightspeedshutter

Originally published: November 9, 2021
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