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The 2 Things I Wish People Didn't Say About My Depression

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Before I struggled with major depression, I was totally clueless what it was and how to handle people dealing with it. Now that I’ve stepped out of the “madness” (read my previous article here), I want to share the things people said that bothered me. I knew my friends and family wanted to help. I knew it was never their intention to aggravate me, but everyone should know that depression causes you to think and act in irrational ways.

The first statement that bothered me went like this: “Oh, you’re not depressed. You just need to stop doing x, y, z.” Before my battle with depression, this is probably something I would say! Now that I’ve gone through it, I say GTFO. I knew I couldn’t keep living the way I was living; I just couldn’t let go of the only form of thinking I ever knew. It seemed like an insurmountable task to rebuild my entire thought process. I knew I couldn’t keep smoking weed all day and stay unemployed. I was aware of how irrational I was acting and it didn’t matter. I didn’t need anyone telling me to stop doing those things. Only I could find the answers and initiate the journey to get me out of depression.

The second statement that bothered me went like this: “Oh don’t worry, things are going to get better.” I’m sorry to tell you, but a depressed person is already so hopeless about the future that this statement is worthless. You really just need to support us by doing simple things. Make sure we’re still hanging out and getting around people, even if we don’t want to. Isolation is just bad, bad, bad. Most importantly, try not to treat us any differently. If we actually told you that we have depression and are getting help, that’s a massive showing of trust that you’re not going to look at us any differently.

This final statement is absolutely the most important message I’d like to get across. The only thing I was ever looking for during my battle with depression was common experience.  I wanted to find people who went to the same depths of despair that I was in. I wanted to read an experience that so-well articulated what I was feeling that it felt like getting a bucket of ice water dumped on my head. It’s funny how this works, but I discovered that finding relatable experience was the only way I’d open up. Once I found that common experience, I would be the one to start asking questions like, “So what did you do next?” or “What turned it around for you?” I did not want to be told anything! I wrote this because it’s exactly what I typed in the internet search bar when I was struggling. If you want to know what came next for me, watch out for an upcoming article. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you it’s going to get better.

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Getty Images photo via SIphotography

Originally published: December 19, 2017
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