Depression touches 350 million of the world population but somehow is still a taboo. Like any other mental illness, there are a lot of stigma attached to it. Now it’s time to debunk them.
- Depression is not a real illness. Depressed people are not attention seekers. Most of the time, they try to cope with their own silent ways. You don’t chose to have a cold, right ? It’s the same thing with depression. It’s not a choice, it’s an illness even though you can’t physically see it.
- Depression is like sadness… But worse. I’m going to quote J.K Rowling for this one : It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of felling — that really hollowed-out feeling.When you have depression, you become your worst enemy :You’re not good enough.You’re worthless.
You don’t deserve to have friends.
Why should anyone be kind to you ? You’re disgusting.
You should die, but you’re not strong enough to do it, are you ?
You have these kind of thoughts over and over until you can’t take it anymore. You stay home not to have to face people and their judgemental eyes. Because yes, sometimes depression gets you paranoid and anxious.
Your brain turns every single positive thing into a negative one. If someone is nice to you, it’s probably because you’re pathetic. If someone gives you a present, you’re going to feel guilty because you don’t deserve it.
But this is not the truth. I know it’s hard to believe but don’t listen to your brain.
Depression is scary because you don’t even know what is real anymore. You don’t know who to trust and it is freaking frightening.
So no, depression is not sadness.
3.Cheerful people can’t have depression. Smiles can hide a lot of things, including illnesses. Being depressed doesn’t mean you’re always crying in the dark.
4. Teenagers can’t have depression. Yes, they can. Actually you wouldn’t believe how many teens out there are diagnosed. It’s not because they’re teenagers that their feelings are exaggerated. Be careful with that and I think the best thing to do is to really talk to them if they feel down. Try to know why and be there for them.
5.There has to be a reason to be depressed. Not always but there can be.
6. Society is the real cause of depression. Living in Countryside is a cure. I’ve heard this one very recently. So, your brain is going to miraculously cure itself if you go to Countryside… Makes sense. It can help you take a break from the pressure you have at home though.
7.Everyone with depression take medications. A lot of depressed people aren’t even diagnosed. From my personal experience, medications help. However, they are not a cure it all. Don’t think the pill is going to change everything overnight. It takes time and it’s better if you accompany it with exercise or anything that works for you, really.
8. Having a good day means being cured. I wish this one was true but unfortunately it’s not. So please, don’t ever say to someone who has depression “What? You’re depressed again?” because he never stopped. It is a very complex illness, so be patient.
9. Depression is a sign of weakness. No. No. No. Coping with depression is a sign of strength. It takes strength to do the everyday tasks and keep living a “normal” life. You shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
Depression can touch everyone just like the flu or any other illnesses. Remember, it’s not a choice.
10..It can’t get better. I’m the living proof it can. A year ago I was suicidal, I wanted to drop out of school and cut off my friends. I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I barely ate. I slept during the day because I wanted to escape and I usually cried during the night because I had lost another day doing nothing and wasting my life.
But you know what I did ? I kept going. I stayed in college even though I didn’t go to class. I told my friends about my depression (some of them understood others didn’t but I don’t care). I stopped feeling ashamed in the dark and I decided to live. It took some time to eat normally again and do things I used to love. I started taking medications and it helped.
Today, I have a blog. I’m going to start my second year of college, I just got a job and my best friend is still with me. I have good and bad days but I know I can get through them. And you can too.
Thank you Jenny for this mental health awareness week!
The author of this post said she would like to remain anonymous so I will leave it up to her if she wants to share this post on social media or make herself known.