Have you ever woken up in the morning and longed to spend the rest of your day hiding in bed? We’ve all been there. It’s especially tempting on those cold winter mornings when your bed is so warm and cozy. But if your desire to isolate yourself is more like the norm than the exception, you may be battling depression.
And hey, there’s no shame in this game. Or at least, there shouldn’t be.
But unfortunately, many people who are depressed don’t like to talk about it. Much of that has to do with the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues.
And it can be a bit of a self-perpetuating roller-coaster. When you avoid talking about your depression, you end up bottling your feelings, and that makes your depression worse. The more you hide away, the more isolated you’ll feel, and the more you want to isolate yourself.
If you’re feeling depressed and don’t want to talk about it, it’s somewhat understandable. But it’s not healthy. And if you’re trying to help a friend who is depressed, their radio silence can be immensely frustrating. Here’s why so many people aren’t talking about depression.
They want to avoid judgment
Even though our society has come a long way, there’s still a stigma that surrounds mental health issues like depression. People may avoid talking about depression because they’re afraid of how others will judge them. If other people find out they go to “a shrink” or take medication for any mental health issue, they may be labeled as crazy or mentally unstable. It’s not a fair judgment, but it’s one that people still make today.
If you’re suffering from depression, the important thing is to get help. If you spend the rest of your life avoiding help for fear of what others will think, it’ll be a miserable life. But when you finally start feeling better, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the judging Janice’s in your life. And you can move forward without depression holding you back.
They’re avoiding deeper issues
When it comes to talking about depression, there’s more than meets the eye. For example, the person who is feeling depressed may avoid the conversation because they’re really avoiding a deeper issue.
Maybe they experienced a serious trauma that they don’t want to discuss, or even think about. Talking about their depression also opens the door to discuss the issues behind the condition, and this can be quite scary.
If this sounds like something you’re dealing with, you should know that ignoring your problems won’t make them go away. In fact, it’s a surefire way to make things worse. You don’t have to talk to family or friends about your problems if you don’t want to, but you should talk to someone. Many people find it helpful to talk to a professional about their issues. Not only is this person trained to handle the conversation, but it’s often easier to talk to a stranger than someone you know well.
They feel they’re misunderstood
Many people avoid talking about depression because they want to avoid hearing about common and damaging misconceptions. Some people believe that depression can be fixed with a simple outlook change. Others think depression is self-indulgent, like their symptoms are really some form of an adult tantrum. But these things couldn’t be further from the truth. Actually, depression can happen for a variety of reasons, and it’s not self-indulgent. If anyone had the choice between being depressed and not being depressed, they’d choose the latter-every time.
When someone with depression is constantly told to “suck it up,” they may start pretending that everything is okay. Unfortunately, everything is not okay. This advice has never cured depression and it never will.
If you can identify with this, you may be talking to the wrong people about your depression. If you don’t have someone in your life who understands, find someone. Talk to a professional about your symptoms before they get worse.
There are many reasons why someone might avoid talking about their depression, but fear should never stand in the way of getting help. If you’re struggling with depression, the best thing you can do is shed light on the problem. Start talking to someone. If no one in your life seems to understand, reach out to a professional. It’s easier than ever to find treatment near you. If you have insurance, start by reviewing your list of approved providers. If you don’t have insurance, check with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America to find a low-cost treatment. Just start talking.
* This is a pre-written collaborative post