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Why depression is a quiet battle some people don’t like to discuss *

#AD 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.

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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

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

12 Comments

  1. Enjoyed the article. I was recently diagnosed with depression, 20 years after my sisters death – I’m still not really able to talk about her without crying but I’m slowly working on it and now know that talking about it to a mental health professional was the best thing for me. It’s definitely okay to ask for help, I think we all need some kind of help at some point in our lives.

  2. Thank you for posting this! You often post about things that I’ve been dealing with recently and the timing for your post about depression couldn’t have been more perfect. I was reaching depression this morning because I’m on what feels like a constant roller coaster of emotions. I was questioning why millennials especially, are so depressed. We seem to have everything under the sun so what gives? Why is it that no matter how much we try to accumulate things, the more depressed we become? Why do I still feel this way even after acquiring a degree in the sciences? And diet seems to play a very important role in depression too it seems. 3 days of eating clean and I have not had an episode of depression and feel calm. I’m doing an experiment to see what processed food is doing to my body 👎

    Looking forward to reading your post later so I saved it. 🙂 unfortunately I don’t have time to read it right now but I skimmed it and look forward to reading it. Thanks again!

  3. kelsey says:

    Interesting post. I know I personally don’t talk about my depression because I just don’t want to. It’s kind of hard to explain but it’s already such a big part of my life I don’t want to have to drag it into the happy parts too.

  4. I think I’ve stopped talking about my depression because honestly, for me, it doesn’t really help or make a difference. I just get tired of trying to explain to people how I feel (or don’t feel anything) and how it affects my energy levels and so on. It’s just exhausting having the same conversation over and over.

    I know I’m depressed. I know what coping mechanisms work for me and how to motivate myself to get up and go on really bad days. I don’t think having a heart-to-heart chat with someone about it is going to help me specifically, but maybe that is really cathartic and helpful for others.

    Mostly, I just want to deal with my day and get on with life without having to bring up my depression and give it any more of my energy or attention than it deserves.

  5. Well said Jenny. Severe depression is horrific and something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. The more people talk about it – and vitally, the more that feel able to listen and care without judging – the better things will be. It’s a hard enough battle to fight without having to battle the condemnation and ignorance of others as well.

  6. On those days, I just don’t want to bother others and ruin their day with my issues, so I often keep my feelings to myself, and sometimes I write them down.

  7. this is very well thought and explained.I wish more people were as understading and open about this as you!Love this post, you go jenny!

  8. well done………..such important information for anyone who loves someone who is struggling.

  9. Telling someone to “suck it up” is probably the worst thing anyone could do, empathy and understanding is definitely the way to go. And also just being There.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

  10. I love this!

    What’s important when dealing with depression or any feelings at all is to pay attention to how you feel in each moment. The root issue of depression is repressing emotions over and over again. This repression only causes those inner feelings to build up, rather than to be processed. Once we are ok to feel— to feel what’s real— even if it hurts is when we’ll be able to get better.

    Many of us have forgotten how to feel emotions, I personally am committed to feeling whatever emotions are there and gaining enough inner confidence so I don’t need anyone’s approval to experience whatever I’m feeling, good or bad.

    The reality is, whatever insults anyone says to me or about me does not even compare to the criticism I give to myself. Most of the time, we are way harder on ourselves then other people are on us. Hearing it out loud is what hurts. That’s ok. Other people can be wrong about me and that’s fine.

    I believe that people don’t like to discuss it because they don’t want to admit it to themselves. Admitting it to others would just spread around shame.

    Thank you!

    -hope

    1. Very interested to read your thoughts. I very much relate to the point you make about allowing yourself to feel your emotion, however painful they may be. They are there and its far better to feel them, process them and release them than to try and push them down – they will find an outlet one way or another and it often isn’t a healthy one.

  11. Ooooh comments such as “suck it up” or “shake it off” really get to me when it comes to depression or really any mental illness. From experience hearing something similar made me feel as if I was inventing the whole thing and really had no basis to feel as I did. The stigma around mental illness has, I think, moved on a little in the last number of years but the language around it still needs a lot of work. Interesting post 🙂

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