I have depression, and I hate admitting that. The only way to spread awareness is to share my experiences with it and the knowledge I have gained through it. The one thing I have learned through it all is that there are many misconceptions about depression. I have heard people say things to me; thinking that it helps or justifies why my depression is just a feeling of temporary sadness. Therefore, let me share with you a few things to stop telling people who have depression.
1. "The feeling will go away." I am not going to lie; I thought the same thing. I had gotten rid of those feelings for a year. I thought I was clean, but it always manages to come back. Depression always makes its rounds.
2. "It's all in your head." To be technical, it is in my brain. A lot of stress and health problems contribute to the chemical imbalance in my brain. This always leaves the unanswered question: Is it my own fault for feeling like this?
3. "You have everything you could have ever dreamed of. It makes no sense why you are sad." This is the one I hear a lot. I do have everything I could ask for. I have 2 jobs, an education, a family, and a great relationship with my significant other. Opportunity often approaches me before I get to it. Seems like I am living the life, right? Well, you can have all that and still feel like it is not enough. Depression makes you feel useless, regardless of how far you are going in life.
4. "It's a feeling, not an illness." Ignorance...have you heard of Mayo Clinic?
5. "Please don't do 'anything stupid'". We all know what you mean when you say "anything stupid". You either are referring to us killing ourselves or harming ourselves. Calling it stupid is your first mistake. Try feeling completely useless to society and see how stupid it feels. Most people with depression do not discuss their thoughts. We don't like admitting that we have a mood disorder.
Finally, I want to make one final note. If you have depression and are reading this article, please feel free to reach out to me if you need to talk. Even though depression is miserable and difficult, I get through it and use my strength and experience to help others. For more information about depression, please visit https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/.