Depression does not make you a monster

Do you ever feel like as soon as you mention the word depression, the person you tell it to flees as if you’re a terrifying monster in an old school, low budget horror movie?

I only just noticed recently that this is the case. People tend not to know how to deal with me when I mention I’m feeling depressed and even when I explain to them that all I need is acknowledgment that it is apparent and just to go about their day as if it was any other day and not letting the fact I am in a depressive state go to the forefront of the day, then everything will be okay.

For some reason nobody I have asked to do this will do it. They take on my depressive state and I spend most of that day worrying and trying to make them feel better instead of concentrating on making myself feel better which inevitably takes me twice as long to recover.

If I am feeling depressed it does not mean I have morphed into a flesh eating monster, it does not mean I suddenly have some sort of contractible disease that you will catch if you as much as look at me.

When I mention the word depressed my reaching out leaves me isolated. I am left in the darkness in which I am trying to escape. The door is slammed in my face and I am left to overcome so many obstacles before I can even think about feeling better.

I personally feel that my depression should not be spotlighted, it should be cast into the shadow where I am left so I can step into the light and start to feel me again.

If you ignore someone with depression you are hindering, not helping. You are in fact strengthening that state by showing them it is a problem. That they are alone. That they need to get better if they want you around. I do not think this is fair.

I know I have already said this in so many ways, but if someone you know is feeling depressed, do not flee from them. You do not have to do anything spectacular, just be there. Do not let it be the focal point of the day. Seriously, just be there like it was any other day. You do not understand how much this helps.

Ignore the depression, not the person suffering from it. Depression is the monster, but depression does not make the person. It is merely a shadow and you could very well be the light.

My depression does not have to take the smile from your face, do not let it. Do not let it get you as it got me. Just know that is not your responsibility to make me feel better, so please stop putting the pressure on yourself or you are simply letting it win.

I am sorry this post is all over the place, but as you may have guessed by now, I am not having the greatest of days. Thank you if you made it this far though and I hope it makes sense.

Until next time, be the sunshine that I know you are.

-Sara

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167 Comments

  1. This is a great post. Far too often we I’ve talked about my depression, most have run the other way because they don’t understand it, nor do they want to. They just come up with statements like ‘what have you got to be depressed about’, or ‘just get over it’. Both of which have pushed me further into my darkness. As a part of my healing, I have learned to open up, regardless…because there will be those out there that do understand and maybe we can help each other.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The ‘Big D’ can be like the elephant in the room that you hope no one notices… I know what you have written about here. I think part of the problem is; very few people understand what you are feeling, or how to help. And some probably have their own unsolved issues, so they don’t know HOW to help. Hang in there!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a great post! I completely understand you and relate to all this. Indeed sometimes when you share with friends they look at you like you are a monster. I was in such situation recently as well. However, I think this is only because they are weak inside themselves and feel like someone is dragging them down sharing about their feeling of depression.
    I think just listening to someone compain about depression is okay reaction, but again from my own experience, I know how much it helps when people are loving and understanding; moreover, when they are chearful and want to make you laugh and show you the bright side of the world 🙂
    I have figured out that pretending is also a solution! Sometimes when I am with friends who have problems of their own, I am there for them with all my heart and treat them the way I would like to be threated. It raises me up and makes me happy to pretend to be that cheerful person because although I pretend, a small part of me celebrates my braveness and converts itself into a happy part of me 🙂 When you are depressed – give to others, take care of someone, love!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can certainly relate to your feelings of isolation upon telling others of your depression, whether it has even been a condition which you have been “diagnosed” with by a psychiatrist, or any other health professional is of no relevance in this scenario.
    I was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was nineteen years of age. A lifetime ago for me now (being nearly forty five years old does not, sadly, extinguish memories).
    I have been knocked back from employment opportunities in the past, and, after finding any reasonable “job”, was either exploited in terms of my hourly rate of pay, or just let go for reasons which were apparently “not required to be disclosed”. And that is just the amount of stigma associated with employers, let alone those in the general community that I have had any form of contact with, and happen to know of my “condition”.
    Fortunately for me though, I have been seeing an excellent psychologist for the last decade and a half. A very intelligent and insightful woman, (two characteristics with which I can relate) who has never, since I began seeing her, believed my “diagnosis” to be correct.
    Sadly I, like many many others, have been damaged, in ways that I will not express on any form of social, digital media. Self-doubt, regarding anything that a man can possibly imagine doubting about himself, was, certainly, a resulting factor, as well as an enormous amount of repetitive, and very negative thinking. The fact that I had never been symptomatic with regards to the condition that I had been diagnosed with, has obviously somehow been overlooked, and psychiatrists never, like hearing it suggested, (especially by one of their patients) that they may in fact, be mistaken. Nor will they overturn another psychiatrist’s diagnosis.
    In any case, my life is moving along very nicely. I am now married to the most beautiful, compassionate, understanding and caring woman I have personally ever had the privilege of knowing. We are both now self-employed, and have given both ourselves and each other a new lease on life, in so many ways.
    I have heard it said, by some, that life’s trials can do one of two things, they can either make a person better, or bitter. The choice in this though, fortunately, is entirely up to the individual.
    God bless. And no matter what transpires in your life, know that your character will always be your best attribute, and that there are people in this world who, though never diagnosed with any form of mental health condition, are far more monstrous than people who suffer from depression, and other conditions, despite the amount of stigma that currently surrounds us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I am so sorry you were treated that way. It’s like as soon as you have the label, that’s it, it sticks with you for good and is looked down on, making you feel at least a little less than human. I’m so happy to read that you fought the system and you work for yourself and that you have such great support. Thank you for sharing your story, it really means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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