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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165 Comments

  1. This is what I try to explain to people. It’s also why I started writing reflectively. This was a great post, with great advice for people who know someone who struggles with chronic depression. People have a tendency to react to it just as you have described. It causes people to be afraid to speak up about it, and that can be really dangerous for some. Thanks for doing what you do.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this piece. I really appreciate it. I actually felt terrible when I wrote this post so the fact it has had such a positive reaction makes me feel like those feelings weren’t in vain. Thank you again.

      Like

    1. Thank you. I am sorry you have to deal with such things, I know it isn’t ideal. I hope that you have the support you need and remember that the WordPress community is very kind and caring and you can count on us to listen to what you have to say.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think what you’re describing is what made me believe for a while that because of my depression I was indeed some kind of monster or outsider or a stranger. I wanted to ignore me too and I think that when people don’t do that, it really helps with acceptance and can be a first step to tackling depression.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you so much for writing with honesty. I just started my own website and want to (but havent yet got the courage) to fully open up about my own depression.

    You are so correct when you discuss others’ interpretations of your depression. Sometimes I feel like its easier to put on a smile so people can let you be .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Do things when you are ready and feel comfortable doing so. Just know that this community is the kindest and most supportive on the internet. You will find a lot of them relate to you and they genuinely care. It’s mostly why I can be so open about my feelings, because they do not judge, they listen.

      Good luck with your site and I hope you can finally feel like you don’t have to hide behind a smile. Maybe that smile can be for different reasons. 🙂

      Like

  4. Your post doesn’t seem all over the place. It makes perfect sense. I would always keep my mouth shut, sometimes go cry in the bathroom.

    Good for you, for letting what you go through known and taking that chance. Depression literally sucks (the life out of people) and although I still deal with it, I’m not in the work force at the moment so it’s a bit easier to not have to face people other than the person I live with. And he deals with depression sometimes too, so he understands.

    I hope since this post you are feeling a bit better, but I know how it is and how it can run in cycles.

    PS. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “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.”

    This part really resonated with me, and when reaching out to friends, sometimes I wish I could say this to them when asking to hang out. Sometimes I just need to be around my friends, despite my sadness, and I really don’t want to acknowledge the sadness at that moment, bur rather just enjoy the positive company of my friends. Thanks so much for putting into words something that I have felt for years!

    After suffering from anxiety and depression almost my entire life, I’m now the Editor-in-Chief for a site called Dear Hope that’s all about writing/art/creative work about mental health. You can check it out here: https://wemustbebroken.com/

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hello! I just came across this post today.. but I skimmed through it and most of this is true. I have been diagnosed with mild depression and my boyfriend is so supportive of me. Both my best friend and my boyfriend have been through depression, so they know what it’s like to feel like you aren’t going anywhere. Another good piece of advice is surround yourself with people who care about you and want you to smile. My main reason to smile is my boyfriend who does everything he can to make me smile and laugh. I hope it gets better for you dear 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I know how it can be with depression. Often I feel like I am bothering people, I feel so alone, and just don’t feel like doing anything. It can be a struggle to even get out of bed in the morning so I totally get it. I am open to anyone who needs someone to talk to!

        Liked by 3 people

  7. This is painfully true. And when they’re not treating you like some monster or plague, they’re offering you some not-so-helpful-more-like-closed-minded “advice” which I had a good rant about in one of my blog posts. It’s just so frustrating that we still live in this limbo where our mental illnesses are still sort of taboo to talk about in public.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thank you for sharing. This was exactly what I needed to today. Just found out yesterday that I have a depression and can now finally start my journey towards becoming whole again. ❤ Love from Sweden

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You’re so brave honey. Anyone who deals with depression and then discusses it, is brave AF.

    My favorite part : “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”.

    Well written honey. Check out my blog 💜. We’ve got a lot in common.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you for sharing, you shared so eloquently pretty much just how I feel. I am on a journey to overcome the depression and live a normal life again. Writing is a huge source of therapy for me. I had to start a new blog just to be my outlet for depression. Good luck and I hope things get easier for you! 🌻

    Liked by 2 people

  11. As somebody with Bipolar Disorder, who is writing a fiction story with a character who has depression, this is very apt. Everybody runs away from me when I’m depressed. When the answer to “How are you?” isn’t “Fine,” it causes people to pause and look at you as if you’ve just morphed into a horrible monster. Mania is treated differently, but hearing other people go through this, too, helps me to know that I’m not alone.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Such a well written post and I feel everything you say – I actually feel frightened at times to mention that I’m feeling low or depressed, because some of the reactions I get… just make it all so much worse. It’s as if you’re uttering like horrific words. And all you want is help.

    Thanks for writing this. ❤

    depressionvsme.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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