7 things I wish everyone knew about depression

Yes, everyone gets depressed now and then, but you don't know what real depression is until you've experienced it.

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  • I have battled depression off and on for most of my life. Depression isn't your everyday down-in-the-dumps type of sadness. Yes, I feel down-in-the-dumps, but it's much more than that. Depression is constant battle that keeps going despite my best efforts to get rid of it.

  • I believe everyone should know these 7 things about depression. Whether you suffer from depression yourself or know someone who does, knowing these things can help anyone struggling with this illness.

  • 1. Depression has little to do with life's circumstances

  • Don't tell me that I have no reason to be depressed just because life has treated me well. I may have all the money in the world with nice friends to boot, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm depressed.

  • 2. My depression cannot easily or instantly be shaken off

  • Please don't say, "get over it". This phrase makes things worse because depression isn't something that I can just get over. Don't you think that I would have "gotten over it" a long time ago if I could?

  • 3. Don't isolate me, even if I ask you to

  • Feeling depressed makes me want to isolate myself and chase others away, but it's not good for me. Even when I want to be alone, please check on me now and then to make sure I'm all right and don't need anything.

  • 4. Don't turn me away

  • Don't call me names. Don't say that I'm "a killjoy", a "deadbeat" or "will kill the party". I don't like being depressed any more than you like me being depressed. Hurtful names push me closer and closer to my emotional edge, so please don't call me names. I am in a dark, deep hole. You may not be able to help me out of it, but just knowing you're there to support me helps more than you know.

  • 5. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there

  • The names I'm called and way people treat me are hurtful. I sometimes attempt to "act happy" though it's not how I really feel. People tell me if I act happy or joyful, the act will eventually become my reality. This act is draining. Even when I have a happy face on, my depression hasn't gone away. Don't be mean, I'm doing my best.

  • 6. Depression takes away all of my energy

  • All I want to do is sleep. I think that sleeping might help me get rid of my depression, but I wake up to find it's still there, as strong as ever. Sometimes I start thinking of ending it all—not because I want to die, but because it seems to be the only way I'll be able to escape it all. If I start talking that way, do not laugh. Don't say I'm just looking for attention. Take my words seriously. Stay with me until I feel a bit happier.

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  • 7. Sometimes medication is necessary

  • It wasn't my idea to take medicine. I even fought the idea, but I had to break depression's cycle. Sometimes medicine is the only way to climb out of this pit. Right now, medication is needed. Maybe when my life changes, or when I feel I have a better handle on things I can reduce the dose or break away from medication. But right now, it helps me live my life, instead of endlessly existing.

  • Depression is a serious illness. Don't take it lightly. Your understanding may help to save a life.

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Tina is a graduate of Flagler College in Florida. She taught middle and high school English for nearly twenty years and is a prolific freelance writer and editor. You can reach her at .

Website: http://www.socialwrites.com

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