Telling someone you suffer from depression is much like walking through a minefield. You know there’s a chance you might make it through unscathed, but there is a bigger chance it’s going to hurt if you don’t navigate the situation correctly.
In this case, navigation means choosing your words wisely when you speak, as well as knowing the timing of those words and deciding who should hear them. Sometimes no matter how much you try, your plans fail and you say something you wish you hadn’t.
It’s important to talk about your issues, but some people just don’t need to know. It’s not because I worry about them knowing (obviously, seeing as how I’m writing about it). but more so because of how they’ll respond.
Strangers, or those not too close to me, often don’t really question it when they find out about my issues. They may be silent due to not caring, not understanding or just not knowing what to say. That’s fine.
Family and close friends may sometimes experience the same feelings as strangers, but those who are close to you can also be the most critical. They will often be the ones who feel uncomfortable if the conversation is brought up.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO BE DEPRESSED ABOUT?
I’ve heard this more times than I want to admit. I guess I should be flattered others think I live such a perfect life that I could never be depressed, but surprisingly, that’s not the case. I really am depressed.
It wouldn’t be such an offensive question if it were asked in the right tone or presented as a normal curiosity, but when it’s presented in the form of a condescending direct statement, the meaning changes. For me, it puts me on edge. I feel like I have to defend myself because of what I deal with.
No one should ever need to justify to someone else why they suffer from something.
Believe it or not, people who are successful and appear happy on the outside can be horribly depressed on the inside. It happens.
The moral of this story is people suffer for a variety of reasons. You wouldn’t judge someone for having cancer or the flu, so why does it happen with depression?
It’s no one’s place to judge.
Written by Marty Augustine
Marty is a Kansas City based writer and mental health advocate. If you like this article, please feel free to “like”, comment and share! Don’t forget to subscribe!