8 things people suffering from depression are tired of hearing
“I have a beautiful daughter, an adoring husband, and a job I love, but thankfulness cannot cure my disease. Gratitude will not make me better.”
Because its symptoms are not always obvious and visible to the naked eye, it’s easy to dismiss mental illness as something that will pass and go away on its own. Kim Zapata begs to differ.
She’s been suffering from depression for sixteen years, and dealing with it hasn’t been exactly a walk in the park.
In her Babble story, she discusses the 8 things people with depression are tired of hearing.
1. It’s okay; everyone gets depressed
“Not everyone ‘gets depressed’. Sure, people may experience grief or hurt or waves of extreme sadness; in fact, people can even “feel depressed. But sadness is a feeling and depression is an illness, and these two things are different. Very different.”
2. Just smile. You’ll feel better.
“Would you tell someone with cancer to treat their illness with a smile? Would you tell someone with a broken leg to wrap it up with joy, or tend to it with love? No.”
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3. Why are you so sad? / Why are you depressed?
“Honestly, I have no idea. I mean, I wish I could tell you why I ‘got depressed’ but I cannot. Why? Because it is an illness, and like any disease, it just happened.”
4. Things could be worse
“Of course they could be. Whether you suffer from depression or not, things can always ‘be worse,’ but the severity of my disease is not determined by external factors.”
5. Have you tried exercise, meditation, prayer, or changing your diet? Have you tried chamomile tea?
“Because my depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, and because my depression is an illness—an illness which needs to be treated medically. Just like diabetes. Just like cancer. And just like heart disease.”
6. But you have so much to be thankful for (or happy about)!
“I do have a lot—and I mean A LOT—to be thankful for. I have a beautiful daughter, an adoring husband, and a job I love, but thankfulness cannot cure my disease. Gratitude will not make me better.”
7. You don’t look depressed
The face other people see you wear is the face you want them to see. It’s a performance act that is done to trick others as well as one’s self. A depressed person may not want others to know that they are suffering, and so they put on a smile and act like everything is okay.
8. It’s all in your head
Among all of the things in the list, Kim feels the strongest about this one. Not only is it wrong and inaccurate, it’s also ignorant and dangerous.
“It implies that if they cannot control their illness it isn’t because they are sick, it is because they are weak or because they do not want to. And this type of thinking is dangerous: Why can’t I snap out of it? I’m weak. I’m pathetic. I’m must be going crazy. I am crazy. I can’t handle living like this anymore. God, I can’t handle life anymore.”
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