We live in a world where people often don’t understand the difference between being sad and being depressed. There is also a misconception between “being depressed” and “having depression”. It is okay to not fully understand, but it is important to take the initiative to educate yourself so you care for a loved one.
Every single human on this earth has been sad. If you say that you have never been sad before then I recommend getting your emotions in check because that is not normal. We get sad over things such as being rejected, break ups, arguments with loved ones, being bullied, etc. There are negative things in this world that make us sad and that is just part of life. It is inevitable to not feel sad here and there. It is actually good for you. We need to feel all our emotions.
The saying “be happy” is a toxic statement. This is saying that it is not okay to feel sadness — you must cover it up by being happy. How about the statement “cheer up”? It is not okay to just tell someone who is crying to just cheer up. Let them feel the sadness. We don’t want to have them suppress their emotion because it will lead to problems down the road when handling their emotions.
Okay, we talked about the first negative emotion of sadness — now let’s talk about feelings of depression. Certain events such as the mourning of a loved one passing away, hating a job, financial stress, and isolation can make the typical person feel depressed. The difference between feeling depressed and being sad is that being sad is short term while being depressed can last for weeks.
The average person will feel this at least once in their lifetime depending on their quality of life. The best way to overcome feeling depressed in their particular situation is to let it take its course. Pretending that you are not feeling depressed is extremely dangerous to the mind. As I said before, suppressing emotions is the worst thing you can do and I still today don’t understand why people do it. I mean — I guess they don’t want people to pity them or it is possible they may accept depression as something toxic if they feel it.
Photo by Megan te Boekhorst on UnsplashNow let’s talk about what it is like to be ill from depression. People who have a family history of depression are at high risk to have depression themselves. It is a gene and there’s no way to avoid it, but to learn how to cope with it.
Depression comes in all shapes and sizes. On some days you may feel a weight on your shoulder, but you can push through the day. It is extremely uncomfortable especially if you are someone like me who works in customer service and gets paid to “be happy”. It is absolutely damaging.
Depression is feeling mentally exhausted when you haven’t done any mental activities.
Depression is when you notice that your room is a mess and your dishes are piling up. Even the simplest task can be some of the hardest things to do.
Depression is when you realize that you haven’t showered in days.
Depression is looking at a text message and just not replying because you don’t have that type of mental energy to reply.
Depression is struggling to get out of bed so you sleep all day.
Depression is starving because you don’t have any motive to feed yourself.
Depression makes you feel like you are in this dark place standing behind the glass watching over the external world.
Many people think that people who struggle with this illness are lazy and problematic. It is not fair to us that we were the chosen ones to have to be forced to live like this. We are trying. The world is exhausting to us compared to someone who isn’t ill with depression.
It is also important to understand that 90% of the time we have no idea why we are feeling depressed so please stop asking why we are depressed. Being asked why we are depressed does nothing but make us feel worse because it is frustrating to feel negative emotions for no reason. Instead, you can say “what can I do to help you feel comfortable”?
If you want to help someone with depression — make them feel comfortable because having depression is one of the most uncomfortable ways to live.
Here is where I write about my personal mental health challenges