A little something to help those who are in the dark about depression

writenowiam - A little something to help those who are in the dark about depression

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. – John Wooden

When we are suffering we need people who understand and care by our side, right? Even when we suffer from depression. Yes, depression is a suffering. The dark time we withdraw from the colour of life for long periods of time. This is the time we really need people to help us cope. Often, people don’t get this situation and say the most inappropriate things. Things that can make a depressed person even more depressed. Let me see if I can help those unaware of what depression really is.

Let me start with what depression is

The medical definition of depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems

My experience

At the lowest point in my life (this lasted for about 7 years), I couldn’t rationalise my thoughts. Staring straight at nothing was a favourite forced pass time. I would watch a movie and have no idea what it was about because my eyes would point toward the screen but my thoughts were elsewhere. Questions bumping against my head from the inside.

How?!

What?!

When?!

The biggest question of them all was Why?!

The who was always me.

My conversations I had with people if I ever had any, were always dramatised or short-clipped. I felt as though the world was pulling me toward the ground, literally like the earth was sucking me into a hole. I just felt heavy. Slept a lot. Then I had insomnia. I just wanted to be alone. Thinking if I could just get away from the situation it will go away on its own. I had an overwhelming persistent thought going round in my head that I was just worthless. Not good enough. Nobody actually liked me, loved me, cared about me, wanted me. I felt dead, yet, I felt too much. I would fantasise about my death. The world will rotate better without me existing on it. Doing the most ordinary daily activities like opening the curtains of my bedroom felt like a mammoth task.

PS. Don’t worry. Fantasies about my death have totally gone.

I was always angry. Misunderstood. A hinder to everyone that got to know me. I decided staying away was the best solution.

The confusion

I wondered if I had always been this way. My life before was a blur. My present was pointless. My future seemed improssible. I decided to seek professional help. I got this magical pill. In 20 minutes, 20mg of a small white compressed matter calmed my mind. It felt like I was able to think for myself again. I found my woosaa.

Depression is a medical condition. It’s got to do with one’s mental health. My brain is part of my body. The main part I think. An organ. It controls how the rest of my physical functions. My mind is the most powerful part of who I am. And if it is affected somehow then just like any other illness it should be taken care of. Diagnosed. Treated.

People confuse depression with moodiness. I can’t blame people. People aren’t educated on mental health.

The stigma

I’ve found it odd that when seeing my therapist, I needed to be at my session at exactly the time of my appointment. Well, my anxiety self always tries its utmost best to arrive at any appointment at least 15 minutes before expected, obviously because this and that could happen. I decided to ring the bell thinking 5 minutes early to enter was not so bad. Turns out it was a mistake. Some therapists have 15-minute intervals in-between clients to protect privacy. This might have been requested by one of his patients or it is a general practice because of shame associated with this sort of health issue. Either way, it made me feel worst. I stopped my sessions with this particular therapist.

Moving forward

Now that I am better, I can see things clearer from both sides. My aim here is to help those who don’t get it to understand. I am not qualified in brain therapy or mental health but I have heaps of my own actual experience I can talk about.

Being in the company of someone who is suffering from depression can become tricky, depending on the level of depression. This is also like taking care of someone who, for example, had open heart surgery and is back home and needs physical help, motivation and the right medication to get better. Remember it is a disorder that affects mental health.

These are some of the things that were said to me that simply made me feel worst about myself. Here are some depression triggers that can be replaced with dialogue that show you do care…


What not to say

You need to pray and things will come right.

What my interpretation of this was…

I have to sort out my own shit.

What’s wrong with me?

They don’t understand.

They don’t care.

Say this instead

I’m going to pray things are easier for you. When you ready I will always be here if you would like to join me in prayer.


What not to say

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

What my interpretation of this was…

Stop being a drama queen. We all go through stuff. What makes me different?

What’s wrong with me?

They don’t understand.

They don’t care.

Say this instead.

Would you like a hug?


What not to say

Just stop thinking like that.

What my interpretation was.

What I am feeling is nothing and things can be worst.

What’s wrong with me?

They don’t understand.

They don’t care.

Say this instead.

I am here to help you see this through.


What not to say.

Didn’t you take your pill today?

My interpretation of this.

They think I am mad. I must be mad. They’re looking down on me. I belong in a hospital.

What’s wrong with me?

They don’t understand.

They don’t care.

Say this instead.

Let’s go for a walk?


What not say.

I know how you feel. I was also depressed once.

My interpretation of this was.

I’m not as strong. I’m the weakest link.

What’s wrong with me?

They don’t understand.

They don’t care.

Say this instead.

I’m can’t say I know how you feel. But I am here for you.


What not to say

You’re just using your situation to get your way with things.

My interpretation of this.

My opinion and feelings don’t matter.

What’s wrong with me?

They don’t understand.

They don’t care.

Say this instead.

I can understand your point of view.


What not to say.

This act is getting old.

My interpretation of this.

I am dumb to act like this. I should rather be stronger and keep my problems to myself.

What’s wrong with me?

They don’t understand.

They don’t care.

Say this instead.

I see your point of view. Let’s see if there is a way we can turn this around.


When depressed, the words coming out of someone’s mouth can rest its roots and stay there burrowing for a few years, playing like a stuck record. It would be like ripping out the stitches of someone who just had open heart surgery.

Depression has many forms, stages, reactions. And I will say it again. I am not qualified to know the rights and wrongs of your depression. I can only speak form my own experience. I do know that continued support will ease the road to recovery. just as you would for someone who had open heart surgery.

writenowiam a little something to help those who are in the dark about depression


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