Thursday, August 13, 2015

Depression, how NOT to "help" a person with it.

So in the spirit of getting back into posting here I'm going to do a Runzi rant!

Today's rant is brought to you by people telling those of us who suffer from depression to "cheer up" and to "not sweat the small stuff".

The last thing someone with depression wants to hear is "cheer up" or "don't sweat it" or things like that. Don't you think if we could just cheer up and be happy we would?! It's not a simple glass half empty view it is a mental inability to FEEL happy. No one wants to feel broken and sad and upset.

I can't speak for everyone but when I'm having a "bad day" with my depression it's not just a little down or mildly upset or easily upset by things. When I've hit my depression it's not being ABLE to be happy. You CAN NOT FEEL happy and sometimes you can not feel anything at all. When you can't be happy and someone tells you to cheer up you feel so much worse because there is no reason to feel the way you do, no reason at all except your brain WILL NOT LET you. You feel like you're selfish and awful for being down all the time and feel like you've failed at being a human being because it is tiring to move or even BREATH sometimes. Depression can even hurt physically and causes constant tiredness. I could have a perfect sleep schedule, eat healthy, and only ever feel rested for short periods of time and my body aches anyway.

Telling someone to feel better has never been the cure for any illness nor will it ever be. Depression is called an invisible illness but I think that's a cop out. Depression is right in front of most people and they REFUSE to see it. They don't want to admit someone they care about could have an incurable disease and they especially don't want to when you can't see immediate, constant, symptoms you can fight. You can see scars and you can see lack of sleep or lack of will to do things a person enjoys, depression is not invisible it's simply not loud and not always deadly. Not always but it can be and has been.

If you want to help someone with depression learn about what it really is. Learn about how to help because telling someone to "just feel better" never cured cancer and it sure as hell wont cure this. Depression is a life long battle and no matter how hard you fight it you will never get rid of it. Sometimes people just need time in a quiet place with someone who cares and sometimes they need to talk, it all depends on the person. Not everyone with depression even knows what to do to help themselves but you can research it and help them.

A perfect example is one of the saddest things I've written about. Robin Williams was amazing, he lived a great life and he always seemed happy. He did everything to make people smile and his depression killed him. Someone that strong with a great life, many friends, and a supportive family was still a victim of depression. Depression doesn't discriminate and it doesn't just go away and let you be happy like you want to. You CAN NOT "just cheer up" because you are not able to. On the same hand people who have suicidal thoughts are not the same as people who are suicidal, people with depression sometimes feel indifferent to dying but wont try and kill themselves.