10 Things No One Tells You About Depression
Experiencing depression is a normal part of life. As they say, life still happens on life’s terms. This means that there are both good and bad things that happen in our lifetime – it’s part of the human experience. There are weddings and divorces, births and deaths, promotions and getting fired, and so on. However, when the feelings of depression last for longer than a couple of weeks, this is more likely depression – the mood disorder (unlike situational depression). Here are 10 things no one tells you about depression.
People with chronic or long-term depression, also called dysthymia, often think or believe the following:
#1. You’re a bad person.
And you only deserve bad things to happen to you. People who are depressed actually feel and believe that this is true. It may seem crazy or melodramatic but, if it does, then you’re lucky enough to not be a depressed person. Anyone who can identify with this, I’m willing to bet, is a person who has struggled with chronic depression, like myself.
#2. You’re depressed because you choose to be.
Basically, you believe that you’re unhappy because you’re lazy or you lack willpower. You think that it’s as simple as happiness being a choice – one that others seem to make quite easily but that you have failed to choose to be happy.
#3. Your depression and sadness is your burden to bear – alone.
Your family and friends don’t want to hear about how sad you are. They’re tired of hearing about it. Even if they act concerned – that’s just it, they’re acting. A depressed person fears that, if they open up and share how bad they’re feeling, that they’re loved ones will just become annoyed and even resentful.
#4. Your family and friends don’t love you.
Your family members are people who are obligated to spend time with you simply because you were born into the same bloodline. They don’t choose to be with you; they have to be with you. As far as your friends go – these are actually people that you somehow tricked into thinking that you, as a person, have some kind of value, worth or lovability. Depression has you believe that people only spend time with you out of a sense of obligation or pity.
#5. Your friends and family deserve better than you.
Actually, everyone deserves better than you. People with depression feel that they have very little self-worth.
#6. Your depression is the norm, ground zero, by which everything else is measured.
And any other emotions, especially the positive ones like feeling happy or even joyful, are exceptions to the rule. Your bad days will always outnumber the good.
#7. It is your responsibility to make sure that everyone else is happy.
You must somehow “put on a happy face” as well as go out of your way to be helpful, kind, and wholly interested in others, in order to “make up” for your pathetic aura that you seem to cast. Although entirely inadequate, this is the best apology that you can make for your very existence. What’s more, having depression makes this sort of thing quite difficult because it takes energy to engage in activities and invest in others. People with depression feel like they simply don’t have the energy to be this way. Or do things they (used to) like.
#8. Everything is your fault.
If you plan an activity or outing, and things don’t turn out well – you plan a picnic and it rains, or you pick the restaurant and the food and/or service is subpar, it’s your fault. If someone isn’t having a good time, this is also your fault. People who experience chronic depression tend to think this way and worry about things that really aren’t in their control.
#9. You are doomed.
There are doctors – specialists – and medications and various therapies that seem to help other people but, you’ve tried all these things and they just don’t work for you. Nothing will ever work for you. It’s true, medicine isn’t an exact science, especially when it comes to mental health therefore you must be patient with trying different approaches and combinations of things. Eventually, you will find something that works for you. I tried pretty much all the depression meds in the book before my doctor and I found something that seems to help.
#10. You will feel this way forever.
When you are experiencing a depressed episode, it feels like it’s always been this way and it will always be this way. But, the clouds will soon open up and there will be a reprieve from these tough feelings. Having depression is like visiting peaks and valleys of emotions. It’s never constant. So, the good news is that you’re not always going to feel this way.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, addiction, depression, or another mood disorder, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.