“You have no reason to be depressed, you’ve got a lovely home and garden, a new car on your drive and you are a director of a company that is doing well” and other great comments!
Whilst others’ comments are often said with the very best of intentions, they can also be received as immensely unhelpful.
- Oh it could be worse
- Come on let’s go shopping/lunch you’ll feel better
- Why don’t you go and get your hair done – cheer yourself up
- Staying in bed or on the sofa all day is lazy, you’d feel better if you did something
- You need to be strong, brave or protect
- It’s not surprising you feel like this you have no hobbies or interest in anything
- I think you would get further with your studies if you just concentrated on your revision
- If you go out with the lads on Friday night you’ll feel better
All of the above and so many more, have their place, sometimes a swift reminder that we are letting things slip a bit, maybe lacking motivation and need to be proactive to move forward in a positive way can be just what we need and it works!
However, if we are experiencing depression then, usually all these comments do is reinforce our low self esteem, our sense of worthlessness, helplessness and at worst hopelessness. As I type this I hear some people say, well nothing is that bad is it? This is usually someone who has been fortunate enough to have never experienced depression or come anywhere close to it. So then, why would they understand? Why would they realise just how difficult it really is?
Depression is, by its very nature an isolating experience, often we slowly withdraw from everything and everyone, we can be sitting home alone before we even realise what has happened or it may be someone in our life that says “What is happening for you?”
It doesn’t arrive one morning and take us to the depths, as low as we can go. It creeps in on tip toes slowly but surely. Maybe with self doubt and our inner dialogue running disruptively with anything and everything we have ever done that was just not good enough, never quite right, always lacking something, somehow, somewhere. Then just as we get through our self critique, remembering every tiny detail, putting it under the microscope just to make sure we know how useless we are, as if this isn’t bad enough then depression moves onto all the other negative things that could have happened, might have happened around that particular occurrence we are thinking about.
If we are isolated by this point then we have no other input from anyone to help us feel any better, to say oh goodness I remember when I messed up too, or I don’t quite see it that way I see this…. An alternative perspective, they are not there, colleagues are at work, friends are at work or busy with their families or we tell ourselves they have enough of their own stuff going on and we mustn’t burden them.
This just scratches the surface of a visit from the beast we call depression, a small birds eye view of one of the aspects it brings to us.
If you are reading this and it resonates with you, first of all, please know you are not alone, I know it feels like you are but you are not.
Extending a hand, if there is anything you would like to know or think we could help you with then please…let us know because we are…
With you through it