Depression is a serious illness. I’ve personally been through it. Through it isn’t accurate, it’s CONSUMED my life for 17 years, and I am slowly coming out of it – so I know how my fellow sufferers feel.
Being told to “snap out of it,” I used to go on the defensive. Anyone here who has had a similar experience, I encourage you to take a moment and simply smile and don’t encourage anyone’s negative dialogue. People who have any type of mental illness have every right to defend themselves but someone who has the gall to shame another for their feelings, their thoughts, their emotions, will not hear anything you have to say, so save your mental energy.
I have been bullied about my depression from everyone to my family to strangers. We never know how someone truly feels. We cannot pinpoint a person’s exact thoughts. We cannot always read what their face says because some of us who suffer have to wear our armor to protect ourselves from the abuse, the shame. So we keep going. Sure, it’s a term that’s thrown around loosely but don’t ever tell someone how they don’t feel. Be aware of not being a person who has been or is one of those verbally abusive types.
How to recognize you’re verbally abusive. Google it. There is plenty of literature out there.
We need to be made aware of how our words, our actions can impact a person who is suffering. We live in a world where being raw, presenting your uncensored thoughts is being brave or “authentic”, or “true”. Do it in a way where there is no hurt or negativity spewing. Be a person who is not adding to the suffering of someone going through depression.
Depression is a disease that already makes you feel small; be aware. Be kind.
When people feel blue, sad, like shit, or hopeless, often it’s labeled as depression. Sure, everyone has those days. It’s human to feel that way. If you have no history of mental illness, it’s safe to assume you are just going through a phase. Someone once tried to CONVICE me that my feelings weren’t real because I didn’t have a real job, and I have to train myself to be strong mentally. I laughed. I do have a real job, I own a business and I am mentally strong for not punching the person in the face.
We don’t know how someone is feeling internally. We cannot judge a person by the way they may seem externally. We aren’t the ones who talk to their monsters and demons at 4 a.m., or hear the voice in their brain that tells them they will never amount to anything and they are nothing. Verbal abusers add to the fear it makes the monster stronger. Being negative towards a depressed person, enables that monster a little more.
It’s hard to be conscious of your thoughts all the time. But with a little effort, and true understanding, changing your behavior towards someone who has expressed they are depressed, or has confided in you about their feelings, you can help them. Continuing with negative statements, or comments could push them over the edge.
Nobody should have to bear the burden of being responsible for suicide, or other self-inflicted harm rooted from bullying. Instead encourage talking to a professional and offer them your support rather than your shaming.