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What do you wish the world knew about depression?
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff posted:
This question was posed by member sweetypie295 within an earlier discussion. It is such a great question, needing a discussion of it's own.

Share your thoughts -

What do you wish the world knew about depression?

Jeune1 responded:
Excellent question. I wish the world knew we'll "just get over it" when everyone else can "just get over" diabetes, the flu, cancer, a broken bone, heart disease, migraines ...

On that topic, I recently heard a radio PSA about the stigma of mental illness. We need more of this. And my own personal PSA: Mental illness is covered by the ADA (but you have to tell your employer, ugh.)
alaska_mommy replied to Jeune1's response:
I agree with you 100% Jeune! (About the "just get over it) comment.
I wish the world knew that depressed people aren't lazy weaklings. If anything, sometimes we have to be stronger than average folks because of our responsibilities and the obstacles we have to overcome to get them done.
chez1 replied to alaska_mommy's response:
I agree with both above, i would also like the world to know how dibilitating depression is, it affects each individual as a whole, their physical, intelectual, emotional and social being.
People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily....... Zig Ziglar
BeHapppy118 replied to chez1's response:
That's a great question! I agree with Chez. I wish the world would know how much Depression takes out of us throughout each day and in different parts of our lives and also how it REALLY makes us feel. Especially for those that are going to judge us because we have Depression and don't think we do enough because they don't truly understand how we feel.
So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.
- Stephen Chbosky
lukeperry responded:
I wish the world knew that you can't shake it off, take a pill and you'll be well. I wish they knew that it's not a weakness, but a disease.

In fact, depressed people are usually the stronger of the two. One being the so called normal people verses the depressed (crazy) ones. You have to be stronger, just to function. People who don't have the disease, don't find it hard to take a shower. Anybody that's ever been depressed, knows what I mean by that. It's sounds funny, but it's not. I took one yesterday, so I'm o.k.(ha!)

It's a horrible thing to live with, because nobody can see our disease. They think, "What's wrong with her or him? Why can't they be like me, normal?" I don't think I have ever met a NORMAL person. They just think they are.

I wish they knew, "by the Grace of God go........because it can happen to anybody, at sometime, in their life. Never knowing how long it's going to last. I say, "God Bless all of us strong, strong depressed people!"

Demons2011 responded:

I wish people knew the depth to which depression reaches. The cold isolation within. Instead some people state how depressed they are due the worlds condition, that is only part of it. "To me" real depression withers at the core of the person battling depression, the self critic, the liar, the demons that haunt us. Then we dump on world conditions, spiritual battles or the lack there of, medication issues, eating disorders, shelf harm and financial. Depression is an attack on hope. To where hope doesn't exist, a dead thing that used to be you without the hope of rebirth or resurrection. Not to mention the stigma of being a mental. That's what I wish people understood,
deasertrose responded:
That I'm not crazy or nuts!
BeHapppy118 replied to lukeperry's response:
Your response I think is beautiful. I agree with you. I also understand what you said about taking a shower.
So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.
- Stephen Chbosky
Jeune1 responded:
I'd also add that I wish people were aware of the statistics. The last I saw was 1 in 10 adults (in the U.S.) will experience depression at one point in their lives.

As other folks have noted there does seem to be a lack of empathy from people who aren't depressed. I like to think they're scared or even in denial. Not an excuse, but an explanation that keeps me from becoming too misanthropic.
alaska_mommy replied to Jeune1's response:
Jeune, scared or denial might be a good way to look at it, I think also just a complete lack of understanding. Like when someone close to you dies and people, not knowing what to say, say something really dumb and/or hurtful in the name of comforting you. And not because they are trying to hurt you, but because they are ignorant and they have NO idea what it's like to lose someone, and they can't handle having a problem they can't fix, so they find some witty saying that's supposed to fix it all and boom! All better, no more uncomfortable feelings. I think some people's reactions to depression are sort of like that, the dark feelings make them feel uncomfortable, and they also have no experience whatsoever so it is beyond their understanding.
cdotmo responded:
We all have stories like the ones provided to this question. All these discussions will continue in the lives of more and more people with mental illness. But there is a way to improve this situation, and we must be the ones to make it happen. There is one thing that we can do to improve the lives of people with mental illness in all ways: institute a universal public education program on mental illness. I'm talking about a program that is put in schools, from grade school through college and beyond. We must work toward building an Assertive Community Education program- properly designed (age-appropriate, etc.) that everyone must be exposed to from childhood through adulthood. This will change the attitudes of the public in ways that will result in better support, better treatment options, less stigma, better interaction between those with mental illness and their families, friends, the police and judicial system, and all aspects of society. With a more supportive public, obstacles to our health and happiness will be eroded. Work for that. Make it better for your children, your families, your significant others, and everyone else.
Jeune1 replied to cdotmo's response:
I was thinking last night that there are (or were) several TV shows on mental illness. I believe there have been shows about people with OCD (including hoarding), schizophrenia and addiction. I don't think much of these shows because I think they encourage to gawk, just like you used to be able to pay to look at people in mental institutions.

But I also realized that people with depression will probably never get their own show because ... We're kind of boring.

However, I am encouraged when famous people say they have or have struggled with depression. I think that really shocks people, but in a good way.One stereotype is we just sit around crying and feeling sorry for ourselves. I confess I was surprised when Terry Bradshaw said he suffered from depression. Terry Bradshaw!? And based on the stats, you know he isn't the only one.

Since famous people are now very open about addiction, maybe depression will be the next thing they're willing to talk about. It's weird that hearing about a complete stranger resonates more with people, but if it helps spread the word, I'll take it.
alaska_mommy replied to Jeune1's response:
Jeune...I had to laugh about depressed people never getting their own show. Haha. It would be a bunch shots of people sitting...sleeping...zoning out...hiding under the covers...dragging themselves out of's funny to think about but yeah, we are pretty boring.

I have watched some of those shows on OCD and addiction, and while sure there may be those that watch it just to gawk and think how messed up those people are, I've learned a lot about those kinds of afflictions by watching it. I found it very interesting and it gave a peek into what their lives are like.
I agree that some mental issues are getting press from celebrities, and that's great. I seem to recall an article about postpartum depression from someone famous...can't remember who now. But it's good that people are getting the word out, one way or the other.
SusyQ63 replied to lukeperry's response:
You are so right about the stigma that it's a weakness. I have had this horrific disease since I was a young (14yr old) teenager. I can tell you that it has been a very difficult disease to deal with but I am starting to see a change in how people perceive it now. I hope that's so because maybe younger patients will get trated instead of trying to hide it like I did for so many years

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