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5 myths about people with depression

Depression mental health awareness

Depression is a real, valid mental illness, yet there is still so much stigma surrounding it.

I have suffered with depression for quite a while and have learned there are very real, very stupid myths surrounding it and people who have to deal with it.

They're lazy

Depression can hit really bad sometimes and make you feel like you can't even make it out of bed. I missed countless classes throughout college and university thanks to the feeling of dread and sheer unhappiness that I felt when I woke up sometimes. This is not to be mistaken for laziness. Nine times out of ten, we want to get out of bed and do things... But we just can't. Our bodies won't function. It's not an unwillingness to go to work or school or do anything productive, it's just a weird inability to be able to even swing our legs over the bed and get up in the morning.

They can just 'snap out of it'

Unfortunately this is impossible, as much as many of us wish it were true. Telling someone to just 'cheer up', believe it or not, does not provide a cure for this illness. If I had £1 for every time someone told me it was just a case of 'think happy, be happy' I'd be seriously rich. I know mental processes do play a key role in recovery but telling yourself you have to be happy when you really aren't is pretty damaging in itself.

They're boring/selfish/no fun to be around

Just because someone has depression doesn't make them any less of a sociable or fun person. I still love to meet up with my friends and go out and do fun things. Sometimes, my ability to do that is lessened by the way I'm feeling, but a lot of the time I slap a smile on my face and go out anyway. I was treated very differently by some people when I began to feel more comfortable about talking about my depression and people felt like they had to walk on eggshells around me. We aren't a different species; we're still human, and we are still the friends/family that you knew before.

They have no reason to be depressed

This is the biggest load of crap when it comes to people's thoughts on depression. 'Why are you depressed? Your life is great.' Let's just remember the number one cardinal rule here: mental health does not discriminate. You don't have to have a valid 'reason' to be depressed. Trust me - I searched for years for a reason or some kind of trigger that made me this way, but found nothing. I have been lucky in my life so far; only really having a few ups and downs. Yet I still suffer with the same mental illness that a lot of people have when their lives seem worse than mine. Don't compare our reasons to another. Nobody chose this illness, nor do we have to explain its origins to you.

They're doing it for attention

If I am feeling self conscious and utterly soul-destroyed all for attention then it certainly isn't working. A lot of people don't realise the effort that goes in to masking how we're feeling; putting on a face every day so that people don't have to see that side of us. Nobody is depressed for attention. I'm sure the last thing most of us want is to actually have attention drawn to the fact that we can't make ourselves feel the way we imagine 'normal' people feel. We don't need attention but we do need support, and asking for help is completely different to screaming 'look at me, look at me!'

Not everyone thinks this way, and to those people
who have tried so hard to understand and support me,
I can only thank you!

Keep strong and you will pass through the bad bits.

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