Depression makes people uncomfortable because sadness is generally coddled and corrected. Many people have an urge to offer unwarranted advice and direction to people struggling with depression. Unfortunately, that advice often falls short and can be more upsetting than helpful. Here is what people struggling with clinical depression cannot do because you told them to.
People with depression can’t just turn their frown upside down
Cheer up, just a put a smile on your face, turn that frown upside down. It’s harder to fake it during a depressive episode. Feeling overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and shame for being depressed is common during depression. Perhaps well-intentioned, such statements reinforce the shame and stigma that it isn’t okay to be depressed, to feel sad, or to feel mad. Instead of being depressed, people with depression should at least pretend to be happy. Being depressed is normal. When living with a depressive disorder, living with depression is the norm. Trying to fake or force emotions only creates more feelings of guilt when that smile turns back around and heads back into a frown. Learning to be at peace and in acceptance of one’s emotions at any given point, depressed or not depressed, is a critical part of recovery.
People with depression can’t just shake it off
This too shall pass, just shake it off, if you do something happy you won’t be so depressed. Depressive episodes in clinical depression or passing phases of depression in everyday life, do pass. Eventually, there is some relief and the sun comes out from behind the clouds. Until that time comes, there is no simply shaking off depression when it comes on. During treatment for depression, one learns various coping techniques and emotional management skills for reducing the effects of depression as much as possible. Depressive episodes do not have to mean complete debilitation, though they sometimes can.
People with depression already take medication
Are you on medication? Don’t you take medication for that? Shouldn’t the medication help with that? Medications like antidepressants and mood stabilizers are not cures for depression. Currently, there is no “cure” for depression, in other words, there is no single mechanism or method which makes depression “disappear”. Medication is not a cure for depression. It helps reduce the effects of depression and can reduce the frequency of depression. However, depression and depressive episodes still happen.
People with depression know you’ve been depressed, too
We all get depressed, I’ve been depressed, I know how you feel. Living with clinical depression is a bit different from experiencing depression. There is a constant underlying fear that one morning will be the morning where getting out of bed is difficult again and life is difficult to manage for weeks at a time with no relief in sight. Depression is something most humans can experience. Clinical depression is a specific experience unique to those who struggle with the diagnosis.
You are not alone in your struggles with depression. Cottonwood Tucson specializes in co-occurring disorders treatment, leading clinical excellence in depression treatment. For information on our addiction rehab and behavioral health treatment programs, call us today by dialing (800) 877-4520.