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Truths People with Depression Wish Other Understood

Negative stereotypes and a lack of understanding about depression can discourage people from: admitting they need help, seeking treatment, and helping others battle depression. However, The Mighty found several people living with depression who willingly shared their thoughts. Here’s what they had to say.

Excerpt of Article by Rachel Kassenbrock | The Mighty

Depression Quote from the Mighty

  • “Depression is just as real an illness as diabetes or heart disease. It must be treated with due care, because one of the serious side effects is suicide.” — Elizabeth Rose
  • “It’s not only my mood that’s ‘depressed.’ Energy levels, motivation, feeling of self-worth and self-restraint are all affected as well. It doesn’t mean I’m lying in bed crying all day, especially as a mom of two young kids. I’m doing my best to be as functional as possible. Instead of ‘sad,’ I may seem irritable or short-tempered, for which I probably feel guilty.” — Katherine Intven Tyndall
  • “Being depressed is much different than being sad.” — Laura Sloate
  • “One just can’t ‘snap out of it.‘” — Tommy Sorg“Oftentimes I recognize that what I’m feeling is irrational or ‘silly,’ but I can’t just make the feeling go away.” — Mary Salemi
  • “Sometimes people need to take antidepressants for the rest of their lives. And that’s OK!” — Stacy Benstock Klein
  • “Despite knowing others live with depression and anxiety, you feel alone.” — Melissa Marcasciano McKeown
  • “Simple tasks are so much harder when you live with depression. Cleaning the house, running to the store or even holding up a conversation can be a mission for us. As adults, we’re expected to suck it up and go to college, go to work and make something of ourselves. It’s difficult when you can’t even get yourself out of bed most days. I’m not lazy; I’m sick.” — Michayla Nicole Rasmussen
  • “You cannot cure someone’s depression by making them feel guilty about it.” — Chelsea Noelani Gober
  • “Not everyone who’s depressed ‘looks’ depressed. The worst depressive episode I’ve ever had lasted about three years. I was peppy, dressed nice, participated in clubs and got good grades for almost the entirety of it.” — Emily Dotterer
  • “Depression hits every age group and gender. It’s not just for middle-aged or older people — younger people can have it too. And both men and women can have it.” — Sharky Gothica
  • “Antidepressants can save lives. It’s not a conspiracy of ‘big pharma.’” — Laurie Jane Free
  • “[I wish] people understood your depression is in no way a reflection on your love for them.” — Heather Donlin-Monica
  • “The cruelest words in the English language can be, ‘Pull yourself together.’ Living with depression is a sign of immense strength and bravery and not of weakness and cowardice.” — Ruth Wootton
  • “Sometimes you wake up and just cannot face the world. There’s no rhyme or reason for this; it’s just part of the illness.” — Jenny Reilly

To read the complete article by Rachel Kassenbrock, click here.

Credits

Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to the people who shared their thoughts and feelings about life with depression; Rachel Kassenbrock for writing the article; The Mighty for committing its resources to the article; Google for helping me find the article; Yahoo Health for sharing the article; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text in this post.

Scott
Even after brain surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments to eradicate his brain cancer, Scott continued to work; continued to study; and earned professional certifications from the Project Management Institute, American Society of Quality, and Stanford University School of Professional Development. How were all of these achievements possible at a time when Scott was struggling with the hurdles of brain injury? The answers are in this blog.

16 Responses to “Truths People with Depression Wish Other Understood”

  • Teri-Anne Swerdon says:

    I have a brain injury. I wish, people knew that anyone can get a brain injury. I wasn’t in an accident of any kind, Yet I got hit by a virus.

    • Scott says:

      Teri, you mentioned a type of brain injury many people overlook. Not all brain injuries com from crashes, falls, assaults, cancers, strokes, or seizures. There is a very real possibility brain injury comes from bacterial or viral infections. Thank you for sharing your comment and reminding us nobody is immune to brain injury regardless of how safe we think we are. Awareness is important to everybody, not just the survivors and caregivers.

  • DiDi Klein says:

    Thank you, Scott, for helping us address the many common understandings of depression. I recall when a lovely, famous, talented, wealthy young woman from a prominent family committed suicide. It was all over the media and someone within earshot said. “What a shame. She was so beautiful. She had everything to live for.” Another person in the room, who suffers greatly from depression said “When are people going to realize that it has nothing to do with the OUTSIDE of a person. It is an INSIDE problem, an illness”. I always think of this when I hear people judge others, i.e. “Why doesn’t she just snap out of it?” I am now aware than any of us might be very depressed even though it looks like we have everything going for us.

    • Scott says:

      DiDi, unfortunately, we as a global society, have convinced ourselves that two invalid myths are truths.

      1. This will never happen to me.
      2. If it does, I won’t tell anybody and nobody will know.

      Both beliefs prevent people from getting the help they need.

  • Paul says:

    Thank you very much for publishing this article. I am a member of an epilepsy support group at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. I recommend this group for anyone in the area who is in need of interacting with people of any age who also endure any kind of seizure disorder. Recently a member of our group was very upset about others not being able to understand the difficulties that her disability causes her to deal with. I believe that sharing this with her will help her deal with this problem.

    • Scott says:

      Paul, the biggest problem I encountered during my journey of recovery is the lack of understanding. In retrospect, fighting cancer, brain injury, vertigo, ataxia, as well as visual and auditory challenges was relatively easy compared to explaining my challenges to people. I hope the information helps. The person you mentioned is definitely not alone.

  • Esther says:

    I am grateful for the willingness of the people who not only talked about their depression but also attached their names to their statements.This both educates and validates many. I believe symptoms of depression are difficult to understand especially if you have not yourself experienced them.Thank You Scott

    Unfortunately the stigma against depression still remains strong enough that most depressed employees would probably hesitate to reveal their condition to bosses and coworkers for fear of being marginalized professionally or being seen as weak.

    • Scott says:

      Esther. Unfortunately, the problem is very widespread. There tends to be a lack of understanding associated with every type of “invisible” injury — depression, PTSD, brain injury, etc. There is no doubt in my mind the stigma associated with the invisible injuries prevents people from reporting the problems, getting the help they need, and ultimately making life more challenging for those who are experiencing the adversity directly and those who experience it indirectly.

  • Esther says:

    World Suicide Prevention Day 2015 is Thursday 10 September. http://wspd.org.au/

    IASP: (International Association for Suicide Prevention)
    https://www.iasp.info/index.php

  • Esther says:

    If you feel like a friend or a family member is struggling, think about how you can reach out to them with kindness and empathy before you think of what you should say. Letting them know that they are not alone and they are loved can truly save a life. They won’t hear your words at first; they will only feel your presence. But it all starts with someone who cares enough to reach out and ask, “Are you okay?” Please, do not be afraid to ask that question. Ask your friend. Ask a family member. Ask yourself. And be okay with whatever the answers are.

    • Scott says:

      Esther, great advice. Get involved. Do not look the other way simply because you do not understand. It is quite possible the person who is suffering does not know how to explain the problem or request help.

  • Esther says:

    Overwhelmed and feeling like no one cares? Having thoughts of suicide?You are not alone.Get help. Call the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Crisis Line at 877-727-4747. Caring counselors are available to talk 24/7.
    (Toll free in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Counties.)

    6:00 pm- 10:00 pm Teens helping teens: 310-855-4673

  • Esther says:

    Depression is an illness that robs you of energy to take action. Nonetheless, if you have some remaining energy, use the energy as leverage to get more and to seek help from others. It’s important to take action!— Richard Munich, MD, former chief of staff of The Menninger Clinic

    • Cheryl Rudi says:

      Esther- Great information you posted.
      The best advise I can give to someone with depression is often what is the most difficult. It would be action. Take a shower, walk or go to the gym. Call a friend, read a book, go to a movie. It doesn’t matter what you do- just try! I realize this is often easier said than done, but you will always feel a bit better.

  • Cheryl Rudi says:

    All these comments are spot on and very informative. Understanding depression is clearly a first step towards getting better. If you know someone suffering from depression, what can you do to help them?

    • Scott says:

      Cheryl, understanding depression will also help others accept the idea that depression is a serious, life-threatening problem.


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**** About The Author ****

During the past 13 years, I have been diagnosed with cancer, brain injury, balance issues, stroke, ataxia, visual impairment, and auditory challenges. I have overcome significant adversity! I can explain how to overcome your challenges. I am a very active Toastmaster and a motivational speaker.