Depression 101: Myths and facts

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I have spent a lot of time talking to people about depression since my post in February “Suzy Sunshine🌞“where I openly discussed my own depression.  I have absolutely LOVED the feedback and discussions that my blog generated and am so happy I took that huge leap to open up and talk about something that many people struggle with.

While talking to people though, I have realized, even more, how many misconceptions there are about depression.  I am devoting this blog to a few of those but will be writing more blogs on my experiences and knowledge in the future as I can see that people NEED and WANT to talk about it.

The first misconception I will address is that those people you hear say “I am so depressed” do not struggle with/suffer with depression.  I know they are just using it as an expression, but it really kind of minimalizes the pain and suffering those of us who are actually suffering go through.  Those of us who do, do not just randomly use this expression; we suffer in silence mostly and if we do ask for help it is just that.  We say that we are struggling and need some help only to those very close to us who we trust.  This is EXTREMELY hard for us though.  I am better at it now that I have opened up to more people, but those suffering are generally doing it in silence.

The second misconception is that depression is something that you can just “snap out of” with the right distraction and attention.  Oh how I would love it to be this easy!  No matter what people say to us (“everything will work out”), do to distract us (try to get us to laugh etc), remind us of the good things (“be thankful for all you have”) it, sadly, doesn’t help! I wish these heartfelt gestures by friends did help, but unfortunately I end up feeling far worse as I am made to realize that “yes, everything is perfect, so why am I SOOOOOO sad all the time!!!”  I know that these intentions come from the right place in your heart, but the best thing you can do is give me a hug, not ask me how I am (I’ll just break down) and let me know you are there if I need you.  Most people have learned to read me well and for this I am thankful.

I am in the very fortunate position of having a wonderful support network and for this I am eternally grateful!

The last misconception is about taking medications to help in treating depression.  I, as I have been quite open about, am a believer in medication so want non-believers to understand that taking a medication for a mental health illness does not make you weak.  Many people are uncomfortable with admitting they are are on meds but this is ridiculous. People believe the meds will “change you”. If by change you you mean level things out in your brain so that you can deal with life like the average person can, then YES, they do change you. A positive change that helps you cope with life on an even level.They are not happy pills that make you feel numb and happy. If they do you are on too high a dose! Don’t be embarrassed. Be proud that you are getting the help you need.  If I needed help seeing should I be embarrassed to wear my glasses? It’s the same thing❤

I am going to leave it at that for this blog, but those of you who have opened up to me, please pm me any time, and continue to reach out for support.

Your Simply Susan lesson the day! 😄

 

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