Depression is a loss of interest. This can lead to lack of hygiene, not leaving the bed, and not laughing as much as before. Almost always friends and family can notice a change in someone once they become depressed, but that is not always the case. People can very easily hide it by pretending to feel how they are “supposed to.” This means walking with a forced smile, pretending to joke, and even lying about what they may be doing when in reality they are stuck in bed. It can be treated if someone seeks help, but sometimes it is difficult due to the stigma surrounding it. Here are a few common misconceptions that feed into shaming those with depression.
- Depression means you’re weak.
This is wrong and rude. People who experience depression are not choosing to feel that way, but instead are forced due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. You cannot control what you are born with and should not be ashamed about that. They are not weak, they have so much strength for fighting the thoughts that consume their mind.
- Just get out of bed and stop being overdramatic.
Depression is a very hard battle to fight. It can make you feel physically unable to move and leaves you not caring. If someone struggling was just able to get out of bed then they would have done that. No one wants depression, it’s not a choice they get to make.
- You’re not depressed, you’re just sad.
There is a huge difference between depression and sadness. Being sad is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences. Not everyone experiences depression which is why this is not understood. A symptom of depression can be sadness, but other times it can lead to feeling nothing which is scary.
- You’re not depressed, you look happy.
Just because someone doesn’t look depressed does not mean they aren’t!! This is so common and goes hand in hand with “your life is perfect don’t be depressed.” Again, depression is not a choice. It can be easily hidden for multiple reasons. Due to this you should always check in on your friends to make sure they are actually okay and not just faking it.
By eliminating these false accusations we are helping scared people open up about what they are experiencing. Being depressed can be scary enough to someone who may not understand what is going on in their head. We have to create an open and accepting society to help them as they deal with their illness. They deserve to know they don’t have to struggle alone.