Many people in the U.S. and beyond struggle with depression. It can be a terribly challenging condition to deal with because there are often no outward signs. When someone is on crutches or in a wheelchair, you can see that quite plainly. But when someone is suffering from depression, anxiety, autism, Asperger’s, colitis, heart disease or any other internal condition, people don’t always recognize that there’s something going on.
I’ve struggled with depression for many years. It’s an ugly condition that I wish I didn’t have, but wishing doesn’t make it go away. Neither does meditating, exercising or praying. I do all of those things, but deep down, my depression isn’t a matter of my circumstances or lifestyle choices, but a true medical condition that I can’t just get under control at will.
Many well-meaning people are quick to give advice, but they don’t understand what’s really going on. Although they mean well, their advice (often not asked for) does little to help.
Here are the eight things you don’t need to say:
1. Snap out of it. If only it were that easy. To say this somehow implies that I like curling up in a ball on the couch suffering. If I could just stop being depressed, I would. It’s not a conscious choice to be depressed; there’s no such thing as snapping out of it.
2. You just need to take care of yourself. I eat a very healthy diet, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, and don’t abuse alcohol or other substances. I’d say I take excellent care of myself. Depression is not a symptom of self-neglect or abuse. While taking care of yourself is vitally important, it is not a cure for depression.