Why Should We Talk about Depression?
When I first realized I had it, talking about depression did not seem like an option. It seemed like a dirty secret I needed to brush aside. I had been told not to cry so many times that I felt ashamed each time I did. Sometimes I still do (Depression Symptoms – Easy to Tear). Fortunately, I am learning to be open and talk about depression, which helps me get through tough times.
It's Important to Talk About Depression in the Media
When films and television show depression, I sometimes feel like it is based on some idea that depressed people only act one way. I feel like depression in these stories is always triggered by an event, perhaps a divorce or the death of a loved one. In my case, depression sprang up out of nowhere when I was a teenager. Nothing set it off.
In more recent years, it seems to me that people with their own experiences are coming forward. Carrie Fisher is just one of many famous people who has spoken candidly about mental illness and hearing them speak out has encouraged me and others I know (Celebrities with Mental Illness Who Made a Difference).
It's Important to Talk about Depression with Family and Friends
It was hardest to talk about depression with those closest to me (I Am Scared – But I Talk About Depression Anyway). I tried to casually mention it in conversation or make jokes about it. That helped more than anything. I didn't want people who love me to see me differently, but I did want people to become aware.
When people realized that I had depression, I think it changed their perspective of what depression is. Some people realized that having depression does not mean you are sad all the time. They realized that depression manifests in a variety of different ways and I think this is important (How to Talk to Your Family About Your Mental Illness).
It's Important to Talk about Depression on Social Media
When I talk about my depression, I don't like to make it a huge deal. Depression is not me. It's just a part of my experience. This is why I often make jokes about both depression and anxiety. I want to normalize my experiences and make them easier to talk about. This is not to say that depression is not a serious concern, but sometimes jokes help me cope with the severe feelings that tough times bring out (The Stigma of Talking about Mental Illnesses).
I learned after addressing my depression online that people I knew were dealing with the exact same feelings. I never knew I would find so much camaraderie on the Internet. Suddenly, I had an entirely new support system free of shame -- and so did they.
My Life Changed when I Started Talking About Depression
If you want to learn more about how talking about depression changed my life, watch this video. Then, let me know who you first talked to about depression. Were you scared? What were the results?
Photo via PicJumbo.
Horsfall, A. (2017, January 17). Why Should We Talk about Depression?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, April 14 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2017/01/why-should-we-talk-about-depression