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Talk About Depression, Tell Somebody

June 30, 2013 Liana M Scott

Talk about depression because hiding it can be as debilitating as the depression itself. Therapy gave me a new perspective and now I'm talking about depression.

Talk about depression? Why? It’s no secret that the stigma of depression (and other mental illnesses) can be debilitating. Hiding the reason we are sick takes as much out of us as the sickness itself. Imagine a world where we could freely tell our loved ones, friends, co-workers and bosses the truth. Imagine a world where we could talk about depression.

Talking About Depression Starts with "I Have Depression"

I’m 48 years old and I’ve said those words out loud less than a dozen times.

I have a cold, I have the flu, I have a sore throat, I have stomach flu, I ate something that didn’t agree with me, I’m having back spasms, I have menstrual cramps, I have a migraine . . . the list of excuses that I have used to explain myself and my depression are endless.

The thing is, my loved ones and friends, the people who know me the best, always know when I’m lying. They don’t push me, rather, they offer quiet and respectful support. My co-workers know something is wrong but can’t put their finger on it. Let’s face it, 3 out of 5 of them are suffering from depression themselves. My bosses, over the years, I can only assume are/were extremely frustrated with my varied absences and declining levels of productivity (The Effects of Depression).

Hiding my depression from my aging parents was awful. I kept all of it from them thinking that they had enough on their minds. I didn’t want to worry them or burden them with having to understand what depression was all about. Depression and mental illness was never talked about in their time.

Thanks to my therapist and talk therapy, I was able to appreciate a different perspective.

Talk About Depression with Your Loved Ones

My therapist asked me, “As a mother, regardless of your age, wouldn’t you want to know if it was your daughter going through this?”

A resounding YES. I told my parents a short time after that. They didn’t need to have it explained to them. Surprisingly, they understood and often times, share with me some of their own tales of woe. And, while I’m sure they worry, they repeatedly tell me how glad they are that I told them because this way, they can say special prayers for me. God love them.

Last week, as I was slowly coming out of my depression dip, I talked to my Dad on the phone for a long time and he was so sweet and understanding. He told me that he loved me and that I could call him any time. It helped more than he will ever know.

Talk About Depression to Lift A Great Burden

 

We need to talk about our depression. We need to tell our family and friends (read: Explaining Depression to a Friend). We need to tell our co-workers and though very difficult, we even need to tell our bosses about our depression. It’s scary and makes you feel vulnerable and exposes you in ways your never thought possible. But it also lifts the burden of secrecy from your shoulders. It frees you.

We need to talk about depression because it just makes sense.

APA Reference
Scott, L. (2013, June 30). Talk About Depression, Tell Somebody, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2013/07/talk-about-depression-tell-somebody



Author: Liana M Scott

Bambi
says:
September, 8 2016 at 5:15 am
I feel for everyone who has depression and lives with someone who has depression. I have always just had one question. how do I take care of myself? I have been married to someone who has ripped out my spirit and executed my soul. I can't hold down a job. I have no car or drivers license. I am totally dependent on this person that I married. I truly don't know what to do anymore.
I miss the person that I once was

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 8 2016 at 5:51 am
Hi Bambi,

I empathize with your situation because what you are going through is incredibly tough. One of my past relationships had me in a similar situation to the one you are in now, and I felt so tired of feeling like a hollow shell of who I was. But my partner was the person that kept me alive, so I seemed stuck. Eventually, I found that I first needed to start fulfilling my basic needs (food, sleep, hygiene, etc.) without reminders from my partner, because I was very neglectful of myself. Then, I needed to start doing things that reminded me of the Me I missed. Before I was so dependent, I was an avid runner, I loved being outside, and I had tons of plants. So I started running again, I spent some time on my front porch each night, and I invited a friend over to plant some flowers. Slowly (I mean VERY slowly), I started to feel capable of caring for myself, and of being Me.

Plus, your comment here is a demonstration of the independence you are capable of: You are taking care of yourself right now by seeking answers to your questions. There's a long, rocky road to feeling independent again, so be kind to yourself. And force yourself to believe that you are not lost to yourself forever, because you've got this.

Tiffanie
Ella Lakatani
says:
September, 7 2016 at 1:04 pm
Hello. I am so sorry that you are in that situation. You need to trust in yourself that you are not going to harm yourself. You need to talk to a counselor. They are very helpful. I know that depression is not easy and it is not going to disappear overnight.
I will share my experience with a disorder of panic attack and depression. I never leave my home I am in my own prison that I felt safe and secure. I came off medication but a lot of walking and swimming meeting different people which helps.
Please do not feel that you are alone in this world but God is so good and involve with church group, find something good to ease your mind, that you enjoy doing.. Anyway Bless you and will pray for you.
Ella Lakatani
says:
September, 7 2016 at 1:04 pm
Hello. I am so sorry that you are in that situation. You need to trust in yourself that you are not going to harm yourself. You need to talk to a counselor. They are very helpful. I know that depression is not easy and it is not going to disappear overnight.
I will share my experience with a disorder of panic attack and depression. I never leave my home I am in my own prison that I felt safe and secure. I came off medication but a lot of walking and swimming meeting different people which helps.
Please do not feel that you are alone in this world but God is so good and involve with church group, find something good to ease your mind, that you enjoy doing.. Anyway Bless you and will pray for you.
Andy
says:
May, 6 2014 at 7:41 pm
I use to fear that people wouldn't see any of the good qualities to me, only the mental illness I've had since I was a kid, and for the longest time I was a shut in because I was scared of telling others including people in my family that I was/am depressed, but now that i'm going into my twenties, with a wonderful and very caring and loving supportive wife, I don't fear it as much because I know now that even though yes I am depressed and yes it is apart of who I am, it's a very small part and doesn't make up all of who I am and that even though I am sick, it's possible for others to see past it and love me anyway for who I am.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
May, 7 2014 at 2:53 am
Bravo, Andy! Well put. :-)
Lisa Silver
says:
May, 6 2014 at 4:06 pm
I need HELP!! I am so very lost & need to know where to go. My mom's mental deteriation is so bad & I am her only child. I have been aware of it around 1982. I don't know what it takes to get someone committed, but I am facing this quickly. She actually said to me today, "Well if you just let me do what I want & don't tell me no, say things will be fine. If you do not, you will suffer. Appease me or else." I sat there numb. Walked away & cried. She is so disturbed & not harmful to herself at this point but she has driven my Dad & I to our witts end. PLEASE PLEASE this is a desperate cry for help for our family. She has insurance thru my Dad's Navy Service. If there is any way you can help us, PLEASE get in contact. I have never felt so alone & terrified. Thank you from the bottom of my extremely broken heart. Bless you all. <3..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
May, 7 2014 at 3:01 am
Hi Lisa. I am SO sorry about your Mom. I'm not sure if you're in Canada or the U.S. In Canada, you can contact <a href="https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CC0QFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.camh.ca%2F&amp;ei=Ii9qU-HQBMm3yATDvIK4CQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNGQy-QP5P6sD3h1V8-lqIc8c0oE0A&amp;sig2=9AypgDjHqlgJlX4b_IZCKw&amp;bvm=bv.66111022,d.aWw" rel="nofollow">CAMH </a>(Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). In the U.S., follow this <a href="http://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources/" rel="nofollow">link </a>to a great list of resources your can explore for assistance. I wish you and your Dad all the best.
Lisa
says:
May, 6 2014 at 2:14 pm
I told my kids about my suicudal depression after a attempt on my life by jumping of a bridge into a river and my adult kids all disowned me they are 21, 23 and 25 , so much for depression and being honest about it to family , I lost the only people that mattered to me by being honest about my life , my mental health and my depression etc , my life is not worth anything , it is empty 47 years long story but that's the short version
From a suicidal and depressed Lisa

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
May, 7 2014 at 2:51 am
Hi Lisa. I am SO sorry that your kids reacted as they did. Please know though, that your life is NOT worth nothing. Your life is LIFE! It is a miracle and a gift, though it is unbelievably difficult to see or appreciate that when you've been depressed for so long. I hope you are in treatment because depression is treatable. Please consider taking one baby step towards seeing something wonderful (a blooming flower, a happy dog) or doing one small thing for yourself (take a walk, eat some chocolate). Take tiny bites of life. Hugs.
Lisa
says:
May, 5 2014 at 3:01 pm
I suffer from Major Depresdive Disorder. I have gone through countless medications, therapy, treatment including ECT-Shock Treatment. I believe much of my illness was aggravated by my pregnancy. It just changed me. I also suffer from chronic pain &amp; that is known to cause or worsen depression. My chemicals are just off. I recently started a new drug, Fetzima, and I hope it's working. I'm doing a little better. God bless you all &amp; may we all reach remission from this hell.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
May, 6 2014 at 4:05 am
Hi Lisa. It sounds as though you've really been having a rough time. I hope the Fetzima helps. I've never heard of that drug. My prayer for you is that you'll keep feeling better. Hugs.
Mark Myhre
says:
August, 7 2013 at 5:53 am
Depression is often a response to an unhealthy environment or relationship. Guilt often underlies depression. If a person feels guilty for having hurt people, (i.e.feeling like a burden to family/friends due to diabetes and its symptoms), then life may not make sense, which leads to depression.
notsure
says:
July, 6 2013 at 8:01 am
The first (and only) boss that I ever told about my depression fired me two days later. (I was on probation for a new position even though I had been with the company for several years. Therefore ADA didn't apply) I had just been diagnosed and I was thrilled to find out there was a possible solution. After 16 years I was elated to find out I was right that there was something wrong besides just 'stress'. I told my boss as an explanation of past behavior and a promise of better performance. He didn't see it that way. I had started meds so I thought this was a great thing. Never occurred to me that it would make me unemployable. I haven't held a 'real job' since. Twenty years later and two college degrees I'm now pushing 50, broke and can't get an entry level position in either of my fields. I would be very, very careful about telling anyone in a position of authority about your depression.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
July, 7 2013 at 4:02 am
Hi Betsy. I'm so sorry you hear about this. This was 20 years ago you say this happened? Surely things have changed in the U.S. since then. Why haven't you been employable? Had that admission gone on some transcript or something that followed you? I'm sorry I don't understand.
Megan M
says:
July, 3 2013 at 1:41 pm
This was a wonderful piece. I, too, have great difficulty talking to people about my depression. I fear that I will be judged, and that people won't see that there are other parts to me besides my mental illness. Thank you for being so brave.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
July, 3 2013 at 1:59 pm
Hi Megan... thank you for your comment. You're brave too. You posted a comment :-)
Tanya J Peterson
says:
July, 3 2013 at 6:25 am
Liana,

I share your belief in the healing power of openness and discussion. When I stopped denying the fact that I have bipolar I disorder and then mustered the courage to tell my family members, I was pleasantly surprised by their reactions and the freeing feeling that accompanied my revelation.

It's important for people going through this to know that it is a good thing to talk but also that it can be very difficult to do so. There are times that I wish I could go back to making excuses because being "out" about having a serious mental illness makes me squirm uncomfortably -- this from someone who writes and speaks to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness! It is indeed great to talk, and it's great to give yourself permission to still feel uncomfortable sometimes.

(A p.s. to your reply to Igonzales1961: Very insightful and helpful response! I just want to offer info about a resource. Your mention of support groups was great. One resource to look into is NAMI. They have a great number of chapters nationwide, and one of their support groups is NAMI Family and is designed specifically for family members of people experiencing mental illness.)
lgonzales1961
says:
July, 2 2013 at 7:52 am
I am not sure if anyone can help me but my husband is suffering from depression and I believe hae has since he was a child. He has tried many things and he has been well for months at a time but the last time it was really bad. I feel very helpless but I get so frustrated with it. I know his pain is real but I don't know what to do anymore.I am really trying to hold everything together and relieve some of his stresses but I get where I can't breathe sometimes and wonder if it will ever be better. I am hoping I can get some insight on how or what I should do. I feel so hopeless.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
says:
July, 2 2013 at 8:19 am
Hi there. I'm sorry to hear about your husband's battles with depression. My husband, I'm sure, can very much relate to what you are saying.

My first thought is... have you discussed these feelings with your husband when he is feeling better? Of course, you cannot discuss it really when he is feeling poorly.

While I don't know what it is like to be the spouse/partner of someone with depression (since I am the one with depression), I can tell you a few things about how I feel when I'm going through it. Once my husband told me he feels helpless when I go through my dips. He wants to fix it/me/whatever. I simply tell him... as I am telling you... there is no "fix". There is only quiet support. My husband has learned over the years to just step back and provide quiet, gentle support.

Having said that, we are all different. Depression for men is, I'm sure, very different than depression for women. I would encourage you to seek out a support group for people in similar situations. Go to speak to a counselor yourself to learn ways to cope. Most of all, I would encourage you to find something that relieves your OWN stresses. Your burden is a heavy one, no doubt. Take care of yourself. Find things that make you laugh ... things that fulfill you.

I don't know that any of this has helped. I hope it has.
dananeal
says:
July, 2 2013 at 2:37 am
Hi,
This is Dana Neal here. I'm new to this forum. I want to involve myself into intellectual discussion with some like-minded peoples.

Most of the works what I do to get rid of depression are Exercise,Control over diet,Yoga &amp; Meditation, Sufficient amount of sleep, Herbal therapy and you know Dance keeps depression away.

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