I'm Still Afraid To Talk About My Depression
I have been asked to do an interview about my depression on a national radio program. To my surprise and utter disbelief, I'm still afraid to talk about my depression.
My family and close friends have known about my depression for years. Slowly and with much caution, I told my boss about my depression and I have also told a few people at work. I write this blog and I record a youtube video once a month about my depression.
So, what am I afraid of?
Maybe Someone Will Use My Depression Against Me
I can't really say why I'm afraid to talk about my depression. I guess I'm worried that someone I know will hear me - someone I don't trust - and use it against me. Maybe they would judge me, call me weak, second-guess my abilities. Maybe they would scoff at my illness, tell others, laugh at me. (Talk About Depression. Tell Somebody.)
The radio interviewer has asked me for talking points; five commonly asked questions and responses about depression. She asked me for this information over a week ago and I haven't been able to respond. In truth, I've been hiding. I want to help educate. I want to support others and yet, when given this broad-reaching opportunity, I'm stuck in a mire of fear.
I know what I must do. Of course, I must stay the course and follow through with the interview. It will be good therapy for me. Articulating the five questions and answers about depression will not only help dispel my fears but it will hopefully help others dispel their fears about talking about depression.
I'm still afraid to talk about my depression. But I will do it. I must do it. I must do my part to help educate and end the stigma 0f depression and mental illness. In the process, maybe I can help a few people along the way.
Scott, L. (2014, January 5). I'm Still Afraid To Talk About My Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, May 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/01/im-still-afraid-to-talk-about-my-depression
Author: Liana M. Scott
This site really helped me. Read my story and maybe it will help you share yours. It was truly liberating to finally let it out.
@ Nancy. I never thought depression was something to be ashamed of and bad. I don't think any type of mental illness really is, and if given the chance, space and time, one can get better. It is simply the cyclic nature of things if allowed to take their course. Furthermore, if you really watch people carefully, you'll see all kinds of crazy that will continue to be denied and unacknowledged and actually passed off as normal and okay! The ignorance I encountered was such a shock to me, I'll admit. I know that people are inherently flawed, but the level of cruelty against me was over the top. I don't know what you've experienced, but don't feel bad. Optimism and hope in humanity, faith in the goodness in others, even amidst the evils in the world - you need that! It is what will fuel you to fight. And when you're continually bombarded with people's ignorance, cruelty, and petty annoyances without a break - it is natural to feel worn down, to have that faith worn down.
When you think of great men (and I'm referring to the Ghandis and MLK, Jrs of the world - not Donald Trump) and what they've endured, what they've chosen to endure for their cause, sure it was a personal philosophy, it was to suffer and see that same suffering in others, a need to right a wrong, a dream, a vision of things being better that sustained them. And they certainly weren't standing in a corner by themselves doing it. But more than all of the above, you need to be able to look in the face of another and have faith in them as part of humanity, and you need them to look you in the face and acknowledge and have faith in your humanity. I mean, really see it! And you will know it simply by the way they behave towards you! And it has to flow both ways. Certainly, if your loved ones failed you, and people have generally failed you, and your dogs haven't - well, it is more of a shameful reflection on humanity, an elevated view on the heart of your dogs, and normal reaction on your part .
Don't get me wrong. Despite what happened to me, I generally like people, and if they're kind and respectful towards me, I am the same towards them. I am sure you are the same way. I hope this did not depress you further.
Hi Judy. So very well said. Thank you for adding your voice.
I understand your issues. I am ok telling people I trust about being bipolar but it still scares me to open up. I have a successful career and I know the stigma of mental illness and I just don't want it to change people's opinion of me. Thanks for the blog. Makes me feel better knowing I'm not alone. Keep up spreading the word. Things can get better if we just talk about it.
Hi Christine. Oh yes, the professional side is so very tricky to navigate. I'm glad my blog has shown you that you are definitely not alone. I will keep on writing and trying my best to get the word out.
Thank you, reading this is encouraging, I was very scared to let people close to me about my depression for the stigma however as I became more educated about it I was able to lose some fear and I became more open about it with my loved ones. Bad idea! Some of them had use it against me and some others got away from me I guess because the ignorance and stigma. I am completely isolated, it is just my dogs and I.
Hi Nancy. I'm sorry that the people close to you didn't react well. It was very brave what you did. There are a lot of support groups and of course, on-line support so I'm glad you're here. God love our dogs. I have one too and she is my closest companion.
I was just thinking about this the other day. I was feeling a bit low and I was reading over my previous blog posts. I thought to myself, "maybe I am expressing too much? What if people who I don't really trust laugh at the things I said?" But fortunately I then figured out that there really are others out there who really need to hear us talk about it, so that they too can start talking about it and finding different ways to get better. It gets hard, but this is the only way we can make a difference in ending stigma! By talking about it and making others feel understood :) keep doing what you're doing!!
Thanks, Noemi. I've come to realize that the people who know and love me won't laugh or show derision and the people I don't know or trust don't matter anyway.
All I can say is kudos to you for speaking up AND for being willing to admit you are scared to talk about it. I fell into a depression for 3 years due to a relationship where I was afraid to speak up for my needs. That taught me (more than anything else in my life) the importance of speaking up for what you feel is important. I hope someday I'll have your courage and I support you all the way!
Thank you so much, Phyllis!
I completely understand where you are coming from I am still scared to admit or talk about my own battles with anxiety and depression - especially when it comes to jobs and work. Talking about it is the key to ending the stigma though. Keep going!
Thanks, Lucy. Even though you're scared, I hope you have somebody you can talk to about it.