Wednesday 22 April 2015

The misconstructions of depression

As it's depression awareness week, I thought I'd write another mental health-related post; and no, I'm not going to apologise for it, because it's about time we broke the stigma and carried on the conversation. There are so many misconstructions surrounding depression, and if I can stop just one person saying something rude/offensive/unhelpful to someone who's suffering, then this post will all be worth it.

"You're so lazy" my friends say as I crawl into bed after my 9am lecture has finally finished. The truth is, I was up til 3am trying to block the vile thoughts from swirling around my brain, and when I did sleep it was plagued with nightmares. I had to force myself out of bed and into somewhat-presentable clothes, all the while fighting the self-destructive voices that lurk in my ears. My body literally feels like lead, and my bed is the only place I feel safe right now. Believe it or not, I'd love to be out there going for a walk along the canal or shopping with the girls, but it's all it's taking all my energy to not break down and cry.

"You can't be depressed, my *insert family member here* has been homeless, lost a baby and has recently got divorced again and they've never been depressed."  Last time I checked, depression was caused by an imbalance of hormones and chemical in one's brain, not the number of bad things that have happened in someone's life. It really gets to me when people say this - life's not a competition, you know.

"Maybe you just need to get out there and do stuff!!!!!" As I said before, it's hard enough to drag myself out of bed most days - I'm nearing the end of my second year of uni, and there's been so many times when I've had enough and nearly dropped out. Here I am, still going, and I'm bloody well proud of myself for that. I am 'doing stuff', and recently I've been made to get a summer job. Maybe it won't be as awful as my brain is telling me it will be, but I really could have done without it. Your mental health is important and don't let anybody tell you differently.

"I know what it's like to feel down, you know" oh do you? I know people are only trying to help when they say things like this, but there's an almighty difference between having something upset you for a few days, and lying in bed in the middle of the night questioning your existence and wanting to crawl out of your own skin, drowning in tears for no discernible reason.

I hope I haven't offended anyone, but it really grinds my gears when people say stuff like this to me under the pretence of trying to help. Mental health is so so so important and I wish more people understood that. If you're suffering, please don't hesitate to reach out for the help you both need and deserve. I'm always only an email away!


  1. Don't worry about offending people when they say offensive things to those with depression all the freaking time! It makes me feel sick in my stomach, people saying this shit. I've been depressed since I was 15 but it got pretty bad last year. Unforch one of my friends, and someone I live with, didn't handle it all too well. You obvs know what it's like from this post when you can't bring yourself to get out of bed. I've been there, I always locked myself in my room and just wouldn't talk to anyone. She basically got pissed that I was pushing her away and she got super dramatic and bitched about me to all my course friends, our other housemates, and my best friend :( I'd thought she was a super good friend and I felt totally betrayed. She didn't know that only a week before I had been extremely suicidal and nearly jumped. Her actions her so selfish and now I have no patience for people who treat me like that. People don't have a go at those with cancer, and when someone has a flu ohhh nooo everyone's taking care of them and making them soup!!

    To be fair, it got bad again recently and this time she is being so supportive. I think she knew she'd done wrong. Sorry for the long comment, obviously touched a nerve in me :) sometimes even others with depression don't understand.

    Lots of love to you, xoxo

  2. I've had all of these comments said to me and it sucks to say the least. I've also had "but you can't be depressed, you're always so happy" said to me a few times - facepalm!

    Frankie | Crazyblondegal

  3. I completely agree with you, on everything and I'm proud of you for still being in uni! I know this might not be for you.. but have you tried any medication? I've been taking pills for it for about a year, and of course I'm still depressed, but the thoughts are a lot less.. drowning. They're highly recommended :) xx

  4. This is such a great post Katy! People in general just dont understand at all and posts like this need to be read! Someone said to me once "i wish i was like you, you havn't a care in the world"! Little did they know what i was/am going through! You are very inspirational for me and i can relate to almost everything you have said! I just dont talk about it with anyone,not even my family or BF! The only people who know are anyone who will read this reply and i did mention it to Sammy and Carolin before! I dont feel alone with people like yourself who would be kind enough to listen! Thanks honey xx

  5. I also know all about living with depression, I hare those comments you mention, nothing is simple with the illness and it just makes me feel worse. Keep going with uni, I am still trying to finish my course myself, currently in my sixth year but I'm fighting everyday. It will be worth it in the end xx