Depression: Everyone is Different

depressionEvery person who has experienced depression will have their own impression regarding what it was like.[1] Although there are many common themes associated with depression—thoughts of hopelessness, sadness, and confusion—everyone still has their own individual experiences within that.1 For those who have never experienced the common disorder, it is often difficult to understand what a person with depression is going through.1 In fact, having people in life who do not understand depression often unites those who are going through the rough ride.1

Many often hear the too-common phrases: “You’ve nothing to be depressed about,” or “Just snap out of it, things could be worse.”1 Hearing these phrases while one is depressed can be devastating, as they are looking for support.1 Although saying the phrases to someone who is depressed may be thought of as well-meaning, it simply isn’t that easy to “snap out of it.”1 If it were, nobody would experience depression.1

As there are many subjective levels of depression, the word has become a catch-all, making it difficult for someone who has never been depressed to fully understand what the sufferer is truly feeling.1 The spectrum of depression ranges from mild, where someone feels a constant melancholy, to major, which is the deepest and darkest place of lonely suffering that no one could dream of.1 A Google search of the term defines depression as the following: “Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.”1 It makes depression sound easy, but the truth is, it isn’t.1 This is only one of the many facets of depression, giving the other side of the spectrum a false impression of its intensity.1

In relationships, where one person is experiencing depression and the other isn’t, this definition causes problems.1 It helps form a lack of understanding on the topic, leading to less support and pure annoyance.1 The partner not experiencing depression, who would once say, “just rest and take it easy” has begun to snap “get up and do something constructive.”1 However, with the lack of accurate information out there, their behavior is understandable.1 They have seen their once happy partner become a shadow of a person, one who is vulnerable, indecisive, and tearful all the time.1 That is heartbreaking and scary. For them, it is easier to shut off their feelings when with their depressed partner than be dragged down into a hopeless abyss.1 It is a survival tool.

Therefore, it is important that the person experiencing depression seek help early on.1 Many don’t wish to do so, as they would rather carry on as normal and wait it out, but as they sink deeper into depression, it no longer works.1 Talking with a therapist, fighting the disorder emotionally and cognitively, is the best thing that one can do to help themselves in the long-run.1 While antidepressant medicines also work, they are often a short-term fix.1 It is also important to continue communicating with those close.1 Keep them in the loop instead of isolating yourself due to your beliefs that they do not care—they do.1 If a partner is involved, family therapy is a good idea, for their education and understanding.1 Improve your support and your mood, and depression will fade away.

[1] Coster, D. (2013). Depression is Different for Everyone. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 5, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/11/02/depression-is-different-for-everyone/

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