It Doesn't Help

You know those people who you tell your difficulties/worries to and they tell you to just forget about it and be happy.  Ya those people.  I have something to tell you.  Your advise doesn't help.  As a matter of fact it is like saying that whatever we feel is nothing and we are stupid for feeling that way.  You also assume that what we feel is so minor we can just leave it behind and be happy.  We wish that were true because if it were true we would not feel depressed or anxious anymore.  It's like telling a person with a broken leg to just walk it off and ignore it.  You wouldn't tell a physically challenged person that if they tried hard enough they could get out of their wheel chair and walk cause all they have to do is fake it to make it.

In fact for anyone with depression or anxiety issues we have probably tried to take your lame advise.  We have tried countless times to just forget about our problems and act like a normal person.  The problem is that when we are out and about acting like a normal person we feel horrible.  Every smile and nod is a denial of what we are truly feeling and it doesn't help.  No matter how many times we go about our business, and believe me we do it all the time, that horrible feeling goes along for the ride.  The only person who feels better is the person who gave the advise because they think they helped someone.

The best thing in the world could happen to us and we may feel good for a nanosecond but then that depression or anxiety comes back and takes away our joy so fast it's shocking.  When we should be feeling great the grey mist moves in and smothers our good feelings.  Then we start feeling bad that we aren't feeling good.  We start hating ourselves because we don't feel good and everyone is telling us to just be positive, be happy, forget your worries, and all those other useless platitudes.  They don't help and in fact they hurt us even more.

If you want to help a person with depression or anxiety just be there for them when they need you.  Love them in spite of their depression/anxiety because I'm pretty sure you aren't perfect and they still value and love you.  Try not to fix the depressed/anxious person just accept them for who they are.  Not everyone on this planet is going to be exactly the same.  Some people are more extroverted and energetic while others are introverted and just about every other combination too.  Now how about we stop trying to "fix" everyone and make everyone the same and instead we just accept people for who they are.  Can you imagine how that would feel?


Birdie said…
This is a perfect post. I could have written it myself today.
Depression is such an ugly beast and though I often say I wouldn't wish it on anyone I sometimes think everyone should have to go through it to know what it is like. But maybe that is like saying everyone should have a broken leg or cancer to see what it is like. But only people with depression and anxiety get judged.
Many years ago I had a coworker tell me to snap out of it and to "give it to God". She ended up getting depressed and then apologized to me for saying what she did. It meant a lot to me.
I do hope you have some lighter days. And sending you so much love and understanding.
Mama Pea said…
I can relate. Is there anyway, anywhere you can get some help to change the situation?
Sparkless said…
Birdie you are so right that you can't really understand what depression or anxiety is like unless you have experienced them. Everyone gets sad and upset but it's the degree that is totally different and the length and cause. It's normal to get sad because someone you love dies but it's not normal to feel sad or anxious for no reason.

Mama Pea, just writing this post helps as do many other things I do every day. I'm not sure if there is a cure but there is relief and respite which will have to do. I think some people are just more sad than others. It could be they are more sensitive, it could be their brain chemistry, it could be a virus no one really knows but there is always help and the first thing that helps is love and acceptance, not judgement.

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