I can say with near certainty that those of us who have been diagnosed with clinical depression had had at least one person who said something like “I was depressed when my cat died” or “just stop worrying about things.” These comments are proof that depression isn’t understood by the general public.
One guy said to me that I was so lucky to be drawing a disability check and there is nothing wrong with me. I crumbled inside. He didn’t see my illness and could not know the devastation it had caused in my life and the lives of my loved ones. All he saw was that I got a disability check once a month that was probably much less than he brought home in a week. I paid for that check in advance. That little check is all I have to keep the wolves from my door, and every penny is budgeted. How can someone be so flippant?
My latest comment came from a doctor! I was discussing my extreme anxiety, and he said that I should stop worrying. He said something happened to him at 18 and he completely stopped worrying. Indeed, he wasn’t my Psychiatrist. Ruminating is a part of depression and anxiety, but it is much more than worry. I was shocked by his comment. Those comments are ignorant.
You may be wondering what, if anything, you can do when these people treat you so callously. I decided to let those idiots think and say what they want because they had not walked in my shoes. I didn’t think it would help to show them my shoes because they would not feel the discomfort or understand why they were stained or abused. I was not going to let them hinder my recovery. Many times our family members misunderstand our illness and may believe things the idiots have said. Their words hurt most, but there is one essential thing we have to do for ourselves to keep words from burning us. We have to KNOW that our illness is not us. We are walking in those shoes and feel the pain, but we are the beautiful human being who is experiencing depression, but the depression does not define us. The ugly, uncomfortable, stained and abused shoes are not us.
If you are reading this, make a comment. Can you see thay you are more than your illness? Peace be with you.