Saturday, May 14, 2011

Things that don't help a depressed person.

Since I received my diagnosis all those years ago I can't even count the number of times of heard the following:
 You didn't get here overnight, you won't get better overnight.
 It could be worse
You just have to force yourself
 You should ... exercise, take a class, take a bubble bath, get a job, find a hobby, get out more, try eating more of this, eat less of that....
At least you're not... homeless, penniless, childless, dying of (fill in your choice), alone...
One of my favourites is that I keep the living room curtains closed.  The window does not have thermal panes and so is very drafty and when the sun is shining in it seems to heat up the entire house.  However, apparently, rain or shine, hot or cold I should have the curtains wide open because "It's no wonder you're depressed, it's always so dark in here."  I'm the first to admit I need sunshine but raising the heating or air conditioning bill, or sitting in a laser heat beam  or draft are just going to make me uncomfortable.  
To me although these things are said in the spirit of helpfulness, it just goes to show how little people understand what it's like.  I once told someone that when I laid down one afternoon I thought to myself "I hope the house doesn't catch on fire because I am so exhausted I don't think I could get up to save my life."  The response:  "No one's that tired unless you ran a marathon or something"  Would anyone say that to someone with the flu - NO.
I have come to believe that all the self help books, self discovery exercises, soul searching in the world won't help me on my own.  I need someone(s) to discuss, challenge me, provide insights into my behviour.  I read a post recently where the blogger shared an exercise that was done at the behest of a therapist of some sort.  I read it and wondered if that person learned anything from it.  I tried the same exercise and discovered nothing.  Maybe I don't want to see, maybe I already see and don't know how to change.  I would love to be able to attend a group where we could do these sorts of things but I can't find one and am at a loss as to how start one.  I think people like us don't necessarily need a psychologist or psychiatrist to lead the group.  I find writing this blog helps (although I do often miss pen and paper) but what I really want is discussion, debate, advice from people who get it.  My husband is so incredibly supportive and helpful but I often find myself thinking "Yeah, but you love me."  He will freely admit that he doesn't understand why I get so sad, or why I can't give myself credit for the things I do well or often how to help me.  I don't want him to be the one to challenge me.
There are still things I can try, there are still ways I can push myself  I just have to find the courage to do the pushing and challenging and questioning myself instead of looking for someone else to do it.


  1. Yep- I posted a similar list a while back...

  2. I understand, it happens to me too. Sometimes I think I need a therapist or counselor but we cant afford one. My dad told me the other day... get well, he also likes just be happy. URGH!

  3. OMGosh, you totally described me to absolute T. I've been battling this for quite a while now. I was raised that you just suck it up and move on....which is none of us ever dealt with anything and why I'm probably depressed now. People that don't have this DO NOT UNDERSTAND. They don't look at it as an illness. I have to admit that at first, I didn't either. I thought I was weak because I couldn't control my emotions. It took my doctor a long time to convince me that when my chemicals get out of balance, it's just like other things in our body not working right. So just like we take meds for those things, we need to take meds (some of us) to get those chemicals back in order. Well long is this gonna take? I keep my house dark and I don't answer the door or phone if I don't have to. I used to be one of the most outgoing social people ever. Now I'm like a hermit. I just like to say I'm content at home, and actually I am. I love to quilt and stitch and sew and other things, so I'm never bored.

    Sorry to ramble. Feel free to email if you ever want to talk about it. I can totally relate, and it's nice to talk to someone that truly understands. Hugs to you!

  4. Cheer up!

    My father says that a lot. He means well. If I could just cheer up, don't you think I would?