The Uniqueness of Depression

With the recent attention being given to mental health, there has been a lot of good but there have also been a lot of negatives. I, for one, have been getting extremely frustrated by some of what is getting put out there. First off, there are a lot of people who have been putting out articles saying what depression feels like. There is a difference between saying what depression feels like for everyone and what it feels like for the person writing the article. I'm not trying to sound hypocritical as I have put my experiences with depression out there. However, everyone's experience with depression is different. It's great to try and help others understand what depression is like, but we have to avoid speaking as if we know what everyone's depression feels like.

I was also frustrated when watching daytime TV and seeing someone talk about "choosing to be happy" and how we "can't blame our genes" for not being happy. He said that happiness is a choice. It is not a choice for someone who is depressed. It goes far beyond telling yourself to be happy. It is a gross oversimplification when someone has a mood disorder. There are chemical aspects to these disorders that cannot simply be wished away. It surprises me that there are still "experts" who claim that it is someone's choice to be depressed.

Ultimately, the best way to understand someone who has depression is to ask them. The best way to know how to help someone with depression, is to ask them. Everyone is different and experiences mental health differently.