You may have seen this post on Facebook requesting to cut and paste to support others, it starts like this “Yes, Depression is such a bitch and seems so relentless…it goes on.” I have myself been there done that and worn the T-shirt years ago, and then changed it. I have also worked successfully with many, many people who have wanted to do the same so I am very well aware of what depression is.
Which leads me to disagree with the first line. I think depression is a feeling that we find helpful, we shut ourselves off from all the things we are finding too hard to look at, using it like a veil to shield us. So in actual fact doing depression we are totally taking care of ourselves. Would you call your mother or a nurse “a bitch” for caring for you? Sure they may not have done it in exactly the way you wanted, but most of us accept that and realise we can choose another way of parenting or caring.
The challenge is, depression doesn’t make us feel good inside, furthermore calling it a bitch makes us feel worse as now you are a victim of a bitch!
I realise this whole campaign is an attempt to show caring, and is an attempt to make mental health issues a more open subject, so I have a suggestion. How about if we want to be more accepting of depression to start with just that. So here is an alternative…
“Depression is a state of mind that we sometimes adopt when we are feeling sad, often overwhelmed and believe we have no choices. It is just one way we have learnt to look after ourselves. It is not a disease, or a label to be ashamed of, it is just a way of thinking, we are not stupid for thinking this way, it just means we have new things to learn. Sometimes we spend years learning to think this way but with the right help and support we can learn new ways to think differently and consequently feel differently. All of us learn at different rates and have different challenges no one way is right or wrong, just like some of us are amazing writers and other artists or mathematicians etc… So if you have a friend or family member with depression let them know it is ok for them to talk about what is going on for them, it is not weak for them to seek counselling, tell them if the first counsellor doesn’t help, then move on and find another, when you find a new strategy that works for you, you will use it instead of depression.”