It is important to talk about depression
Often when people hear the word depression it is completely misunderstood, misinterpreted and associated wrongly with being a little bit down. For this reason it can be particularly hard for those that do suffer with depression to speak out about their illness, and even in understanding it themselves, because people generally have their own uninformed idea about what it means to be depressed unless they themselves, or someone close to them, has suffered from it. In todays world, with so many platforms for free speech; social media, the internet in general, support groups and support systems, there is much more space for open discussions surrounding mental health, and people are actively fighting the stigma that surrounds depression – which is so, so important. By being open and honest we are educating those around us, and will hopefully help sufferers to accept their own illness’ that little bit better in the process. Often sufferers of depression feel the burden of shame and guilt with their illness, which is further damaging to their mental health, and this comes from the misconceptions surrounding what it means to be depressed. Although it isn’t always easy when it is a matter close to your own heart, it is so important to talk about these issues.
Depression is a complex illness that can affect anyone of us at any age, it is not simply a word used for sadness, and this is part of the problem. People so wrongly coin the term “I am so depressed today,” which belittles those that actually suffer. Usually these things are said not to be damaging, but damaging they are. It is comments like this that makes speaking truthfully about depression so important; to help people better understand it as an illness and not simply sadness on a given day. It is not simply something that the sufferer can just “get over”. It is an illness much like any other, it requires treatment and a day to day battle at varying degrees and there is no shame in it. What should not be involved in that battle is a fight with society to simply show compassion rather than ridicule.
Depression can present itself in many ways, and hearing of other peoples experiences may help other sufferers relate to their own. Some say that one of the hardest things after being diagnosed is finding a way to tell people. If we continue to talk about depression the stigma surrounding it will continue to shrink.
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About Beverley Chambers
I have worked for 18 years as a counsellor addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, sexual abuse, relationship issues, addiction to alcohol, therapy groups, family issues. My qualifications are; diploma in counselling and group work, DipSW, alcohol counsellor, life coach, certificate family support therapy, NADA auricular acupuncture.