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You Have No Reason To Be Depressed

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Have you ever heard anyone say, “You have no reason to be depressed”? Unbelievably, some people do.

You have no reason to be depressed because you have:

family
friends
good looks
money
a job
a place to live
food/shelter
[fill in the blank and I’ve heard it]

The thing is, depression doesn’t have anything to with the items listed above. And saying this to someone who is experiencing true pain in the form of depression is shaming and can make things worse.

I wonder if people who say, “You have nothing to be depressed about,” are people who cannot tolerate their own painful emotions and therefore try to push away someone else’s painful emotions because they are intolerable.

My husband and I have been crisis counseling in one form or another for many years and have seen a lot of pain.

If you’ve never experienced the deep pain of mental, emotional, spiritual suffering know that it does exist and is very real to those whom it exists for.

Believe others when they say they are hurting. Believe them and support them as best you can when they reach out for help.

We recently lost a beloved friend and our love goes out to his family.

3 Comments

  1. Great posting! When I’m feeling down, what I most want and need is acceptance. Not a fixer or rescuer. If I’m really down, I may need some encouragement, an alternative perspective, and a nudge to keep going and/or get some support. Sometimes more than a nudge. But first and foremost, I need to be heard, with my perspective and feelings being understood and cared for. That automatically reduces the shame I feel and thus lifts, however so slightly, my depression.

  2. Amen.
    Freshman year in college I wrote my grandmother that I was having a hard time adjusting to being away from home. The secret truth was that I’d recently made a half-hearted suicide attempt. I will never forget her response. She wrote me that I had nothing to be sad about because I was young and had my whole life ahead of me. That stung. In the intervening nearly 45 years since, I’ve wondered many times how she’d been so deeply insensitive to my nightmarish depression that year. Recently, as I’ve entered my 60’s, I’ve come to a place of compassion for her perspective. But, still.
    Thanks for this Elana.

    • You know exactly what I’m talking about, Susan. Reaching out for support and being vulnerable can be hard, then to have someone dismiss our efforts – well like you said, it stings. I acknowledge your vulnerability and courage.

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