This flyer came our way the other day, and its message really hit home. Maybe it’s because many of our staff and clients have traveled down the dark road of depression. Maybe it’s because most people, while listening to someone complain about feeling down, have thought, “Get over it!”
Or maybe they’ve thought:
“Snap out of it.”
“Stop being a downer.”
“You’ll feel better tomorrow.”
“Look at your cup as half full, not half empty.”
“You need to start looking on the bright side.”
None of these commands or bromides is useful when it comes to depression, which has a way of taking over the rational mind. Depression is like a band of hijackers that commandeers the brain, seizing the controls, broadcasting dire, dark messages, and threatening to blow the whole system up if their needs aren’t met.
Depression isn’t something you get over. You inch your way out of it, typically with the help of therapy, medication, exercise, healthy eating and sleeping, and the support of family and friends. Recovering from depression takes a village—a village that doesn’t stigmatize or issue edicts like “Get over it.”
Instead the villagers might say, “It sounds like you’re suffering. I’ve been in a really low place before, and I did get through it. I believe you eventually will too. So how can I help you right now?”
That’s a village we’d love to live in—actually, here at the Mental Health Association in Greensboro, we pretty much do live there.
Learn more about depression and how to manage it at DepressionIsReal.org