Depression is Real

Just the other day, I was on a Major search engine site, looking for possible topics to write on. Not that my creative well has run dry, but there are days where getting anything on paper is a job and a half. Having these days where the literary juices are just not flowing is a bane to writers everywhere. Many people have their own ways to deal with said days, and mine is perusing my local search engine for hot topics that I might be able to put my hat into. You could not imagine what I saw when I typed in “Depression Is” and let the search engine fill in the rest. The first, of course, was “Depression is Real,” and I said to myself, “Bravo, glad to see that the first result is something so relevant.” However, the next few items that I saw severely upset me. I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I even support differing opinions on subjects as it causes a greater discussion to take place. Unfortunately, when it comes to mental health, I am much less in favor of differing opinions, at least when it comes to the validity of the topic. The words that I saw, pretty high up on the list, were “Depression is a choice” and “Depression isn’t real.” The fact that these were even in the high ranking results still boils my blood. Of course, I didn’t click on the links to see what kind of articles there were, and I genuinely hope that the majority of them were discounting those very phrases.

For those that suffer from depression, like me, hearing that all the pain and suffering we experience is just made up, is infuriating. The fact that there are actually people that believe that Mental Illnesses are fictionary baffles me. Depression, like all mental illness, comes in many shapes and sizes. It can take years or just days to diagnose your mental illness based solely on the symptoms that you show. For many people, the suffering they have felt is all too real. Whether it be the emptiness and lows of depression, the peaks, and valleys of Bipolar, the fear, and terror behind PTSD, or even the stress and pressure of Anxiety; the pain we all feel differs between each of us. This, of course, does not make it any less real than those yet to be diagnosed.

Every so often I see the same gif on the internet of a forest and a bottle of pills. If you’ve seen it, you probably know which one it is that I am talking about. The top portion of the woods shows the words, “This is an Antidepressant,” which for some people it is, and I do not discount that fact. The bottom half though, shows a bottle of pills falling over with the words “This is a lifelong addiction.” That really, every single time I see it, just makes me lose my head for a minute. I want to grab whoever made that and scream at them, knowing full well that it won’t solve a single thing. A similar image that surfaces every once in a while is the one below:

Similar to the gif, this image discounts the use of medication as a treatment method, in preference of nature. Like I said, nature is great and all, but it won’t help me to not kill myself!

I love being outside, camping, living off the land, its great; and it does help alleviate some stress and sadness. Yet, it’s not a long-term thing, it will not help me every single day for the rest of my life; whereas, the medication will do just that. Sure, I agree that it will technically be a lifelong addiction, but it will keep me alive. That’s like telling someone with diabetes that they’re just addicted to taking insulin. See the craziness here?

Depression is real, so is Anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar 1&2, BPD and a whole bunch of other mental illnesses. So please, do not discourage taking medication that will save our lives. Please do not tell us to cheer up because other people have it worse. Please do not stigmatize the discussion of mental health. Please just listen, and let us live our lives the best way we can.


See more from me here: The Smiles We Bear


34 Replies to “Depression is Real”

  1. bravo! Well written my friend! I’ve written on this subject as well and I agree with you completely! People that say things like “she’s just depressed” make my blood boil! Excellent post!

  2. I’m so glad you’ve written about this. I’ve seen a few similar things online recently, and they kind of make me feel guilty about taking all the meds I do. I feel like I should be able to cope without them. I thought I was the only one who felt like this. But you’ve made me feel less alone. Thank you.

    1. I’m glad that I can help you feel less alone, because you certainly are not alone in the struggles you face in mental health. Stay strong and keep fighting!

    1. There unfortunately will always be a degree of ignorance around mental health, that is the hard truth. The most we can do is make a new normal where mental health is not such a taboo topic. How do we do this? We talk about it until our throats are sore, until we get everyone to listen.

  3. I’m absolutely intolerant when it comes to mental health stigma. I still have family member that believe that I choose to have bipolar disorder. & I hate that meme. I comment every time I see an idea post it.

    1. I wouldn’t say I’m intolerant, but I do sincerely have no patience for those who are ignorant regarding mental health. I allow them to have their own opinions, even though I know they’re wrong.

  4. Well said. People who do not believe in mental illness absolutely hinder our recovery. Just because depression can’t be seen doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Wanting to slap the stigma-creaters and non-believers for their ignorance and callousness.

  5. Stuff like that is what keeps people from getting the help they need, and it makes me so angry. It’s one of the reasons I never sought out help when I needed it and and never opened up to anyone. It burns me to think that people think mental health is a joke or something to be flippant about.

    Thank you so much for this.

    Oh! If you aren’t aware, NBA players have been speaking out about their struggles with mental illnesses. It’s amazing to see these guys who seemingly have everything opening up.

    1. There are a lot more professional athletes and celebrities coming out with mental health problems. It’s a start to having mental health becoming normalized, but we still have a long way to go

  6. Depression IS real, for those of us who’d, experienced it firsthand, so intensely, and when it’d affected ourselves, as well as those around us, that, is what those who said those thoughtless things about depression don’t get, because they’d NEVER gone through it like those of us who’d been severely depressed had, and so, they lacked empathy for what we had endured through…

    1. Empathy is such an important part of life, I feel. Not having to walk in someone else’s shoes, but realizing that their life is different, and that what applies to you may not apply to them.

  7. This article is great. So many people are dismissive of depression. They often look at it like it’s laziness or an exaggeration of feelings. They don’t give much credence to the despair we feel and how it consumes us. Medication is essential in my life and the is a lot of stigma around psych meds even by doctors.

    1. My father was one of the people who thought I was just lazy. To this day he also still doesn’t “believe in” medication for mental health. What I’ve learned through my short life, is that I need to do what is right for me, which is meds, and not to care about what others think. If you’re having troubles with the stigma, just don’t feed into it, ignore it, and live your life for you!

  8. Patience – the detractors and naysayers may be mentally ill and not yet know it – in fact we may assume… no better not… maybe we could listen to their painful outbursts and consider how to help them?

    1. True, everyone needs help, some more than others. Yet, I just would like to have people not denounce others pain. We all go through pain in life, let’s help eachother instead of debating whether the pain is real

  9. Thank you. A life long battle I’ve struggled with methodically counteracting by thinking and ‘being’ positive. Probably ‘over positive’, just like sarcasm covers our pain. Thank you again. I really needed this. I’ve spent the last couple weeks trying to shut the repeating conversation with my daughter out of my head. My own daughter said, “Stop being depressed, your depressing me.” I didn’t think my depression was ‘acting’ up much less being visible. It still stings. I’ve come to realize my own adult children are ignorant to mental illness, mine in particular. Well said, I look forward to the next post.

  10. I cried after reading this. 😭😭😭 Depression is real, if all they can do is judge us, then let them just leave. You can’t tell me “Hey,stop being depressed” and expect me to just snap out of it. Are you a magician? Oh please, depression is my new home, I might never get out of it, I just want to find ways to adapt to it.. And if it’s via my medication, then am gonna swallow those pills until I can’t breathe anymore. We are in this together. Feel the support.

  11. Keep getting more positives into those emotions and anything negative into your emotions or mentally cut out all together, keep on writing

  12. Please check my latest post ‘Insecurity, Anxiety and Depression’. It’s specially for parents to know and understand better about their children and what they’re being going through. It’s really important to spread awareness and saving lives of our precious little kids.

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