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How do you deal with people who just don't understand depression?

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AngryOldDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 11:35 AM
Original message
How do you deal with people who just don't understand depression?
People who think that if you just think "happy thoughts" you'll just snap out of your funk?

People who tell you that you're doing yourself no service by feeling down? (Well, duh, asshats; do you think I ENJOY feeling like this???)

People who cut you off when you try to explain what's going on with, "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before?"

It's been a perfect storm of shit that's blown up in my life...I won't bore you all with details but it seems like every aspect of my life right now -- from job to personal -- has hit a nadir. If I could, I would just go to ground until this passes, but damn, it sure would be nice if people would just understand that sometimes moods are not within one's control, and not be so judgmental and, by extension, patronizing.

It especially hurts when all of this comes from someone who supposedly cares about you.

Honestly -- if all they have to offer are trite platitudes that make it sound like things would be cool if I just whistled a happy tune, well, I just wish they would keep their traps shut. And I, in turn, will shut mine and not try to explain how I'm feeling. But this sucks.

End of rant.



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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hi AngryOldDem
I think most people at some point in their lives have felt or will feel serious depression. If you go through life trying to do something in the world, then chances are you're going to get hit with depression at some point. Those who have not felt depression either haven't done a whole lot in life or have gone through life with their heads up their asses.

I don't know the answer to your question, but I do understand how you feel. :hug: Whatever you do, do not try to fake being happy. Even if people don't understand, tell them how you really feel. Are you seeing a therapist?
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. This one word "depression" seems to cover a multitude of things.
The hard core depression I take meds for seems a much different beastie than any unhappiness and lack of motivation caused by bad circumstance.

I'm pretty sure that someone who is feeling depressed as the result of some awful situation isn't feeling quite the same thing I do when my meds are not right. It's difficult to explain what goes on in one's own mind, but I believe I've experienced both sorts of depression, and the flavor of them is entirely different.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't let them very close to me. They may be perfectly good humans
but when I'm in the middle of a depression, I really don't need that. I don't need to feel hurt or invalidated or angry or any more negativity.

So, I don't let those people in very much, even when it's someone in my family whom I love and trust. For that time, I put distance there. There are plenty of people who do understand and whose company I appreciate during those times.

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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. tell them that you can no more control when the sun rises than you can control mood chemicals
sometimes and in some cases cognitive behavior therapy can work or be supplemented with chemical therapy, but for the majority of those with depression or bipolar mood swings we are dealing with a genetically inherited chemical factory gone awry

just as some people have inherited a tendancy towards high cholesterol no matter what they eat, some of us have mood regulators that don't work quite the way they are supposed causing much grief, misunderstanding and confusion to our family and friends

all you can do is lead them to a few websites that may help


I for one was very much against the "drugging of Americans" until I recently did some in depth reading

after learning that up 25% of those with bipolar die by suicide I decided it wasn't something to mess around with especially since there is a family history of successful/unsuccessful suicides

I am now starting to work my way through the pharmaceutical roulette to try and find the right drug for me

Just got done with lamicatl after having a "hypersensitivity to anti-convulsants" meaning my immune system didn't like it and my lymph nodes swelled... still waiting to make sure that I don't go into complete organ failure...
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. I usually bite my lip and not deal with the cretinous fuckers.
Half of them are hypocrites anyway.
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. I do what others here have said.
I remain true to myself and speak my truth (no pretense!), and create quite a lot of distance between myself and those who do not, cannot, or will not understand. (Without permanently breaking those relationships unless they are really a**holes).

It hurts, but self-preservation is most important in these times of creating new balance and working through all of the problems.

DemEx
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AngryOldDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks, everyone.
Edited on Fri Feb-01-08 08:57 PM by AngryOldDem
Your words have helped more than you know.

It's just such a terrible, isolated feeling when the people around you don't understand what you're up against at times. One thing that I am not good at -- but trust me, I am learning -- is to speak my mind and not let things stay bottled up if they bother me. That is a survival trait I learned back in childhood that is definitely not working now; I am learning to let people know what I'm feeling, and why. But sometimes I still get the feeling I am in a soundproof, plexiglass cage -- I'm seen but not being heard.

As for therapy -- I'm considering going back.

Things got worse today, too -- I got into a literal shouting match on the phone with the company payroll director over an extremely serious money issue that, if it goes unsolved, could cause me NO END of legal hassles. It was not the least bit fun and it was all I could do to get through my shift.

Thanks again, all; you'll probably be seeing more of me here. You've been warned. :)

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-02-08 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I hope that as you work through this time, you remember to
credit you for the steps you take. Even the sloppy messy ones. Maybe, especially those. :hi:
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-10-08 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Sums it up...
"It's just such a terrible, isolated feeling when the people around you don't understand what you're up against at times."

I don't even know what to add to that, it's so pure and true. And I've discovered recently that speaking my mind ISN'T the best way to go. Confusion abounds! :)

I do advise you to keep trying to be open with people you feel MIGHT understand (like many of the people down here). I wish I had some answers, but lately I'm more lost and confused then ever. Sorry. :(
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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-12-08 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
10. My father
Is that kind of person. I know he means well, but the truth is he doesn't have the patience to deal with something he doesn't understand. It spooks him. He's the kind of man who keeps his mind busy by working like mad.

Just remember that these people are usually well meaning, just ignorant, or too caught up in their own lives and troubles to understand what you're going through. I know my Father loves me as I love him, but he is one of the last people I would go to for advice if I was depressed.
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