Things To NOT Do OR Say To Someone Who Suffers From Depression

I feel very fortunate to have a support group. There are people who unfortunately do not have a support group. Many of the friends I have treats me better than my own family. They have been with me through the most trying of times. They spend time with me when I am having a difficult day. They give me rides, take me to lunch or dinner among many other things. There are times that people who are my friend will say something that are things you just should not say to someone who truly suffer from depression.

1. Oh… don’t be depressed. People to truly suffer from depression DON’T want to be depressed. You telling someone to not be depressed does not help. It does not give a solution to the problem.

2. If you smile it will trick your brain into believing that you are happy, then you will smile more. Someone told me to do that but it did not work. All it did was make me frustrated. When I talked to the therapist he said that is true for someone who does NOT suffer depression.

3. Unless the person asks for advice do not give it. My friend tried to give me advice about reaching out in the future. She made the assumption that their was going to be a next time. My friend did lacked any confidence in me. That just made me feel let down by the fact she doesn’t think that I can go on with my life without wanting to kill myself.

4. Last but not least… Just think positive and you won’t be depressed anymore. That is a myth. Just because a person may think positive doesn’t mean that it will bring the person out of depression. It may help for a  moment, but if the underlying problem is not taken care of then the person will continue to suffer whether or no they have positive thoughts in their mind.

None of these comment are supportive. I understand people mean well. The most important thing to do is LISTEN and VALIDATE. You don’t have to agree with the person but we just want people to try to understand us!

Autumn

Thanks for reading!

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Living with Depression

My name is Autumn Burgess. I am 35 years old and I suffer from depression, which runs in my family.

In April of 2009 I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which is where I was born and raised. Technically I do  not have any sisters but I am the youngest of three girls. They are nine and ten years older than me. We do not share the same biological father. My half sister who is ten years older than me sees a therapist and takes medication for depression. When I was 16 my mother attempted to kill herself by overdosing. She passed away at the age of 54 from lung cancer. Looking back I now know that when she tried to kill herself was not the only time that my mom was depressed. Lemuel Lawson, my biological father was never around. Zachariah Taylor Walker III is the man that my mom chose the marry. He was abusive as well as an alcoholic. My mother’s twin suffered from depression as well as her son who is three years older than me.

It was at the age of 17 that my depression became noticeable. In 18 years I have had at least seven hospitalizations, at least eight suicide attempts, and too many to count suicide idealization with one homicidal idealization. Most of my adult life I have felt numb on the inside. I was not happy but I wasn’t sad either. After my last hospital stay I have been on new medication that seems to be working great.

I am writing this because there a millions of people who suffer from depression and I want those people to know they are not alone. Also, I would like people to know that there are placed to get help. Last but not least I want people to know the warning signs of someone with depression and also what depression is.

Welcome to my life with depression.

Autumn