I love when people try to help with my depression. Actually, I’m not sure I really do. What I like is when someone is truly educated about depression, especially MDD and anxiety, and makes a helpful suggestion, i.e. a certain vitamin or therapies I’ve yet to research such as TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) or ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).
What bugs me is when someone has vague knowledge of depression and assumes there’s a cure – there is no cure for MDD, only medication and therapies that can relieve symptoms. What really bugs me is hearing I’m doing something wrong or there is a cure and that I don’t want to find it. Believe me, I work hard at fighting depression and finding things to make me feel better. It’s no fun feeling this way.
And while I realize some people are truly trying to help, there are those ignorant people who fray my nerves whom I’d like to educate.
A while back I met a woman who had overheard me discuss my depression with another woman in my workout group. The woman came over, introduced herself and started discussing how society is overmedicated and suggested that depression was something we did to ourselves. We could heal ourselves. I felt so stupid and sick to my stomach. At this time, I had barely begun to discuss my mental health openly and I didn’t stand up for myself. She also began telling the other woman in our conversation, who had a thyroid problem, that she could heal her own thyroid through holistic methods. Now, I also have hypothyroidism and I want to say for everyone’s sake – NEVER DO ANYTHING WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR. Going off your medication and trying holistic methods could do permanent damage. I’m not a doctor or a health professional, but please, always talk to your doctor.
Anywho, I was so upset I asked to change workout groups. Then I realized, screw that. This woman needs to see what a depressed person looks like – someone who can work out, someone who can be happy but have terrible days. And she needed to hear me talk about my depression over and over again. She needed to listen and needed to be educated. And hopefully, she has been. But the point of this story was that while thinking positively is helpful, you can’t think yourself happy when you’re depressed. Alternative therapies certainly can help but if you could cure yourself with happy thoughts then nobody would be in my predicament. Suicide wouldn’t be the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
I also want to address people who pinpoint one thing you’re doing and assuming that’s what’s causing your depression. If you are suffering and reading this, please let this be your takeaway: You are not causing your depression. You are not doing anything to cause it. You are mentally ill because of your brain chemistry and that’s not your fault either.
Here are some things that “cause” my depression, mind you some of them can make it worse depending on the person. These things have also been the “cause” of my migraines, too. What do you know!
Diet Coke, carbs, not enough sunshine, not enough exercise, not eating healthily, not eating enough, eating dairy, too much sleep, not enough sleep, negative thinking, carbs again and drinking out of plastic.
I also need to try crystals(?), essential oils, meditation (which actually does help me with anxiety), thinking myself cured and something about putting a banana peel on my forehead.
I’m always polite with the suggestions and maybe I should just tell people there is no cure. It’s a disease, I keep repeating myself but it’s unlike any other disease. If I had Type 1 diabetes, I don’t think anyone would list any of the options above. Surely, people know that you’re not responsible for causing diabetes, that you need medication to live and it’s nothing you can cure yourself of. Surely.
To sum this up, no matter what you can’t give yourself depression. Nothing you’re doing can cause depression. It’s not your fault, I promise on Diet Coke and carbs.