“I’m stronger than her because she’s on antidepressants.”
Hearing this at the gym this morning I was shocked. It seems that even now some people underestimate the monumental strength it takes for sufferers of depression to find their way on to the path of recovery.
First of all, just to clarify, depression isn’t a weakness of character, it’s an illness. The courage required to confess what you have been suffering from to your doctor and to love ones is immense. It is one of the hardest things one might ever do. And anyone who achieves this should be congratulated not criticised.
Neither is it through a lack of effort or strength that people suffer from depression, in a lot of cases its actually caused in part by doing too much. The following is an extract from a book I’ve read detailing someone’s struggles with depression.
“Depressive illness, or at least the commonest form, which is that caused by stress, nearly always happens to one type of person. He or she will have the following characteristics: moral strength, reliability, diligence, strong consience, strong sense of responsibility, a tendency to focus on the need’s of others before one’s own, sensitivity, vulnerability to criticism, and a self-esteem dependent on the valuation of others.”
Mental illness, it seems, is still surrounded by prejudice, ignorance and fear. Non-depressives can rarely grasp the power of depression because some don’t understand that it is an illness. A change in attitude is needed, as being more open about how we feel is possibly the best way to treat depression. There is nothing to hide. In silence we suffer.
Thanks for reading. Hope you all have a nice weekend!