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Top 10 Lies Depression Tells …Gina’s Favorites

Top 10 Lies Depression Tells …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’m traveling this week, and have met several people who’s lives have been deeply impacted by depression. In getting to know them, and spending time with family members who also suffer from depression, I realized it’s time to review the important truths discussed in the Top 10 Lies Depression Tells.

Top 10 Lies Depression Tells

Depression runs deep in my life. Many of the people dearest to me suffer with depression. It’s climbed through much of my family tree. It’s sunk its claws into many of my friends. It has taken the lives of many people who were dear to me.

Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Lies Depression Tells ...Gina's FavoritesWhen I drive by a particular freeway interchange I think of someone I love who told me that, while in the depths of depression, it was the spot he’d picked out to end his life. There’s a bridge I pass every week from which a neighbor ended her life.  And, I’ll never forget the wails of grief I heard after informing the parents of a friend, who’d been in our wedding party, that he’d taken his own life.

Depression is many things. It’s a serious mental illness, and needs to be treated as such. It’s a chameleon, which appears in different forms and at different levels in different people. It has many different causes and, sometimes, no known cause at all.

Most of all, depression is a liar.

A big, fat liar.

Listen for these lies if you or someone you know suffers from depression:

Top 10 Lies Depression Tells

Lie #1:  This feeling will never change. – Truth #1:  Yes, it will. This feeling will change. You will not feel like this forever. Everything changes. Things always change. Hold on. Don’t give up.

Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Lies Depression Tells ...Gina's FavoritesLie #2:  Everyone would be better off without me. – Truth #2:  No one’s life is going to get better because you kill yourself. Quite the opposite will happen.  Family members, particularly your children, siblings, and parents, are much more likely to suffer from depression and to kill themselves, if you kill yourself. Close friends are similarly impacted.  One of the primary reasons for this is the despair experienced when someone we are close to takes his or her own life.  Hang on for them, if hanging on for your self is not enough. Don’t give up.

Lie #3:  No one will miss me. – Truth #3:  The aftermath of a suicide is horrendous. There is no funeral sadder than that of a suicide victim. I’ve been to many of them. At every one, the same phrase is heard over and over: if only he/she knew how many people cared about him/her. You have no idea how important you are to some people. Don’t leave them missing you. Don’t give up.

Lie #4:  I don’t matter. – Truth #4:  Yes you do. You do matter. You are valuable simply because you exist. You have amazing potential. Every day, every breath is a miracle, a chance to reach out and up and to do something no one but you is in the position to do. Don’t give up

Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Lies Depression Tells ...Gina's FavoritesLie #5:  It’s my fault I feel this way. – Truth #5:  Depression is an illness, just as the flu and cancer are illnesses. It’s not your fault you have depression, just as it’s not your fault if you get the flu or cancer. Just as you would seek treatment for any illness, seek treatment for your depression. Don’t give up.

Lie #6:  No one cares. – Truth #6:  Many people care. But, people have to know you’re suffering before they can express that caring. Talk to the people in your life. Be honest. Be direct. Don’t expect them to know what you mean or what you are feeling. Tell them plainly. Ask for the help you need. Keep talking to people until you find someone who you feel cares and wants to help you. Don’t give up.

Lie #7:  Nothing can help me. – Truth #7:  Research into depression is vast and ongoing. Treatment options are huge and varied. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else, or a combination of things. Effective treatment is available. Psychiatrists, psychologists, peer-counselors, support groups, medication, eating plans, exercise plans are some of the many possibilities to consider. There is effective help available for you. Keep looking. Don’t give up.

Lie #8:  No one will listen to me. – Truth #8:  Yes, they will. Keep talking. Someone will listen. Keep looking for that someone. Friend, neighbor, pastor, doctor, nurse, teacher, counselor, social worker, police officer, parent, coach, etc. Don’t give up.

Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Lies Depression Tells ...Gina's Favorites Lie #9:  They’ll lock me up if I try to get some help. – Truth #9:  If you seek help, they will help you. No one is going to lock you up for seeking help. If you are a danger to yourself, more intensive help might be called for. Don’t fear that.  You are suffering from an illness. Get the treatment you need to feel better. Don’t give up.

Lie#10:  If I just thought more happy thoughts, this would go away. – Truth #10: Happy thoughts don’t cure illnesses. A positive attitude is always a good thing, but it won’t cure illnesses, not the flu, not cancer, not depression.  Do try to find some happy thoughts to entertain, but most importantly seek medical treatment.  Any doctor can help you get access to people who specialize in helping people who suffer from depression, people who can work with you to determine what you need to help you get well.

Don’t believe depression’s lies.

And, don’t give up.

-gina

In the US, The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

If you think you’re having a psychiatric emergency call 911 (If available in your area, or your local emergency services telephone number, if it is not), or go to the nearest emergency room.

Do you suffer from depression, or have you in the past? Who did you talk to about it? Do you know someone with depression?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.
4 Responses
  • Eva @ Kidminds
    August 1, 2015

    Sometimes it’s hard to get depressed people to read posts like this. Because their attitude is “why bother” “everything sucks anyway.” I recently had to google “what to say to a depressed person” “what words to use when talking to a depressed person” and “what not to say” to help a friend and I thought it was hard to find a good guide. So here is an idea for the next post for you!

    • gina valley
      August 4, 2015

      Yes, Eva, it is hard to get a depressed person to read something. Any action often seems like a waste to someone who is in the throes of depression. This is one of the reasons people so often fail to seek help or treatment, even when they are a danger to themselves.

      One of the reasons I picked the title I did for this piece was because it encourages curiosity. I’ve had many people tell me they read it because of that, whether they stumbled across it on their own, received it in a link, or received a hard-copy from someone who cares about them.

      You are right on the money about how hard it is to find solid advice about what to say to a depressed person. There tends to be a lot of information about what not to say, but what to say is more elusive, as each person and situation is so different.

      But, there are some things that every person with depression (or any other mental health issue) needs to hear. They need to hear that they will not always feel this way, that this can and will change. They need to hear that they matter to other people, that they are valuable, even though they are not perfect. And, they need to hear that depression (and any other mental health issue) is not a character flaw, but rather a treatable illness.

      If you can get those points across, and stick around to support the individual, you have done a great thing for them.

      I will definitely consider putting together a guide with what to say soon. Thank you for your input!

  • Eva @ Kidminds
    August 1, 2015

    The facebook button on the Follow me line up is linked to your personal FB account. Do you have one for your blog?