Ever since being a sufferer myself I never realised the amount of stigmas and preconceptions that people have about people with depression. Especially when you tell someone that your a sufferer yourself. Before being diagnosed I shared many of these preconceptions without even realising it.
I think that most people just assume that every person with depression is suicidal or ready to end it all which is rarely the actual case. I always assumed that people with depression were ‘just being stupid’ and that they would ‘just get over it’. Or that they ‘just needed to cheer up a bit’. I was very wrong in thinking this and feel bad at the fact that I assumed these things! It’s definitely not something that you can get over in a day, a month or even a year as its something that is so very individual and personal as everyone copes differently.
There is also a massive stigma that follows depression medication. When I have spoken about my experience I have been shunned on multiple occasions because I take anti-depressive medication. I’ve heard things such as ‘Oh I know someone who took them and is really messed up now’ or ‘they aren’t good for your body’ or, ‘you shouldn’t have to rely on mediation to make your mood better’. Well yes If I could at the time of being diagnosed avoided having to go onto medication I would have, but counselling wasn’t for me and for me it was the only way to control the way I was feeling. And yes after a year of diagnosis I am still taking medication but at such a lower dose I can soon start thinking about coming off them all together.
I also found especially when I was first diagnosed and people began to learn about me being a sufferer that everyone began handling me with gloves as if I might snap or break down at one of their words. I felt as if they spoke to me as if I as almost stupid at times, stepping on egg shells I guess. I’m not stupid I just lost my way with the world for a bit. But then looking back I’m not surprised people treated me personally like that as I was quite angry and volatile at the time so maybe I forced them to step on egg shells.
These are just a few stigmas I have spotted or been approached with myself and I am sure there are many more but these are a few I have had experience in the past year. I’m glad that mental health is talked about more on social media, television and in convocation. I also believe that things like the recent mental health awareness week helps spread the word.
Thanks for reading.
Little Mayfly x