A Word That Should be Weighty

Melancholia would still appear to be a far more apt and evocative word for the blacker forms of the disorder, but it was ursurped by a noun with a bland tonality and lacking any magisterial presence, used indifferently to describe an economic decline or a rut in the ground, a true wimp of a word for such a major illness. —-William Styron

For those of us who have suffered this major illness, it is rather difficult to hear others throw around the word depression rather lightly. To hear it used in context of discussing trivial matters such as a bad hair day or missed social opportunity just diminishes those of us who suffer with Depression. It is a serious illness that deserves the same respect as any other medical problem. I’ve co-opted some stuff from another website below.

Snap out of it!

There are many ways to insult someone with depression, without even trying very hard. These days just snap out of it lacks imagination. The best way is to give some unsolicited advice. Something simple, profound, and potentially life changing.

Here are the some ideas:
“You don’t like feeling that way? So change it!”
“Life isn’t meant to be easy.”
“This is what life is like. Get used to it.”
“Pull yourself together.”
“Who said that life is fair?”
“You just have to get on with things.”
“At least it’s not that bad.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
“You have so many things. What do you have to feel down about?”
“You just need to cheer up.”
“Quit trying to be a martyr.”
“Stop taking all those medicines.”
“I know how you feel. I’ve been depressed for whole days at a time.”

These are my favorites:
“What you need is a good kick up the backside.”
“Go out and buy yourself some clothes. That will pick you up.”
“Are you sure you don’t have a mental problem?”
“How about I cook you a good meal. That will make things better.”
“Have you tried acupuncture?”
“Get a job!”

And the all time best:
“Why don’t you try not being depressed.”

Nothing cuts deeper to someone with depression, than when their serious condition is trivialized by another who doesn’t understand it.

Depression is an illness that can be life-threatening. Everyone should take it seriously and think before they say something that may diminish someone else’s sense of self. Thanks for understanding, and share this with friends and family!


2 responses to “A Word That Should be Weighty

  1. My favorite is “Get over it!!” It is just great when someone tells you that…NOT!

  2. Well said! You’ve spoken for so many, especially for those whose illness is “invisible.” The world today has little patience for anyone who does not fit standards which, in reality, no one fits!

    May your post today serve to cause those who are quick to spout a platitude, vent impatience, or give cruel voice to what are their their own secret fears of mortality, to look inward and examine what is truly going on (or missing) in themselves.


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