One of the things I find annoying and on occasions very hurtful, are comments made out of ignorance by people who haven’t the faintest idea of what depression is like. They liken their ‘unfortunately not going so right day’ to depression.
A conversation recently in my office between three colleagues, made me feel inwardly angry. The jist of the conversation was based up on the fact that the current job they were doing was very boring and tedious to them. But what annoyed me were the comments to the effect that ‘oh God I am so depressed doing this’ and then ‘I need to be put on suicide watch’. Ok, so they were having a laugh and a joke to pass the time and lighten the boredom.
These comments however brought home to me the real ignorance from people who have no idea of what it is really like to suffer from depression. They laugh and joke about it in such an insensitive way, what made it hurtful to me was the fact that the person who made these comments is one of the few people at work who know I suffer from depression.
Its made me realise even more how people really do need to be educated about the reality of the illness. And it highlights why there is still so much stigma attached to depression and other mental health issues
As I mentioned in my introduction to my blog, I have privately battled this illness on and off the past 10/11 years. One of the reasons I kept it to myself was because I saw it as my own individual weakness, and because of that I was ashamed to tell anyone I had depression. And because I suppose I knew of other people tagging this illness in the same way. However, I finally was able to admit to myself a few months ago, that I do have an illness and it is nothing to be ashamed about, and that it is not my weakness.
Although I still have a long way to go, and I have now admitted to myself these facts, I still find it very hard to tell people that I do suffer from depression. Gradually I have been able to open up with people who do already know I suffer from this illness, and I eventually hope to be able tell more people about what I have been through.
As time has gone on these past few months, a few more people in my family and a few friends are now aware that I suffer from depression, and whilst I still see it as a very personal and private thing, I am no longer ashamed to admit I suffer from this illness.