Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why I don't like what people say to depressed people

I like the post Adventures in Depression.  Not for the happy ending, but because of the way it portrays the hurtful things that people say to depressed people, and that depressed people say to themselves.  One of my pet peeves is the things that people say to depressed or sick people.  My friend Fay writes about it too, in her post Depression for the Optimist.

I seem to take it personally and get disturbed when I hear people telling other people how they should feel or what they should do.  Some years ago, someone had carpal tunnel syndrome, and another person was lecturing the person who had it about how it's not so bad if only you do such-and-such.  I tend not to interfere in other people's interactions, but that one disturbed me so much I snapped and made the lecturer stop the lecture.

To me, one of the most important parts of Adventures in Depression is the part that says, "But trying to use willpower to overcome the apathetic sort of sadness that accompanies depression is like a person with no arms trying to punch themselves until their hands grow back.  A fundamental component of the plan is missing and it isn't going to work."

That's what people just don't get.  They say "snap out of it," but people just can't snap.

I'm not sure why this resonates with me so much.  I don't think that I have depression, not like the authors of these two blog posts.  People have thought that I do though, and treated me in the ways described in these posts.  But that was mainly when I was so tired  in the first few years after I had mono.  This kind of thing has bugged me since long before I had mono.

I've always been bugged by pushiness, so maybe it's a part of that.  I hate when people are pushy about how to deal with depression and sickness, just like I hate when they are pushy about everything else.

Maybe it's because I come from a quirky family, so I've chosen quirky friends because that's who I feel most at home with.  By quirky friends and family, I mean people who have a hard time with things that other people tell them they should not have  a hard time with.  People who won't get a flu shot because they don't like needles.  People who won't use credit cards.  People who don't use computers.  People who are not comfortable driving or riding in a car as it goes over a bridge.  People who aren't comfortable driving or riding in a car at any time.  People who get sick if they go into a store.  People who don't like to be touched.  People who choose to live in homes without plumbing.  People who can't stand to be in crowds, like at festivals or concerts.  People who don't like sudden noises.  People who don't like continuous background noises.  People who won't go to a doctor.  People who won't say certain things over the phone for fear of surveillance.  People who won't wear clothes made with synthetic fabrics. Brainy people who never finished high school.

Anyhow, whether your friend has depression or carpal tunnel syndrome or an aversion to needles, if you tell them that they can easily overcome it by adopting the right attitude or the right cure, you're going to really bug me.

No comments:

Post a Comment