Austrian, 22, multi-fandom (Sherlock, Supernatural, Harry Potter, Psych, Elementary, etc..) feminist, random craziness :]
What can we do? We can start by guarding our own language. When our day at the beach is canceled because of rain and we end up staying home, how often do we say, “I was so depressed”? Depression is more than simply a disappointment or a day in a funk. When we use that terminology to describe the daily ups and downs, the disappointment and aggravations, we unwittingly minimize true depression.
When we see that a loved one is feeling depressed, seems unable to get up in the morning, unwilling to go out, how do we respond? How often do we simply encourage our friend to “cheer up”, “treat yourself to a shopping spree”, “go out to eat”? Or we point out “you have so much to be grateful for”, “so many people have it so much worse”. These well-meaning statements imply that depression is something that can be overcome simply by a change in attitude, by a force of will, by determination.
This encouragement - while well-meaning - fails to recognize that depression is an illness and unwittingly blames the sufferer. If only she tried harder, if only he made the effort, the depression would disappear. We do not expect the diabetic to cure herself, the person with epilepsy to force the seizures to stop, and we should not assume that depression can simply be lifted with effort.
If your career’s not working out for you, maybe the problem is that is doesn’t rhyme with what you taste like.