10 Things People With Depression Wish You Knew

We're not crazy.

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Although people with mental illness are often stereotyped as being "crazy," the truth is that depression is quite common and can potentially affect any one of us.  In fact, people with depression often appear quite normal in their behavior even though they may be experiencing great inner turmoil.

We're not lazy.

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Often our friends and loved ones accuse us of being lazy because we can't seem to summon up the energy needed to do simple things like cleaning up or bathing.  The truth is, depression can make us feel extremely tired and lacking in motivation and it's very difficult to overcome these feelings, no matter how much we might want to.

We're not dangerous.

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Despite the fact that there have been several stories in the news in recent years about people with depression and other mental illness who have committed extreme acts of violence, this is not the norm for people with depression.  When the media concentrates on these isolated incidents, it makes it appear that depression makes people dangerous when, in fact, this is not the case.

We're not just seeking attention.

When a person with depression acts out or makes a suicidal gesture, they are not just seeking attention.  They are trying the best way they know how to let you know how badly they are hurting and that they need your help.

We really are trying as hard as we can.

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When people tell us that it's our fault that we are depressed and we just need to try harder to get well, this can be very frustrating.  Even though it may appear like we aren't trying, much of our struggle is going on inside where you can't see it.  We really are trying as hard as we can to get well, even when you think that nothing is happening.

Just because we look okay that doesn't mean we feel okay inside.

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People with depression become quite adept at hiding what they are feeling.  Just because we make it to work each day and can manage to smile at the right times, this doesn't mean there isn't a lot going on beneath the surface.

There isn't always a reason for feeling depressed.

Since depression is caused by chemical imbalances in our brains, this means there isn't always some identifiable reason for how we are feeling.  Just because our lives appear perfect on the surface, this doesn't mean that we are immune to depression.

If we don't want sex, it doesn't mean we don't love you.

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There are many things about depression which can make us not feel in the mood for intimacy.  Depression can make us feel tired and generally uninterested in sex.  And, even after we get treated for our depression, we may still experience difficulties with sexual functioning due to medication side effects.  None of this is personal or a reflection of how we feel about you.

Treating depression isn't as simple as taking a pill.

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Unfortunately there is still much that isn't known about the causes of depression and no treatment which currently exists is effective for all people.  Most people will have to go through a trial-and-error process in order to find the best medication, or combination of medications, for them.  This means that even though we are getting treatment, we might not begin to feel better right away.

Giving us your love and support is the best way you can help.

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If you are reading this, this means that you love someone with depression and want to understand what they are going through so you can help them.  Please know that giving us your love and support is the best thing you can do to help.

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