Have you ever heard about a friend or an acquaintance at school that was supposedly depressed? In our society today, it’s not uncommon to hear of these things, even at young of an age as middle school. When these types of rumors spread, it’s usual for people to have their own opinions and thoughts on the matter. But sometimes, those thoughts are just guess-work and are assumptions to things they don’t know about. These are five popular assumptions that people tend to make about depressed people.
1. “They just want attention.”
This is a common statement made by people who are usually annoyed with the vastly increasing trend of being “depressed.” There is some right to this assumption, since a few people do pretend for attention, but mostly it’s incorrect. Additionally, it is just wrong in general to say, because if said person actually is depressed, this assumption would make them feel a lot worse. So all in all, don’t make this assumption, because you could be hurting the people around you.
2. “They should just cheer up!”
People without depression sometimes don’t understand that unlike their sad days, happiness isn’t always a choice. It’s important to know you will never truly understand the struggles depressed people go through, unless you’ve had/have depression yourself. The things that are going on in their head are basically unbearable, and it makes it worse when people assume that they can just fix it. Always remember that it’s never that simple.
3. “They look happy, so they must not be that depressed.”
One of the many things depressed people do to hide their sadness is put on a happy face. ‘She seems fine, so I don’t think we have to worry,’ might be a statement used in a situation like this, when someone looks at the obvious and takes that into conclusion. If you’ve done this, don’t worry– it’s a common mistake. But to prepare for the future, please keep in mind that something may look a certain way, but can actually be the complete opposite. History, if anything, teaches you that.
4. “All depressed people are introverts.”
Some may be this way, but not all. In some situations, the person might be the peppiest, most outgoing person you’ve ever seen; that doesn’t mean they’re outside image and inside emotion is identical. Yes, when you think of depression, you think of a person by themselves a lot, but that’s just the stereotype. Just like before, appearances can be deceiving.
5. “People with depression take medication.”
Like most of these assumptions, this statement is in some cases, but not all. If you have severe depression, then a doctor might suggest medication to help them. But, in some cases, severe or not, all people need are weekly visits to the therapist. To some, medication really helps, and to others it doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s mandatory. Everyone has options.
As you can see, there are a lot of ifs and buts about the world of depression, or mental illness itself. Assumptions can be hard, and it doesn’t feel good when people make them. Think before you speak, because you never know who it can affect. Always make sure your facts are straight, and be aware of those around you. Knowing the stereotypes can only help you to avoid nasty rumors.
Photo: Sydney Sims via Unsplash