This blog is based on something asked by The Depression Army on twitter. This is my personal perspective of what I believe depression has taught me over the years. I have had depression for many years, since I was a teenager. Therefore I believe it has shaped me and taught me many things.
The first thing I believe depression has taught me is who my real friends are, When you’re open with people about having depression it can be a negative experience,, but there can be positive responses too. These responses led to me realising who was going to stick by me and be my friend throughout my battle with depression. It also led me to make new friends who have become some of the closest friends I have. Through having depression I have learnt who will be there for me in the darkest of times and who only wishes to be a fair weather friend; someone who is only there for the good times,
The second thing depression has taught me is about how strong I can be in the face of some of the darkest parts of my life. I may of struggled through and found depression hard to manage a lot of the time but I am still here and surely that shows some strength? I believe this is the same for anyone battling depression. To still be alive must show some strength despite what the depression itself tells us.
Another thing depression has taught me is that some people just wont be able to understand, or even try to understand, what depression is like and how difficult it can be to even get up in the morning. Depression can be difficult to understand if you don’t have it and therefore it’s understandable some people just won’t know how to cope with someone who has this illness. However there are some people who will just refuse to try and learn what depression is and how it affects someone. This can be harder to deal with than the depression itself at times, especially if the person is someone who is close to you. However, I have come to accept this is part of the life of someone who has depression, which is sad but relates back to knowing who our real friends are.
Depression has also taught me how to be a more caring individual. Suffering from an illness that makes you feel so worthless means that I know I don’t want anyone else to ever feel that way. Therefore I believe having depression has shown me how to offer caring words to others when they are facing tough times, especially when I have been in the same situation. Maybe I’m wrong and say the wrong words but this is what I feel depression has taught and I hope that its true.
The final thing that depression has taught me, that I’m going to discuss today, is to keep talking and sharing my story. Other peoples stories helped me when I first was diagnosed with depression and therefore I hope by sharing my experiences I will do the same for someone else.. Also by continuing to talk it makes me feel less alone with an illness that feeds off of loneliness. This is something I have learnt by suffering with the depression.
Overall depression has taught me many things, only a few of which I have mentioned here. Although depression is a generally a negative experience I believe I have taken many positives from my experience. Depression has been learning curve for me and the people around me. What has depression taught you?