If You Want People to Run Away from You, Say This

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness    (c)2014 Nancy Virden

100_0479Do you know what you can say that will make people leave you alone?

“I’m moving and need help.” 

In 1987, my husband and I moved twice. Well, I moved three times but who’s counting? We were relocating to Cleveland and I came a month or so ahead of time to look for a place to live. I stayed with my brother and his roommate. Then we had the first actual move.

People helped us  pack and load the truck.  At our destination,  other people we were meeting for the first time willingly unloaded the truck. This was great! Kindness was appreciated as there was no way the two of us could have done it alone.

Four months later, we moved about a mile. Unfortunately, not every landlord is a peach, and so another truck was loaded and unloaded by many of the same people who helped the first time. Enthusiasm among them was low, and carelessness with out things was high.

Saying people will run away whenever we mention moving is tongue-in-cheek. There is something else one can say that will make people squirm, less interested, and even run away. That something is, “I’m depressed.”

In our society depression is a misunderstood issue because we use the word so flippantly.

“Ah, the movie I want is out of stock. How depressing!”

“I was depressed once for a couple of days. Felt like I didn’t want to get out of bed.”

“The Great Depression was an era of financial despair.”

“She’s depressed because her boyfriend dumped her.”

And on it goes. A woman said to me once, “I was depressed. I mean majorly depressed. I mean I was in the hospital.” I know why she felt she had to give more explanation; she was protecting herself from yet another dismissal.

Major Depression can lead to suicide. That is why Major Depression is considered a potentially fatal disease. 

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Did you know that? Now is an appropriate time to learn about Depression. Then next time someone says, “I feel depressed,” you will not have to run away.

******

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

 

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