Having recently read this blog post, in which the author states that depression is not real and that people are not depressed but rather they are just being selfish, I felt I had to respond.
As a person who suffers with quite sever depression I can state, in no uncertain terms, that the author of the above post is completely wrong. With the exception of stating that doctors see depression as chemical imbalances in the brain which cause negative thoughts, which he immediately states is not true, almost nothing in the post is even remotely true.
Depression is not easily explained, it is more than just a “state of sadness”. It is a place of complete despair, a place completely devoid of happiness. And while yes when a person is depressed they may state reasons such as feeling their life/career is going nowhere, or that they lack friends, this does not invalidate how they feel. Nor does it mean that depression is not a real illness. To suggest so is not only unfair to sufferers, but is deeply offensive!
The author of the above post also claims “doctors will prescribe you medication to correct the chemical imbalances, thinking it will therefore correct your thoughts”, what he fails to mention is that along with any medication a doctor may prescribe they also recommend therapy. Never have I heard of a doctor prescribing medication alone, it’s definitely not what my doctor did.
About the only thing stated in the above post that I agree with is that you should try appreciate the small moments in life.
Opinions like the those expressed in the original post help contribute to the stigma surrounding mental illness that is present in our society already. When you tell someone that their depression is not real and they are simply being selfish by being ill, you are reinforcing the myth that depression is something that we should be ashamed of. Opinions like this will cause people to withdraw into themselves further and will stop them seeking help for fear of being ridiculed or mocked. Depression is a serious illness, people need help and support when they suffer with depression, they do not need to be told they are being selfish.
If anyone reading this feels depressed, or is considering self-harm and possibly suicide, please know you are not alone. Many people suffer with depression, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Please contact your doctor or local self-harm and suicide prevention hotline.