When I actually get the courage up to vocalize to someone that I’m depressed, that’s my quiet, subtle way of telling them that I feel like I need help in that moment. But most people don’t really understand what it is that I’m trying to say, because even I don’t know sometimes. When I told my ex on Thursday that I was feeling depressed, he smiled apologetically and rubbed my back. His words to me were, “Well, just try not to be depressed.”

I wish it were that simple. I wish all those sayings that we’re told on a consistent basis were true; “Just choose to be happy and you will be happy” or some other such nonsense. Do you know how upsetting that thought/phrase is to someone who actually suffers from depression? Do you not think that we would like more than anything in the world to simply be able to make the choice to NOT be depressed?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work that way for some people, myself included. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’m only a little sad, and sometimes situations/people/positive thinking can help pull me out of that funk. But when I use the word “depressed” or “depression”, I’m not just a little bit sad. I don’t use those descriptive words unless I am trying to acknowledge that my depression is getting (or has gotten) the better of me.

When I come to you in my darkest hours and tell you that I’m depressed, please don’t dismiss it with pretty phrases and frivolous notions. People have been dismissing me since as far back as I can remember: parents, siblings, friends, lovers. No one seems to take it seriously. No one seems to believe me. Everyone seems to think that it’s just something I need to “get over”.

When I come to you for help, please realize that it’s one of the hardest things for me to do…to let myself be vulnerable enough reach out to someone, despite my fears of being rejected. When I tell you that I’m depressed, please take me seriously.

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