A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.
I’ve had depression for as long as I can…
This needs to be required reading for everyone. It took me until I was 19 and in college to finally recognize that I couldn’t make myself get well from clinical depression, and I started suffering from depression when I was 10. Loving family, religious faith, health food diets (including trying sugar, dairy, and gluten free) and exercise, trying to focus on positive things, volunteering, keeping busy, all of these failed miserably at treating my depression and those failures made me feel like I was a failure, just making the depression worse.
So if you’ve never experienced depression, don’t assume that the things that work for your relatively transient low moods will work for everyone. Do a little research before spouting platitudes to a friend who is suffering from depression, just as you would with a friend suffering from any other chronic disease.