How to (not) help someone with depression
This is a series of tweets from a friend who has been quite unwell for a while. Unlike her, I am lucky enough that I am no longer stuck in the same brainloop of shithole. Unlike her, I’m never brave enough to semi publicly said things that cleared out so many misconceptions.
I am reproducing the tweets series with permission, as I think they need to be read. Being a private account, Storify wouldn’t work, and it’s way too unreasonable to demand anyone to put in the energy to write massive blog posts that could end up as a shooting ground, from the ignorant to the malicious.
Again, with the caveat that depression isn’t the same for everyone, and it is one person’s experience. It just happened to be the one that articulated what I wish I could the best. It plainly spelled out simple but important things that many seemed to have missed.
All credit goes to the original Twitterer. Triggeer warning for depression and rape.
- I’m too scared to write a blog post about what not to say to depressed people.
- There really are things that seem like the right thing to say but really totally is not what you should say.
- Especially things along the lines of ‘I can’t help you if you won’t help yourself’.
- Of COURSE we want to help ourselves. It’s not like we actually like being miserable.
- The problem is, WE CAN’T. We literally fucking CANNOT. That’s the whole reason why we need outside help. Because we CAN’T HELP OURSELVES.
- If we could help ourselves, we wouldn’t need you. But we do need you. Because we can’t help ourselves.
- So please please don’t say ‘I can’t help you if you won’t help yourself’.
- But yeah, that’s just what I think and I’m too scared to put it on Tumblr because I’ll probably get horrible backlash.
- I regret speaking up. I really don’t like admitting I even have depression, especially since it’s apparently severe.
- I’ve lost so many friends because they couldn’t handle being around me. Because I couldn’t just get better.
- That’s why I’m a recluse. I don’t want to hear people telling me I’m not trying hard enough to get better.
- Also it should be said that most don’t think they can help. Trust me, by just being there for us is helping.
- I can talk rape culture until I’m blue in the face, but mental illness culture, I clam up.
- I’ve experienced both so why is it so much more difficult to talk about than rape?