Don’t Tell Those with Depression to Just Get Over It

The pounding of hammar on metal grate my thoughts and the rumbling of running water filling the tub echoes beyond the thin walls of my bedroom. The color of the walls were painted lavender two summers ago. I was told it was a soothing color, relieving me of unnecessary stress. The curtains are a subtle, sheer yellow and the trims along the wall are the same color.

I have no wall art still. It is empty, and I’ve convinced myself that it is best to be a minimalist.

Being a minimalist is almost Buddha-like philosophy, a no-no, I am a born-again Christian and family is deep into ministry, pastoring a church and all.

The zen-ness of minimalism is peaceful and attractive, yet being a Christian I feel conflicted. Am I wrong?

The attractiveness of simplifying my life came about with my struggle with depression. I’ve always felt the need to constantly rid of the junk in my life. With Christianity, God is a gracious god of second chances and so the concept of starting over is very appealing, bettering myself each time.

There is more to it, and I’m not going to debate theology, as I’m sure people can and will, but I’m not going to bother. I simply want to identify and deal with the issues in my life and move on the best I can.

From a clinically, depressed-labeled individual’s point of view, hurt comes in all sizes, and sometimes from those closest to us, unknowingly and to no fault of their own.

Close family members of mine are pastors of a church and once commented, “I can minister to other people, but I cannot seem to minister to my own sister” – meaning me.

I was hurt, being categorized as being “ministered” to like a task rather than loved like a human being and friend. I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way, but it came across as such.

So a few thoughts came to me of what shouldn’t be done to persons suffering with depression:

  • A depressed person already has a negative mindset and so lumping him or her with other people needing help heightens the helplessness.
  • When advice stems from expert to non-expert, it can be perceived as condescending because it gives the impression of “I’m healthy and you’re not,” “I know better and you don’t.”
  • Don’t ever tell a depressed individual to get over it, that’s a quick way of losing him or her.

These are just a few of my thoughts. Maybe I’ll write more about it, maybe I won’t, but it helped me to “get over it” for the past hour or so as I blogged about it. Are there any other suggestions that you might have as to not be done to persons suffering with depression?