I've said it many times, but I'm going to say it again. Depression is a liar. It is. It's a fibber. It is. It tells porky pies. Not just little white lies either, but big fat, ugly, bullying, black whoppers. The lies it tells don't just happen once either, but constantly, over and over again. Even to the point where we hear them that often they begin to sound true. Remember this though, they're not true. Not even close.
Here we're going to tackle some (and by 'some' we mean 10) of the most common lies depression tells us head-on. If you have depression or know someone who does, then this is the blog for you. Refer to it when you hear those lies. Remember it the next time depression whispers in your ear and re-read it. This is true. Depression is not.
1. "Nobody Likes You. Nobody Cares For You"
When surrounded by lies, it's easy to forget one of the truths. Depression can be a pretty lonely illness. Listening to your own brain give you shit can be tough, but that's where the truth ends. The things it tells you are still nonsense.
If you think that no-one cares for you then look at what you're doing right now. You're reading this on a website that exists because it cares about you. Just because we might not know you, that doesn't mean we don't care. Everything we do is because we care. So that's that lie dealt with. We're also not the only ones. Your family, friends, work colleagues all care..OK well maybe not ALL of them, that dickhead in Sales probably doesn't, but those that matter do.
They don't do what they do out of pity or duty. They don't feel like they have to, they care because they want to. Don't push them away, don't keep how you feel to yourself, don't internalise it and this will be one of the easiest lies to dispel.
2. "There's Nothing Actually Wrong With You"
Oh really? Depression is an illness. It's not always easy to see, but that doesn't mean it's not there. Anyone with it will tell you that. One of the biggest lies depression tells us that it's not there. It's not an actual thing. You don't even have depression. Bullshit.
To the outside world, it might even look like you're fine, especially if your definition of 'fine' is the inability to get out of bed, to shut yourself off from family and friends and feel like life is just pointless. Yeah, that's 'fine' alright.
It also tells you that you're not ill, just lazy. That you're just over-reacting and making a fuss about nothing. You big attention grabber. You complete snowflake. The fact is depression is an illness, not just a mental illness, but an illness. A real medically proven, medically accepted illness. Like any illness, you need help and support to overcome it. Like any illness, you need time to get better. Like any illness, you may need medication to alleviate it. Like any illness, you don't just hear words and recover. Try having diabetes and saying 'pull yourself together', see how that works for you? Still diabetic? Thought so.
Don't listen to the lies. Depression is an illness and it is not your fault. You didn't catch it from anyone, nor did you invent it. If we'd invented an illness, we'd probably invent one that didn't make us feel so shit.
3. "It's All Your Fault"
Another lie! It's 'ALL' your fault? Really? All of it? Everything in the universe? Does that sound reasonable? Of course not. Depression... you're full of it!
Depression's incessant whispering can lead us to believe that everything is our fault, even the stuff that we have absolutely no control over. Things in the news, that that stain on the carpet (the bed maybe, but not the carpet), the oil leak in next door's car. Also, if you're a married guy, you're used to everything being your fault, whether you've got depression or not, so what's new! ;-). Either way, it's all lies.... mostly.
The thing is, some things that don't work out might be, but that's not depression, that's just life and it's also OK. We make mistakes. Everyone does, but don't imbue them with special powers or increased significance. Don't listen to depression when it tells you things that can't possibly be true.
4. "You're Not Good Enough"
Let me ask you this. Who is 'good enough'? Good enough for what? Good enough to be what exactly? Normal? What's 'normal' anyway? What's perfect? Is anyone perfect? Does anyone REALLY have the lifestyle they portray on social media? SPOILER ALERT.... No.
Depression loves to tell us that we're not good enough but never explains what that means. It leaves us to fill in the blanks, like the worst kind of daytime TV show. It'll tell you your worthless, stupid, inferior and any number of other put-downs. It'll be happy to tell you that that thing you just did wasn't up to snuff and you could have done better. So what? Did you do the best you could? Well there you go then.
Don't worry about being 'good enough' because that doesn't mean anything. Just be you. You've got this far being you, so what does that tell you?
5. "You Don't Deserve Anything"
Here's another one of those arbitrary things depression keeps us in the dark about. It'll tell us we 'don't deserve anything'. Let me ask you this. Who deserves anything? What is 'anything'?. What is this 'it'? What exactly do we have to do to 'deserve' something? Wish for it? Work hard for it? Manipulate others for it? Win it in a lottery? Depression, you're talking crap again.
If your depression is telling you that you don't deserve nice things, comfort or even the help and support you do need, tell it that it's just plain wrong. Tell it to sit there in its wrongness and be wrong. Do that because, guess what, it's wrong.
Deserving anything isn't something that has to be earned and marked off a scoreboard. We all have (or at least should have) the same rights as anyone else. If you need help and support, you need help and support. It's not something to be earned like a trophy. It's something to be given freely where needed, despite what depression says.
6. "You're worthless"
Worthlessness is a very common feeling for those with depression. It may be common, that doesn't give it any more credence. It's all still bollocks.
Depression tells us that we are just horrible people. It says that we're awful, bad, wrong... just the worst! What does an illness know? Nothing! Remember when we said depression was a liar? There's the proof. It can try and bring us down, but you know the truth. We all do.
7. "Be Quiet"
You could be forgiven for thinking that the answer to all mental illness is just to talk about it. It's not. It helps for sure, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all. It's a part of the recovery puzzle, but depression disagrees.
It will tell you to shut up, to be quiet, to bottle it all up because no-one cares. We've already dispelled that myth so if you've skipped to this point, I suggest you go read the above.
Depression will try and silence you because what you have to say shouldn't be heard. Don't listen. Tell people. The quieter you are, the louder it will talk. In this case, silence isn't golden at all. It can be the death of you.
8. "You're A Burden"
Depression tells us that we drag everyone else down. It tells us that we are a burden. That we’re wasting our lives, wasting opportunities, and wasting other people’s time. It tells us we shouldn’t be here.
Depression is being cruel. Even when we’re ill, we have so much to offer the world. We have skills, talents and ideas. We have people who want to spend time with us. Yes, depression makes it hard to live life as we would always want to, but that’s not our fault – it’s depressions. We deserve to be here. We are not a burden.
9. "You Don't Deserve Help and Support"
Depression tells us that we don’t deserve any help or support. It will tell you that because we’re worthless, useless and inconsequential . It makes us think that we deserve to suffer. That other people are more deserving than we are or that we should be able to just 'fix' ourselves. You know, just that classic "pull yourself together". How's that been working out for you?
Depression is again lying to you. We do deserve help. We do deserve support. And not only that, we need it too. We are valuable in our own way, priceless to some people. We deserve as much help and support as we can get. There's nothing wrong with that, at all. It's not a sign of weakness, there's a strength in knowing the limit of your capabilities. Whatever it takes to get us through each day, grab it with both hands.
10. "There's No Hope For You"
Really depression? You really think so? You've been saying the same thing for ages. Over and over again. If we'd have believed you 10 years ago, then you'd have had 10 years of nonsense to try and explain. You said there was no hope for us last month and the month before that, not to mention the year before that, but guess what, we're still here. So you're wrong aren't you. Why don't YOU just give up.
Hope is something you can't actually extinguish. There's always hope, even in the darkest episodes of our lives. Want proof? Here it is.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, we all hope that the next DC movie is going to be good. It never is, but we have hope that there will be a classic on its way. However many times you've watched the last one, however many times you've been kicked in the balls (or female equivalent), you still buy a ticket to the next one. Saw Man of Steel? Yeah, it wasn't great but Batman V Superman, that will change the world. OK, well Suicide Squad is going to be great! Have you seen those trailers? Damn it... at least they're not going to f*ck up Justice League. I know that's going to be amazing! Oh. You see where we're going with this. Hope is just there. However, you try and pretend it's not. We all have hope and we all should have.
Don't listen to depression when it tells you there is none. You will get better. You will overcome. You will go and see Aquaman.
LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!
There you go. The 10 lies of depression. Look there's no denying that the lies depression tells us are horrible. There's no two ways about it. They kick us when we're down and they make us doubt who we are. You're aren't the only going through it and there is help out there if you want it. We can subdue depression and it's BS. We can make that voice a little quieter, a little less intimidating, a little less scary. We can and we must.
If you've got depression, then you've got an illness. It's not something that disappears overnight, but then it didn't appear overnight either. Fight it. Accept it. Get help for it. You can do it and (cue cheesy word play)... that's the truth.
Please help us combat the liar that is depression by sharing this post on your own social media. It might help someone you know. It might just make the difference to them.
You can find out more about depression in all its forms by looking at our guide, right here!
If you've got any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments below.