The Weight of Guilt

Even after learning about depression and speaking with doctors about my symptoms, a part of me still believed that I was responsible for my own misery.

I tried to be happy, I really did. But I learned that you couldn’t think your way out of depression. If it were that easy, no one would suffer from it. You couldn’t beat it down by doing fun things all of the time. You couldn’t just decide to be happy. But I didn’t know this while I was suffering, and neither did a lot of people I talked to.

Someone even commented to me once, “Why are you depressed? What do you have to be depressed about? There are so many people worse off than you. They are the ones who should be suffering from depression.”

Unfortunately, I took this comment to heart. After hearing this comment I believed that I had nothing to be depressed about, and I felt like I didn’t deserve the care I got, because there were so many people who had reason to be depressed, and I didn’t. I felt like a fraud. But a misconception about Depression is that it is just intense sadness. It’s not.

Depression is much more than that. It’s emptiness. Exhaustion. Feeling like there is no point in going on. Feeling worthless. And, feeling all of these things every day. It’s not an emotion. You can’t accurately label yourself as depressed if you are lonely for an hour. It’s a problem with someone’s mental health.

My message to anyone suffering from depression or any other mental health problem is never to let someone tell you that you don’t “deserve” to suffer – first off, no one deserves to suffer! But just because other people might have it worse doesn’t lessen the pain you are going through.

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