The Ignorance About Depression

I recently watched a video on You Tube where a young man was giving a wonderful, eye opening talk about depression and suicide. I looked down at all the comments below and I was horrified by so many of them. Now I’ve looked at enough comments on YouTube to know that people come out of the woodwork to say the most awful things by being anonymous on the internet, but I was nonetheless shocked. No wonder people with depression suffer in silence and so many people never tell anyone like was the case of my daughter.

For anyone that has not read my blog, I lost my 23 year old daughter who had just started her 3rd year of medical school to depression. She was wonderful and successful and acted happy all her life. Had friends, had a seemingly very wonderful life. She was doing well in Medical School. I had just seen her, she seemed so happy. Next thing I know I was called by a policeman telling me she had taken her own life. She never told anyone about her depression and she never sought professional help. She said in her suicide note that she had been depressed all her life but hid it from us to protect us from it. So I look at things on YouTube sometimes. But I was so appalled and some of the replies that were put below the video on YouTube.

Many people are either just ignorant and need to learn about depression, or simply do not care and only want to think they know what they are talking about when they don’t.

There were comments like, “Oh, all you have to do is think positive thoughts and you will not be depressed.” Or “How can someone who has so much be depressed. They ought to be happy and think about how little other people have.” Or “you don’t read the bible enough, you don’t have enough faith.” How about the one “When I’m depressed I exercise and that does the trick. All you have to do is exercise and eat right and think positively.” Or “people who are depressed are weak.” “People who kill themselves are weak or cowards.”

I’m here to tell you that depression is a chemical imbalance and you can be a multimillionaire with everything you ever wanted and STILL be depressed. Yes, there can be situational depression that results from a death, divorce, loss of a job etc., but there is the depression that is a chemical imbalance. People that are depressed need a psychiatric evaluation where it will be decided what or if any kind of medicines or counseling should be done. They are NOT weak. It is a disease just like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease and if not treated will cause death.

It infuriates me that the ignorance about depression is so very rampant. If you don’t know what you are talking about, please research the topic. But I believe mostly, people don’t want to know the truth, they would rather pass judgment because it just does not pertain to them. I just hope one day they don’t have to suffer it themselves or have a family member commit suicide for them to see the truth.

No wonder my daughter never sought treatment and no wonder so many people don’t. But no matter what, trying to fight depression and risking the talk of these ignorant people is better than leaving this world. Everyone that suffers needs to stand up, say they have a problem and get help. If all the people that do suffer this problem did that, we would be amazed at how many there actually are.

I suffer depression. I take medicine. I go to a psychiatrist every month. I got help. I was ashamed at first, tried so hard to keep it secret. But the last several years, I simply don’t care who knows. I am a sane and perfectly capable human being. I have worked during the times of my depression except a few weeks here and there when it was really bad.

The ignorance in this world needs to stop. But it won’t. We just have to keep teaching and talking and hoping and standing up for this.

I’m just so infuriated by what people STILL think about depression. I thought we had at least come farther than this.

About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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23 Responses to The Ignorance About Depression

  1. A Hot Mess says:

    For some reason I am not surprised about people’s ignorance when it comes to depression. It comes with a stigma and is not something people are comfortable talking about. I admire well known people like Katherine Zeta Jones & Brooke Shields whom have come forward and openly talked about it. I am not surprised your daughter didn’t seek treatment either – it’s like I am “labeled” now that I did. Sorry I am venting – it just gets me so upset. I shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed because I go to a doctor and I am on anti depressants. Lord this makes me so mad.


  2. gatito2 says:

    Vent all you like. This stigma is terrible.


  3. It is very sad that people have to go on the internet and write such things. What’s worse is when they believe what they write. There is so much more to depression than just not feeling well. In fact, that is what separates depression from just an uncomfortable and melancholy feeling. Depression can take over your entire life. But, as you acknowledge in your post, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be living your life, going to jobs, owning houses, and so forth. You can be “normal” on the outside and still suffer from depression in silence. No matter how many things you have going for you, if you can’t feel joy from that because of depression, none of it matters. It is different from someone who just doesn’t want to take the time to acknowledge what they have been given. That being said, help is available. Oh dear. I hope this isn’t one long rambling mess.


  4. Thank you for writing this. I get a lot of freaks on my blog telling me that I need to find God or to just put Faith in what I do and I will be cured. I delete those messages. They are not helpful and only make things worse.


  5. gatito2 says:

    They are not only not helpful, they are not accurate. You should delete them. Some people have no clue what depression really is.


  6. Jan says:

    I agree with everyone else’s comments here Rhonda. The ignorance surrounding depression is exactly why some people feel trapped and unable to express how they feel. It takes a great deal of courage for someone to open up on a public forum or youtube and to be condemned for doing so by cruel and heartless people is appalling. As you know, a couple of people criticised my book for being upsetting and honest, but we should not be bullied into silence by the ignorant minority. It is only by continuing to speak out that we can ever hope to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness, depression and suicide. Unless the people who write insensitive comments have suffered from true depression themselves, they are not in a position to judge. Every minute they spend judging is one less minute they have to show compassion. xxx


  7. gatito2 says:

    You are so very right Jan. It makes me so angry when people say to depressed people, “just get over it, look how much you have” or such mess. They need to learn what depression really is.


  8. Erin says:

    I just wanted to thank you for writing this. I too am very fed up with everyone’s assumptions about depression and how someone can just “get over it”. I know many people who have suffered from depression or who are suffering currently, one being my boyfriend, and I know how hard it is to get through every day while suffering. Having someone close to you suffer from depression is a very hard thing to deal with, and I hope that people start to realize this. This article is very well written and I think everyone needs to read this. I am very sorry to hear about your daughter, she seems like she was a wonderful person. I really do think people need to open their eyes and realize how serious this disease is. I hope you’re doing well, and I wish you the best of luck with your future.


  9. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much. I agree with everything you just wrote. People just don’t realize what they are doing to people when they say things like “just get over it” or “pray more” and things like that. Yes, If you believe, pray, but that is not the solution to depression. People need medical help. Please feel free to use my post anywhere you like if you choose; your facebook or blog or anywhere. I wish the best for your boyfriend and I hope he gets stabilized and finds a measure of relief. I know what it’s like to feel this way from my own experience.


  10. Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I suffer as well and I could not have said this better myself. Good luck in your journey!


  11. gatito2 says:

    You’re welcome. I feel very strongly about that.


  12. Pingback: Mistrial in suicide suit – Warren Tribune Chronicle « Depression: Fighting Back

  13. Pingback: Saying “It’s Your Depression Talking” Takes Away My Voice – Huffington Post Canada | Depression Help

  14. Sarah says:

    I was just diagnosed with depression & PTSD along with some paranoia & imsomnia two days ago. I live with my aunt and the rest of my family lives out of state. I’m not comfortable with telling them about my diagnosis, but I did tell my aunt and she was so ignorant about my diagnosis. She claimed that she had friends who have had depression and that I don’t act like them. When I tried to talk to her about it, she told me “You don’t have a mental ilness”. It literally sickens me, that there is still so much ignorance about depression and other mental ilness. Reading this article, made me feel a little better that I wasn’t the only one dealing with the abundance of ignorance. At this point, I’ve just given up hope with trying to talk to my aunt about my diagnosis, because all it really does it make me feel worse. And when it comes down to it, I’m getting help for me, not for anyone else.


  15. gatito2 says:

    You’re right. Sometimes you just have to go ahead and get help on your own and also talk to a counselor. So many people are ignorant about depression because they just don’t understand or don’t want to understand. But please don’t let it stop you from getting help. I wish you well.


  16. I am SO sorry your daughter never got help for her depression. You are helping get the word out to so many people about the reality of mental illness, the stigma and the importance of getting treatment. I haven’t been able to read your whole blog yet, but I will (too busy writing my own, working, and taking care of my 92 year old mother-in-law…that is a whole other book). Your passion for communicating your love for Kaitlyn and your grief, and for fighting the stigma is inspiring! I will buy your book and will do all I can to get the word out about it. We have to fight the stigma so amazing people like Kaitlyn do not suffer in silence. I know you have been following the blog Robin and I are writing together. She also suffered in silence. Once we finish telling the story of her horrible “meltdown year,” we will be talking about how she got to a better place. One of our very strong messages will be that no matter how bad it gets there is hope. If it helps one person choose to get help rather than suffering in silence because of the stigma, it will have served its purpose.


  17. gatito2 says:

    Thank you for all your kind words and wanting to buy my book. It won’t be long. I wish I knew the exact release date, but I don’t know yet.

    Yes, we have to get the word out about depression and suicide. Out for the shadows it must come before it begins to decrease.

    I wish I could include in my book how I got to a better place, but I’ve not gotten to a better place yet. All I can do is write about my grief, my love for my daughter, and about the stigma of mental illness. I think it still has much to say. Maybe one day I can write about how I got to a better place….

    Thank you so much and for helping me get the word out about my book. I need all the promoting I can get and it will be so appreciated. Thank you for reading my blog. I don’t expect anyone to read the whole thing because it is quite massive.

    I wish you luck with all of your writings as well.


  18. musician37 says:

    I have found just over the last several months that there are still many ignorant people when it comes to mental illness. I have had a few people at work tell me I need to have more faith, I need to pray more or you can pray the depression out of a cycle, but it will take about four year. I struggle with depression myself, but people don’t make yourself look ignorant if you have no idea. Do some research.


  19. gatito2 says:

    Nothing is wrong with faith, but when someone is metally ill they professional help.


  20. Martha says:

    Hi, i am sorry to read about your daughter. I too suffer from depression for many years already and it has been really hard and what definitely hasn’t help is the huge amount of judgement and criticism i still get from ignorant people who have maybe felt a bit blue once or twice in their lives or if lucky never; according to them i am: lazy, silly, boring, i live in a very small world and they think they have solved my life in 5 minutes, because obviously i am so stupid that i haven’t came up myself with their “wonderful, easy solutions”, so then i tell them their right, don’t talk much with them again and then they look weird at me because they know better… so i am not as social as i used to be and it has very difficult to find a job because of the huge holes i have in my cv as you hve to be honest on what you write there but not too honest where they see you as a problem…

    And that is what it is, ignorant people see you as a problem, not that you have one…
    I have good and bad days, it is hard, i have lost all my friends and even family doesn’t seem to care much, as i have trouble keeping in touch they just assume i am not interested in them… i have a great boyfriend who supports me a lot and i try but sometimes, uufff…

    I send you a big hug and i will keep reading your blog, i hope my text is not too long, i just needed to vent too…


  21. owlmomma says:

    I’m here because my gifted daughter, who is only 10 years old, told me this morning that she might have depression based on tests that she did online. I have a feeling that she has also started cutting. I’m not sure, I didn’t want to probe that much because it was such an intense moment. I’m taking it seriously, of course. But, right now, I just don’t know what to do.


  22. Lisa bowden says:

    Thank u.. I sent this to my mother in law.. she says boo hoo we all get depressed. Everyday?? I’ve struggled my entire life.. yes I picked up a gun
    . I got help.. I still don’t know my place in life.. my son doesn’t speak to me.. I have never met my 5 Year old granddaughter. .. this pain is everyday.. I can hide it most of the time

    Not always


  23. Lisa bowden says:

    Yes I hide away from family. They also think I’m being selfish. . But I’m not ruining their holidays with their big loving families. . It just reminds me of what I’ve lost..


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