The first time you hear someone say, “I wish I had something better than myself”, you might be tempted to think that it’s just a joke.
However, there’s a real life story behind these comments.
You’re not alone, writes the writer in this article, because there are millions of people out there who feel the same way.
“There are so many stories about people who have suffered depression and suicidal depression and many of those stories are told by the people who were most impacted by those conditions,” she writes.
“I’ve seen a number of people I know who have had depression that they’ve never talked about in the past, because they were ashamed to tell anyone.
I’m a big fan of people who share their stories, even though I have had some depression myself.”
There are, however, those who choose to remain silent.
They don’t want to be seen as weak, so they do their best to conceal their symptoms.
“People who have depression or suicidal depression have a very different story to those who have not,” says Helen Dickey, a clinical psychologist and clinical research fellow at the University of Sydney.
People with depression are typically reluctant to talk about their symptoms, she explains.
“They’re very private about what they’re feeling, what they think, what their thoughts are about life and about their own life, their own future.
They may be ashamed of their condition, but they don’t know how to describe it.””
The truth is, it’s very hard for people to talk.”
Dickey also points out that it takes a lot of courage for people with depression to admit to being depressed.
“Some people think it’s so hard to talk to a friend, to tell their mum or their boyfriend, that’s how you’re going to get help, but if you have depression, there are things you can do to help yourself and others.”
To keep quiet about your depression, Dickey recommends you avoid social situations.
“The way you hide your feelings can be very isolating,” she says.
“If you’re having a crisis, it may be hard to express it to others.”
If you do find yourself feeling depressed, try asking someone to tell you about it.
It might feel awkward to ask a stranger to explain something that you’re feeling very strongly about, but it’s better to do it than to be silent, she adds.
If you don’t have anyone to talk with, ask someone you trust.
You don’t need to be a therapist or psychologist, but there’s nothing wrong with asking someone who understands.
The last thing you want is to get the wrong idea about depression, so if you’re struggling with it, seek professional help.
“Many people feel they’re at the mercy of the depression, and that they’re not as strong as they could be,” Dickey says.
Dr Paul Cairns, a psychiatrist and author of the book The Truth About Depression, also suggests seeking professional help, and says the best thing you can try is to talk openly with someone you know, because depression is a chronic condition that can be passed on through generations.
In the meantime, you can make sure your friends are aware of your condition and what it’s like to have it.
“Make sure you talk to your friends about it,” says CairNS.
“There’s a chance you could save someone’s life.”