Why Someone Suffering From Depression Can’t Just ‘Get Over It’

When talking about depression, a lot of people forget that depression is an illness that requires proper attention and treatment. If you’re depressed, it can be incredibly frustrating to hear things like “Just get over it”, “You’re being really dramatic”, “You have to be strong”, “Learn to deal with it”, “Happiness is a choice”. You might start to internalize these ideas as “truths” and question yourself, as if it were completely in your power. We can stop ourselves from doing destructive things like putting our hand in a fire, but when it comes to depression, it’s a bit difficult to just ‘stop’. There are a number of reasons why ‘get over it’ statements like this don’t help. Here are some of the best reasons why.

  1. It’s an illness. – Depression is an illness, an illness that you have little control over, just like any other illness. Nobody tells people with broken bones to get over their pain. So why should depressed people be forced to ‘get over’ theirs? Always remember that your pain is valid, and as long as you’re getting help by speaking to a mental health professional, you’re on the path to healing and lessening the pain.
  2. We’re a complex system. – Remember that depression is an incredibly multi-factor disease caused by a combination of biological, psychological and sociological factors. There may be family biological history of depression, socio-economic issues that are impacting you, verbal, physical or sexual trauma history, situational factors such as loss, relational factors such as macro or micro-aggressions on a daily basis, and the list goes on . . .
  3. The symptoms can overwhelming. – Depressed people exhibit both physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms include things like headaches, restlessness, and sleeping too much or sleeping too little, lack of appetite or chronic emotional overeating, isolation, low motivation and energy . . .
  4. You can’t wish it away. – Nobody likes being depressed. Just because you want to feel better doesn’t mean you can wave a wand and get rid of it. You can desire to feel better, but it takes work to create some shifts depression and that’s particularly hard when motivation feels low in general.
  5. You can’t always pretend. – Some people assume depressed people should plaster a huge smile on their face and pretend like everything is perfect. The mind is a tricky trickster and when there is a lack of energy and motivation, it can feel near impossible to “fake it till you make it”.
  6. Depression isn’t ‘one size fits all’. – People experience depression in different ways and exhibit different symptoms with different root causes, as noted in #2 and #3. Just because some people with depression can go about their daily activities doesn’t mean they don’t struggle and feel pain. People often get caught up in comparison, trying to compare their depression experience with someone else’s. This act of mental comparison only ends up creating more struggle by minimizing or catastrophizing the depression experience. Avoid comparison and focus on your unique experience and what strategies work for you.

Depression is real and painful. Just because you can’t see or touch it doesn’t make it any less real. If you suffer from depression or know someone who does, working with a therapist is a good start to overcoming your depression. I am available to help. Contact me to book a session.

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Karin Lawson

2312 Wilton Drive, Suite 22
Wilton Manors, FL 33305

karin@drkarinlawson.com
954-336-4049