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regarding my friend's comments on depression?

(39 Posts)
HermioneDanger Mon 15-Dec-14 17:32:03

I have been struggling with my mental health for a while and am currently battling anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. As you can imagine it's really hard at the moment, but I wonder sometimes whether I can be a bit too sensitive to comments.

A friend of mine (who knows how ill I am) made the following observations about someone who is suffering depression: nice house, lovely partner, decent income and therefore has no reason to be depressed.

AIBU to think that this is a really nasty and ignorant thing to say? I know it wasn't about me but you can say all of the above about me (and it's why I didn't seek help for far too long) so does she think I have no "reason" to be depressed? As if it is something I can control?

LongDistanceLove Mon 15-Dec-14 17:36:25

Very ignorant, some people just don't understand that depression is as real and serious as a broken leg, my xdp being one of them.

No advice other than I hope you feel better soon smile flowers.

Oh and YANBU!

Ohfourfoxache Mon 15-Dec-14 17:36:34


Depression doesn't take into account how "perfect" your life may appear to others. It doesn't discriminate.

Your "friend" sounds misguided at best, fucking (perhaps willfully?) ignorant at worst.

ILoveLenor Mon 15-Dec-14 17:37:35

It was a really insensitive and ignorant thing to say. Some people just don't experience mh issues and simply don't understand. Well done for trying to tackle your issues, hope you're feeling ok flowers

Fluffyears Mon 15-Dec-14 17:40:46

Yep I've heard it all as well. It's a chemical imbalance, if you had something deficient in your blood for example then nowtrwr joe nice your life is you'd still have that illness x

Ohfourfoxache Mon 15-Dec-14 17:41:54

This really annoys me actually.

Imagine it was a physical illness.

Would you turn round to an asthmatic and ask "what have you got to be asthmatic about"?

Or someone with cancer - "what have you got to be cancerous about"?

There is so much ignorance surrounding mental health. Hopefully it's something that is beginning to change but it needs to change faster IMHO sad

FastWindow Mon 15-Dec-14 17:42:33

That's exactly the problem with depression! Often you don't have anything particularly wrong in your life, or no worse than others in your opinion. So it's double fecking bubble- you're depressed and you don't know why! Arghhhhhh, your friend is ignorant.

Bulbasaur Mon 15-Dec-14 17:45:08

Unfortunately, the only people that truly understand depression are the people that have been through it.

Until you have, it is incredibly difficult to understand how someone who has everything going lovely in their life could be sad. Unless you've been depressed yourself, your sadness has always come from a source or a reason, never "just because". To further exacerbate the problem all mental illnesses and neurological disorders are simply normal behaviors that have been taken to the extreme to mess up your day to day life. Which is why it's also hard for people to understand depression. Everyone has been extremely sad, but most people can pull themselves out or it runs its course in a few days as you get over your grief. On top of that, therapy requires you to pull yourself out by actively participating in your own treatment (much like physical therapy does).

The fact that some people can't just pull themselves out on their own is a hard thing for people to wrap their minds around.

As for your friend, I wouldn't give her a free pass on what she says, but at the same time it's not a surprising view either. If you think she'd been open minded, try educating her on how depression is a chemical imbalance, not a moral failing. Or if you don't think she will, limit the time you have with her or change the subject when she brings it up.

FayKorgasm Mon 15-Dec-14 17:48:08

I was once told by a friend - I don't know why you're depressed you are quite good looking.
Not a stealth boast, I completely subscribe to the average looking club but it just shows the sheer ignorance people have of mental health.

Ohfourfoxache Mon 15-Dec-14 17:51:07

Fay i was once asked by a rather astonished optometrist (when I had to tell him if I was on any medication) what I had to be depressed about sad

I almost came to expect it from some people but I'd have thought he'd have had a bit more sense and/or professional courtesy.

Macloveswill Mon 15-Dec-14 17:52:09 was a super ignorant thing to say; it would depend how good a friend they were whether I'd let it go or not. If they're normally a wonderful friend, it's worth a gentle chat saying how it made you feel. If not, drop from a great height!!

hackmum Mon 15-Dec-14 17:54:42

"It doesn't discriminate."

It does, actually. You're much more likely to suffer from depression if you're poor, or homeless, or if you've been bereaved or you're looking after a severely disabled child...or any number of shitty life conditions.

Of course people whose lives are outwardly perfect can suffer from depression too, and of course they're deserving of our sympathy. But the truth is that despite all the stuff we're told about chemical imbalances, there's a pretty good correlation between life circumstances and depression.

ithoughtofitfirst Mon 15-Dec-14 17:55:52



People. fsad

MrsBigginsPieShop Mon 15-Dec-14 17:57:18

Husband and I have outwardly extremely comfortable life, everything on paper. Both on citalopram and inwardly battling to save our marriage. Go figure.

ilovechristmas1 Mon 15-Dec-14 17:58:22

im Bipolar and at times can be very blunt and opinionated.believe it or not i can come across as insensitive and cold

i can be very sensitive to what people say about me and totally go ott about something said,i have to remind myself to stop analizing comments

maybe your friend is having a hard time and is finding it difficult to be sympathetic from what she is only seeing from the outside

Ohfourfoxache Mon 15-Dec-14 18:03:30

Hack I'm sorry but I do feel that, all things/circumstances being equal, despression doesn't discriminate.

If everyone went through the same experiences and if everyone was presented with a "perfect" life then I think you would find that there was an even distribution across the population.

Circumstances notwithstanding of course - life events do understandably cause depression. But as an underlying disease process, we are all as susceptible to it as everyone else.

Namechangeyetagaintohide Mon 15-Dec-14 18:04:48

I'd have told her exactly what I thought of her comments.

Depending on how good a friend I may also have told her she was being a pillock.

ispentitwithyou Mon 15-Dec-14 18:06:15

I agree hackmum

I can think of a million things in my life that could happen that would make me legitimately depressed, as it happens I feel very blessed....maybe this is why I have anxiety!! Worried life will deal me a blow when I'm least expecting it

lisylisylou Mon 15-Dec-14 18:07:03

I really sympathise, I don't think your friend has a clue how hard it is. I've been through depression 4 times now and it is really very difficult. The stigma of it is awful and people just don't 'get it'. Its such a dark, dark place, there was no colour in my life and I remember just wanting to stay in bed every day as I felt safe and hide away. I couldn't move forward with my life because I just felt stuck and I could not go to the doctors as it felt too monumental to go to get the help. its emotionally exhausting! Then to take the ad's on top and sometimes they would make me feel hyper at first before they would start to kick in. The hardest thing is that it's a silent illness that people can't see so then it's easier and people can think that you are over reacting to nothing. It can affect anyone at any time!

onthematleavecountdown Mon 15-Dec-14 18:07:28

She is an idiot. Mental health issues such as depression are caused by chemical in balances.

Did you call her out on it, I would have. What a dick.

trowelmonkey1 Mon 15-Dec-14 19:27:10

YANBU. I have a wonderful husband, a lovely little boy and we are the epitome of a happy middle class family. That didn't stop me from getting PND and spending 4 months wanting to kill myself and my son. Mental illness doesn't discriminate based on your situation.

raltheraffe Mon 15-Dec-14 19:30:58

It is a daft thing to say but I doubt she meant to be hurtful .

Bulbasaur Mon 15-Dec-14 19:34:01

Hack I'm sorry but I do feel that, all things/circumstances being equal, despression doesn't discriminate.

It may not discriminate as in "Oh this person is rich, well they'll never get depressed". But there are circumstances that make you more likely to get depressed.

Just like cancer, cancer may not discriminate, but there are lifestyles and circumstances that you can have that will up your chances.

Depression isn't equally distributed across the board, if for nothing else than for the fact rich people have better access to mental health services than poor people. But that doesn't mean any person is immune from it either.

KnackeredMerrily Mon 15-Dec-14 19:36:20

It is an ignorant comment, but common unfortunately.

Just reply that if she had a reason it wouldn't be depression.

ILovePud Mon 15-Dec-14 19:36:52

I agree with Hackmum some people are more biological susceptible to depression, just like some people are more susceptible to diabetes or cancer but adverse life events will trigger depression for lots of people. That's not in any way saying that people with loving families, fulfilling carers and financial security don't get depressed. Also for some people who seem to have it all from the outside the lived reality may be very different.

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