So, of course, here I am to point it out.
To someone that's never experienced depression I feel like this is their idea of what it is:
What you said: Why don't you just choose to be happy? OR Just get over it.
Why it's rude: Depression is not a choice anymore than cancer or diabetes is a choice. I HATE feeling this way. I hate feeling isolated. I hate that even when I'm happy my brain doesn't shut up. Even when I'm happy the thoughts are still there...I'm just doing better at ignoring them. Depression is not a choice.
What you said: You should pray about it.
Why it's rude: Okay, I'm hesitant to refer to prayer suggestion as rude but....I've noticed this is usually said to people after they choose medication. I believe in prayer. I believe that God can heal anything. I also believe that sometimes it's okay to choose medication. You pray that God heals your diabetes...but you still use your freaking insulin.
What you said: You're being selfish OR It's just for attention
Why it's rude: Again, depression is an ILLNESS. Do people get cancer for attention? If someone has a raging stomach virus are they selfish for resting? No. Then shut up. MOST of what goes on in my head STAYS THERE. If I were doing it for attention I'd whine every intrusive thought I ever had. I don't. Trust me.
What you said: What do you have to be depressed about?
Why it's rude: I can make a sunrise depressing if I think about it long enough. Flowers, fresh air, etc... My mind is a dark place. YOU may not see anything to be depressed about but I see everything.
What you said: Sometimes I get sad too, but it doesn't stop me from XYZ.
Why it's rude: Depression is not "the blues." Depression is not "I feel sad." Anxiety is not "I'm a little nervous." They're overwhelming and all encompassing. It's the difference between "I got splashed at the pool" and "I'm drowning."
What you said: You don't look the type.
Why it's rude: WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? I'm depressed so I should wear all black? NO. Just no.
What you said: Other people have it worse.
Why it's rude: So? I can't feel feelings because someone else has it worse. That's like telling the rape victim she needs to stop talking about it because she survived and other people have it worse and don't. It's wrong.
At the end of the day remember this:
I was in therapy from March through July (2013). I told, oh, about 6 people. The world knew I was on medication but I never admitted to counseling until my last couple of sessions. I couldn't bear the thought of someone judging me when I already felt judged for needing medication. It shouldn't have to be that way.