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Why Individuals Experiencing Depression Can't Simply 'Move On'


When discussing depression, it’s important to remember that depression is a medical condition that necessitates proper attention and treatment. For individuals grappling with depression, it can be exceptionally disheartening to hear comments such as “Just move on,” “You’re being overly dramatic,” “You need to toughen up,” “Learn to cope with it,” or “Happiness is a choice.” It might lead one to wonder, “Why can’t I simply overcome it?” While we can prevent ourselves from engaging in harmful actions like placing our hand in a fire, dealing with depression is far more complex and cannot be resolved as easily. There are several compelling reasons why statements like “just get over it” are unhelpful, and here are some of the most significant ones:

It’s an illness: Depression is indeed an illness, and much like any other medical condition, individuals have limited control over it. Just as no one tells someone with a broken bone to “get over” their pain, it’s unreasonable to expect depressed individuals to do so. Always remember that your pain is valid, and seeking assistance from a mental health professional is a positive step toward healing.

The brain is in control: Research has demonstrated that people experiencing depression contend with symptoms governed by an unconscious emotional process that typically lies beyond their control. Depression is a highly intricate condition influenced by a blend of biological, psychological, and sociological factors.

The symptoms can be debilitating: Depression manifests with both physical and emotional symptoms, including nausea, headaches, restlessness, fatigue, and insomnia, which can severely impact a person’s well-being.

You can’t wish it away: Nobody desires to be depressed, and wanting to feel better doesn’t equate to having the power to magically make it vanish. While the desire to improve is valid, the path to recovery usually involves working with a psychiatrist rather than relying on a quick fix.

You can’t always pretend: There’s a common misconception that depressed individuals should mask their feelings with a perpetual smile and pretend that everything is flawless. Suppressing emotions doesn’t make them disappear; instead, the mind continues to replay them as a reminder of an ongoing issue that requires professional attention.

Depression isn’t ‘one size fits all’: Depression varies from person to person, with diverse symptoms and manifestations. Functioning efficiently in daily activities doesn’t diminish the severity of the illness. It’s crucial not to compare oneself to others since depression affects each individual uniquely, and there is no universal treatment. A psychiatrist can assist in finding a tailored approach to treatment.

Depression is genuine and painful: The intangibility of depression doesn’t diminish its reality or the anguish it brings. If you’re grappling with depression or supporting someone who is, collaborating with a psychiatrist is a positive step toward overcoming this condition. I am here to assist you; please reach out to schedule a therapy session.

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