Monday, 14 September 2015

Stop using 'depressed' as an adjective

Hello there squirrels (I seem to be lacking originality for autumnal nicknames at the moment),

Now, firstly I want to make it perfectly clear to avoid an eruption of furious ranting; I have no problem with people using 'depressed' as an adjective when in context of increasingly low mood or describing the effect of something. It is only when the term is used, resentfully and without sympathy, in both the presence of someone with a genuine mental illness or so casually that depressed, becomes but another synonym for disappointed. It's rather difficult to put into words, let me explain:

Imagine this scenario; I've just been given an excruciatingly long essay to complete overnight, and respond with:
"Great, now I'm depressed, what an absolute flobbernickle!" (side-note- is that one hell of an insult or what?)
Describing yourself to be suddenly upset in this way, only adds to the stigmas and misunderstanding judgments that those genuinely suffering with depression have to face. When these phrases are used in such a common, casual way so frequently, the more sincere meaning is lost. Leading to this scenario:

"You have depression? Well it's okay, I get like that when me and my friend have an argument. Just pull yourself together and put a smile on your face."
See? Any sufferers reading this will have already got the gist and felt the fury merely by the title. But by consistently putting depression in casual phrases, peoples minds become so used to it as an emotion that encountering someone with depression tends to have a detrimental effect. 
 No doubt this is a reoccurring argument that many have put forward, but nevertheless, the problem still seems to be getting worse. Of course the stigmas will never be completely gone, it is impossible and no-ones fault, but by putting a little more effort into how we word things, you'd be surprised exactly how much it can help.
This accounts for practically all mental illnesses. I've encountered too many capricious sayings directed towards myself that not only offend a large number of people, but add to the stereotypes and stigmas glued to the conditions. 
So please;
"Stop being so depressed and lighten up."
"You're not anxious you're just shy."
"This is so boring I'm going to commit suicide in a minute."
"You look anorexic."
Think before you speak, doing this can make people feel even more worthless and belittled. 

Now that rant's over, here's one of my favorite songs which likely saved my life during my days at college (If you're having a rough time, the chorus may inspire you. It makes me gawp in wonderment every time); enjoy Mr Pete Lawrie! :)

Love and snuggly hugs, 

B x