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depression talk | Terezia Farkas | author | depression help | Beliefnet

Depression talk is as important as breathing air

Depression talk is necessary for healing the person and people around that person. It’s important for breaking stigma. Because if stigma continues, healing is forever put on the back burner. For too long, depression was a taboo subject. It wasn’t polite to say ‘depressed’ because that meant the person was mentally ill, an idea that instantly raises dark images of an insane person.

Some people will always question the benefits of depression talk. How can talking about depression help you when you don’t want to talk about being depressed? Isn’t depression talk more about making someone feel good that they are helping the person?

Reason for depression talk

The most basic and simple reason depression talk is important is that it lets you heal yourself. Depression talk gives voice to your pain. It gives power back to you. You are in charge of what you say about your feelings.

Perhaps you haven’t told anyone you’re depressed. Maybe you can’t admit it to yourself. It might even be that you don’t know you’re depressed. No one can help you if you won’t give voice to your pain. It’s like having a tumour but not telling anyone, not even a doctor. Are you going to get any help? If no one knows what your problem is, no one will know you need help. And the pain, if you don’t say how much pain you’re in, no one knows. People don’t have any idea of how deep that pain actually can feel.

I’m depressed

The first time you say to someone “I’m depressed” or “I think I may be depressed”, you are reaching out for help. Depression is pain and despair. At first you might not want to talk about your pain and despair because it just makes you feel more miserable. But talking is cathartic. It releases energy and brings a sense of power and balance back to you.

Depression talk isn’t about making people feel good that they are helping you. Depression talk breaks the stigma that leads to social isolation. People are labelled ‘crazy, mental or lazy’ if they say they are depressed. Family members stop talking to you. You may even be blamed for catching depression, like it was some flu or cold you could have avoided getting. Or be told it’s a punishment from God. Sometimes shame makes families evict someone who is depressed or try to have the person committed to a mental institute. Other times people don’t know what to do or are simply exhausted.

When society talks about depression, it is a societal movement towards positive change. Depression talk creates a better understanding of the differences between different types of mental problems. Fear is diminished about people who are depressed. Workplaces put in programs, such as job security and easy or free access to mental help, that value workers who are depressed. There is a better treatment of depressed people, including positive changes to mental health regulations, employment standards, and workplace regulations.

Depression talk is necessary. The benefits go beyond the person.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)

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