Shaming depression disorder by telling someone “to get happy” doesn’t work. Read on to learn why:

Depression can lodge into a person’s brain with deep tendrils as it goes about filling the sufferer’s days with dark thoughts, fatigue, isolation, and sadness.

bronze statue head in hands

If you are depressed, you understand that the fight for happiness can be a long and brutal one, and a victory can be considered as getting through yet another “black dog day.”

It’s almost impossible to win the fight on your own. When the ones you love, and most need support from, defer to depression shaming from a position of misunderstanding, the battle for happiness becomes an even steeper uphill battle.

If you are living with someone with a depressive disorder and are looking for ways to help them, one of the bests strategies you can adopt is to avoid depressive disorder shaming.

Depression will never be cured by telling someone “to get happy.” You wouldn’t tell a physically ill person “to get over it.” It won’t work with depression for a similar reason – because depression is a disease that requires treatment.

Instead, try communication and helpful guidance to show how much you care. When a depression sufferer gets told to get over it, they will often take it as a criticism that their condition is somehow their fault. The depression can become even more profound when the sufferer feels they have become too much of a burden.

People with depression are already dealing with the stigma of a misunderstood disease. The last thing you want to do is add to their burden, even though it is never your intention.

When you love a depressed person, you need to acknowledge a mental health condition that is stubborn and persistent at creating dark thoughts.

It’s for this reason that depression victims should be treated with love and understanding, rather than suggesting they are weak because they are unable to get happy on command. Depression shaming will only end up increasing the isolation for both of you.

Try to develop an understanding of what triggers depressive states and adopt compassion as your support mechanism.

The challenges discussed below are some of the biggest obstacles depressed people face when trying to claim some happiness and mental clarity for themselves.

Why It’s Not Easy to “Come on and Get Happy” For Depression Sufferers

sun rays reflecting in water with landing padOnce depression gains a foothold, it’s incredibly hard to dislodge. Quite often, depression will become a part of life for weeks, if not months and years. It permeates everything in life and becomes as much of a physical challenge as a mental one.

Depression sufferers, not wishing to be a burden, will attempt to put on a happy face. This strategy will last for a while, but it’s not healthy to continue with it.

Long term depression takes its toll on mental health, and the condition of the sufferer can deteriorate if they put on a brave face, pretend everything is okay, and fail to get help. Eventually, they may even succumb to further isolation, and some will resort to self-harm.

Learning to acknowledge the problem in a caring and attentive manner, encouraging openness, and seeking qualified treatment will put your depressed loved one on the road to recovery.

Recovering from Depression is a Long and Complex Journey

Of course, you want your loved one to lead a happy and fulfilling life, but you won’t get them there by depression shaming.

You will create a more caring environment when you adopt an understanding, non-judgmental attitude. Gently guide a depressed person towards getting help from a mental health professional. Counseling and therapy are vital components of a depression sufferer’s recovery, so it will be a big help if you can inspire them to make an appointment.

If you or a loved one are battling depression, consider enlisting the help of a trained professional who specializes in depression counseling. Click here to learn more: Depression Treatment