Day 28 of 31 days of depression.
*Dear Mel is an old column. No longer accepting questions.
My husband often tells me he doesn’t believe in depression. I’ve had other well meaning folks basically say the same thing. They tell me to cheer up. Stop being negative. Get over it. How do you make someone understand depression? It makes me feel even worse when I hear these things.
~ Fighting Unbelief ~
Dear Fighting Unbelief:
I too have heard those same things. It’s very frustrating and degrading. It’s certainly a fast way to make someone feel worse, isn’t it? My advice for your husband is to take him to your doctor appointments. Perhaps the doctor can help him understand it. Place some quick articles on it in the bathroom, the coffee table, the front of the fridge, and anywhere else he might read them. When you’re not upset about it, sit down calmly with him and tell him how it makes you feel when he tells you he doesn’t believe you.
You didn’t mention if your husband is a believer or not but when you are dealing with other believers, point them to the bible. They can’t really argue with God’s word. David is a prime example. Read the Psalms. Abraham was depressed about not having an heir in Genesis 15. Jonah was very unhappy – see Jonah Chapter 4. The Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years and whined and complained, even when God provided for them continuously. There are ample examples in the bible about depression. These are just a few.
My personal thoughts on folks who give flippant advice like just get over it is that they have never experienced it. So they don’t really know any better. Try not to hold it against them. Most of us will experience some type of depression in our lives as we all move through seasons and times of loss. My response to those who tell you to cheer up etc is to say something along the lines of, “If it were that simple, I would have already done that. I’m doing the best I can right now.” or “Some problems within the body are invisible on the outside. This isn’t one you can just shake off. I’m doing the best I can.” Point them to the bible and how it is addressed in scripture many times over. Try to remember that another person’s opinion about what is going on doesn’t matter. What matters is what God says and thinks. Stay focused on that. ♥
*Do you have advice to share on this subject? Please do so in the comments below! I love the community here and how you all are so willing to help. I certainly do NOT have all the answers!
- Memorize this scripture: He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4
- See the doctor.
- Writing Prompt: Memorize some comebacks for those who question your depression. Make sure they aren’t attacking but factual and will leave you feeling like you spoke up for yourself. Don’t forget to write what you are thankful for and act on it. *If you would like a safe and free place to write, try this online journal at Penzu. It is password protected and you can even encrypt the journal if you need to. You can also use a fake name and junk email address for further protection. This way no one at home finds your personal diary entries.
- Pray: Lord, I pray for your wisdom when i deal with people who don’t understand depression. Help me find a kind way to counter their comments and protect my heart as I deal with these people. Help me continue to heal and move beyond this depression. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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* Legal disclaimer: Dear Mel is not professional advice but for entertainment purposes only. Melinda Todd, nor her readers, is not legally liable for actions taken by participating parties. To read the full disclaimer, you can go here: Legal Disclaimer.