Depression: We’re Not Faking It (But It Sometimes Feels That Way)

Sometimes, we worry that we are faking or making up our depression. It doesn’t matter how many depression symptoms we have. It doesn’t matter how many professionals have told us we’re ill. And it doesn’t matter how many depression treatments we have been through. We still have times when we feel as though we are faking it.

Depression: We're Not Faking It (But It Sometimes Feels That Way)

We Worry That We’re Attention Seeking

Often we worry that we’re making up symptoms for attention. The phrase ‘attention seeking’ gets thrown around a lot in the media and elsewhere. We second guess ourselves all the time. We don’t know if we’re actually feeling a certain way, or if we just want people to notice us.

But we are not making it up for attention. People don’t usually attention seek, they usually care seek. We deserve as much help as we need to start feeling better.

We Laugh Sometimes So We Must be Okay

Every now and again we smile, we laugh, we have an hour or two of ‘okay’. We are more okay around certain friends. We have a particular TV programme that makes us laugh. Or we have a three-year-old in our life who makes us smile. We think that these things mean we can’t possibly have depression. We must be making our low-mood symptoms up.

The occasional smile or laugh do not mean that we are making our depression symptoms up. People with depression can still smile. A few moments of ‘okay’ do not cancel out all of the moments of not-so-okay. We are not faking depression.

Other People Have It Worse

We think we can’t possibly have depression because other people have it worse than we do. So we must be faking it or making it up.

Saying we can’t be low because others have it worse is like saying we can’t ever be happy because other people have it better. It doesn’t make sense. Everyone’s situation is different. Depression doesn’t discriminate according to how ‘lucky’ we are or how ‘good’ we’ve got things. People from all walks of life have depression. Whatever our situation, we’re not making it up.

We’re Worry That We’re Using Depression As An Excuse

We often think that we don’t have depression, we’re just faking it as an excuse not to do things. It’s an excuse for failing our exams.  An excuse for avoiding our families.  An excuse for snapping at our kids.

But we are not using depression as an excuse. We don’t want these things to happen. We want to pass our exams, spend time with our families and do fun stuff with our kids. Depression isn’t something we make up as an excuse not to do things, it’s an illness.

Maybe We’re Just…

We wonder if we’re not depressed and actually maybe we’re just antisocial, lazy, broken, stupid, ungrateful, or something else. We tell ourselves that the reason we can’t get out of bed isn’t depression, it’s laziness. The reason we struggle to see our friends and family isn’t depression, it’s because we’re antisocial. The reason we struggle to concentrate on anything isn’t depression, it’s because we’re stupid.

We are none of these things. Depression is an illness and it can affect every single aspect of our lives.

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We Think We Don’t Deserve Help

If we aren’t ill, then we can’t get better. We think we don’t deserve help. We’re just like this and we will always be this way.

Depression loves to feed us these lies, because it feeds into hopelessness. But depression is wrong. We have an illness that isn’t our fault, and we deserve as much help and support as we need to enable us to recover.

We Should Just…

Constantly, our heads are full with ‘should justs’. We ‘should just’ shower every day and then we would be fine. We ‘should just’ socialise more and we’d feel better. And we ‘should just’ clean our house and everything would be fixed. We are so hard on ourselves. We keep telling ourselves that we’re making it all up and need to sort ourselves out.

But we don’t deserve this harshness. We deserve care, kindness and support. There is nothing we ‘should just’ do. Every day we are doing our best to keep going despite depression trying to knock us back. Our best is all that anyone can ask for.

We’re not Faking It – And We Deserve Support

If we think that we are struggling with depression, we need to speak to our GP. We are not faking it or making it up. We’re not choosing to feel this way. We deserve help and support. We need to try and be kind to ourselves.

Please help us to help others and share this post, you never know who might need it.