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13 Lies Your Depression Is Telling You

Depression fills your head with unreliable thoughts, and sometimes you have to fight back.

1. "You will never get better."

2. "No one wants to hang out with you anyway."

When you're depressed, you often find yourself avoiding social situations and cancelling plans. A part of your brain feels guilty for being a flake, while another part shrugs and thinks, What's the point, anyway? I mean, you’re not exactly the life of the party.

Your low self-esteem has you second-guess friendships and relationships, but it's important to not let depression make you think no one wants to be near you. There is more to you than your mental health.

3. "You are a burden to everyone around you."

As if depression isn't enough to deal with on its own, it often comes with guilt and shame. You feel ashamed for feeling the way you do, and you feel guilty for burdening other people with your illness.

I'm pretty good at hiding depression, even though it's tiring as hell, but there are one or two people who have seen it to its full extent. My boyfriend, for example, has to deal with my seesaw moods, which makes me feel bad. I also feel bad that I have to leave fun situations for reasons I find impossible to explain, and I feel bad for talking about how pointless and bleak I think life is sometimes, when it's technically our life that I'm talking about, not just mine.

As difficult as it can be, I have to remember I'm not a burden. Untangling the cobweb of depressive thoughts and presenting them to someone close to you doesn't burden them – it means you trust them, and you'll be much closer for it. People want to help you, and it's OK to accept their help.

4. "You don’t deserve to be healthy."

5. "You should punish yourself."

6. "You’re letting everyone down."

7. "You are lazy."

8. "It’s too much effort to get better."

9. "No one understands what you’re going through."

10. "People are judging you."

11. "Your depression makes you boring."

12. "You’re weak for taking medication."

13. "You did this to yourself."

Here's a quote about depression as a "human experience" from the book Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig:

Talk. Listen. Encourage talking. Encourage listening. Keep adding to the conversation. Stay on the lookout for those wanting to join in the conversation. Keep reiterating, again and again, that depression is not something you 'admit to', it is not something you have to blush about, it is a human experience.

Don't internalise everything just because you're ashamed, and don't keep quiet just because you're afraid you'll make people mad. Keep talking and live guilt-free, because things get better.

If you need information and practical advice on depression, you can call the Rethink advice and information service on 0300 5000 927 (10am–2pm), if you're in the UK.

The Depression Alliance, a charity for sufferers of depression, has a network of self-help groups.

You can call the Samaritans for confidential support if you're experiencing feelings of distress or despair on 08457 90 90 90 (24-hour helpline).

And you can call the Crisis Call Center at 1-800-273-8255 at any time of the day if you're based in the US.