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wanderer82

When People Say...

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"If I can do it then anyone can." Few statements can make me more defensive and sometimes angry. I find it far from motivational and downright ignorant and insensitive. I don't mean to sound harsh to anyone who may use this statement (I think many of us here have more right to it than others). I think it disregards the different genetic and environmental factors that have shaped who we are as individuals. Even people who succeeded through overwhelming odds can't expect other people to do the same. They may have an innate resiliency, a higher IQ, a support system, or simply caught a lucky break that helped them succeed. I never want to diminsh other peoples' accomplishments, but I also hate when people diminish other peoples' struggles because of what they personally overcame.

My anger mainly comes from hearing people who had few obstacles make the statement. My friend recently gave me the, "If I can do it then anyone can" when I was discussing my difficulties with grad school. His reason for finding grad school difficult?? He was partying too much and having too much fun. That's a far cry from having major depression. I'm tired of people being so clueless about something that affects me so deeply.

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Amen to that brother!

I have suffered numerous battles against formidable physical illnesses [including my current hospital acquired infection for which there is presently no cure], and nothing, and I mean NOTHING compares to depression. People feel compassion for those who are totally blind and compassion for those who are paralyzed, but those who suffer various disease pathologies of the brain: almost no compassion at all as witnessed by the offensive remarks: "oh, just snap out of it;" "oh, everyone feels down sometimes, it's nothing," or "just get over it."

And then there is what you heard: "If I can do it, anyone can do it." Or the variation of that: "what one man can do, another can do." I have been in serious depressions when loved ones have asked me to do things as if my depression was a hangnail or a runny nose.

I read that in depression one part of the brain can lose 20% of its volume and another part can lose 28% of its surface area . . . and I think . . . how could someone NOT be affected by such profound losses? But it seems that most of the world is clueless. It does wear one down.

Edited by Ep1ctetus

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I'll add my "amen."

If a great athlete said that to me, I'd say "no way." It is a little like someone saying "You can be anything you want to be." Or "you can do anything if you set your mind to it."

I can do many things. But I can do any or everything.

We all have different stories. Different issues. Different contexts.

Best to folks posting here.

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I'd second that Ep1ctetus.

Hi wanderer82 - Thanks for the post, a brilliant idea:

The all or nothing - "If you can't do it properly don't do it at all" or "If you did it properly to begin with you wouldn't have these/this problem."

The runner up - "No prize for second best"

The impatience - "Move it or lose it sister" or "Use it or lose it"

And my most favourite of all, the big headed:

I'm right and your wrong because I'm...........

Although the last one isn't really categorizable in this sense, just thought I'd throw it in.

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I'm of two minds about it. It's meant to be encouraging...to try to show you that you can do it. But some people use it as another "Just stop being depressed already", and that's something that enrages me. I don't like being like this. I DO know that I do at times go out of my way to perpetuate my own depression, but breaking out of that isn't trivial and I don't like my struggles being treated as trivial.

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I'm with you, wanderer82. I find those kind of statements incredibly offensive and ignorant.

I don't insult others by pretending to know their pain and suffering. Everyone is different and everyone copes with things differently.

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I'll add my "amen."

If a great athlete said that to me, I'd say "no way." It is a little like someone saying "You can be anything you want to be." Or "you can do anything if you set your mind to it."

I can do many things. But I can do any or everything.

We all have different stories. Different issues. Different contexts.

Best to folks posting here.

Argghh! This should read, But I can't do any or everything.....

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Not a statement I've ever used, Nor ever likely too.

The rest of the world doesn't need motivating, it will go on regardless of motivation.

Really unhelpful too when it comes out of a FO&*^ ^%^£(*!! piece o ^%% pretty person

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Hi wanderer82 - There's a video that I feel is very useful with regards to societies view about mental illness.

Stephen Fry Live At The Sydney Opera House, here Stephen put across the whole basis of knowledge that people really do need to know to be able to begin to understand depression and mental health. The video is on Youtube and is in several parts.

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My pet peeve is when people say, "You have no reason to be [depressed]." It irks me to no end. I didn't choose to be this way! I tried telling my mother about my problems with depression once, and the conversation was basically:

Luis: "I'm depressed. I have been for years now, and I don't know what to do about it."

Mom: "You're depressed?" *shakes head* "You have no reason to be depressed."

After that conversation I knew I couldn't tell her any more about my problem. She just wouldn't understand. And I couldn't turn to Dad because I suspected he was probably depressed too, so I kept it to myself for a very long time. I just really hate when people say "you have no reason to be depressed." Depression doesn't require a specific reason!

:ranting:

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I can only really see one depressive mood disorder that you might be able to get away with these confrontational, useless stock phrases that roll out of people who have no idea what to say in response to being told their friend/partner/family member is depressed but are too up themselves to admit they don't know, and that's seasonal affective disorder. This being said though, it really does depend on way too many factors to be able to get away with saying them. I guess it would be worse if it were to come from someone who is also depressed.

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My pet peeve is when people say, "You have no reason to be [depressed]." It irks me to no end. I didn't choose to be this way! I tried telling my mother about my problems with depression once, and the conversation was basically:

Luis: "I'm depressed. I have been for years now, and I don't know what to do about it."

Mom: "You're depressed?" *shakes head* "You have no reason to be depressed."

After that conversation I knew I couldn't tell her any more about my problem. She just wouldn't understand. And I couldn't turn to Dad because I suspected he was probably depressed too, so I kept it to myself for a very long time. I just really hate when people say "you have no reason to be depressed." Depression doesn't require a specific reason!

:ranting:

I've always said this but I think this happens a lot because people in general have no idea what real depression feels like. They compare it to a time when they might have felt tired or a little sad. Naturally those events where over fairly quickly and "cured" quickly so obviously depression must be the same.

They then come out with comments like these.

It's times like this that I wish we could pass on this feeling to them - just for a brief time even - so they can see what it truly feels like. Some people tend to think we're all just a bunch of drama queens feeling sorry for ourselves. Yeah, if they only knew.

The other kind of comment I always hated is when they say something like this: "What are you so depressed about? What about (fill in some poor group), what do you think they (insert their horrible life conditions) feel like all the time? You should be grateful!"

What a perfect way to make someone who is depressed feel so much better.

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I can relate.

My brother once told me I was lazy for not using my IQ and finishing grad school on time...

Not everyone can be a 4.0 student when your life is falling apart, you dont want to leave the house, and see no point.

I hate judgmental people.

The other comment is "you look great, you are just making this up"...omg...how you look on the outside has nothing to do with major depression. Some people are just completely clueless. And unsupportive.

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