I know the person who wrote this didn’t mean any harm, and I am not writing this out to attack them or anyone else. It was meant to be a joke, and I understand that they really didn’t mean to offend. But the fact is they did.
It’s a common misconception. “Well, if you look happy and you smile and laugh than you obviously are okay.” Lots of people think this way. It’s why so many people brushed me off when I tried to tell them I wasn’t okay. How can you be depressed if you can laugh?
But here’s the thing: it’s very easy to put on an act. Those with depression often feel ashamed of themselves and never put themselves or their feelings before others due to self-hatred. Although of course there are exceptions and everyone’s different, a lot of people with depression will pretend they’re okay to make others feel good and to prevent people from worrying about them. This does not lessen what they feel. This does not mean they are “okay”.
On top of that, depressive episodes come and go. Yes, people who have depression are often down. You may not be able to tell though, and maybe they’re having a good day. It all depends on the type of depression they have and if they’re even having an episode at the time you meet them/see them/whatever. Even then, there’s bipolar disorder. Do people with bipolar disorder become depressed? Yes. Severely so. But they also go “up”, or become manic/hypomanic and in those cases they will not seem depressed at all. But again, just like those with MDD or another type of depression, that doesn’t mean they cannot become depressed.
Furthermore, just because someone has depression doesn’t mean they lack a personality. I like to make jokes and make others laugh. It’s just what I do. Does that mean I don’t have depression? No. It’s just something I was born with, much like my mental illness.
I know this was a simple misunderstanding, but people need to get this stereotype out of their heads. There are many times where I spent all day in bed or curled up in front of my computer. I’ve missed plenty of school and currently am doing nothing with my life. I still have many bursts of tears and I still feel down quite often. But that’s part of my life. I need to learn how to deal with it. And there are days where I feel fine, where I’ll go out and be just as active as anyone else. This doesn’t mean what I feel is any less extreme than just what my diagnosis says.
I like to make people smile and laugh. Even on my worst days, I will do my best to reach out and help others when they need it. Those are personality traits. I have depression. That’s my mental illness. None of these define me. I am more than them.
So yes, I can talk/type funny to make you laugh. I can make jokes. I can feel fine. But I still have clinical depression. That’s just that.
Common, toxic misconception, cheerfully embraced by insurance companies.
Yes. This. All of it.