Things Trinis have said to someone with depression that weren’t okay

By July 4, 2020 No Comments


 Written by Penny Williamson.

There were three distinctive times that I remember others being dismissive and clearly not understanding of what I was going through.

“You feeling sorry for yourself”

One time, and this one was truly hurtful, during one of my lowest points, a good friend came to visit me, and he said that ‘I should get my a** outta bed’,  ‘stop playing the a**’, and that ‘nothing was wrong with me other than me feeling sorry for myself’. And with that, he distanced himself from me. I felt abandoned on top of everything else.


Another time, when I was just a month or two into my medication regime, my sister saw me taking my med and she looked at me and said, “You still taking that? Girl you’re fine, you don’t need that tablet still.”

Assuming that if I see a mental health professional, I must be “mad”

The third occasion that I recall is when I mentioned to my mother that I had an appointment to see either the psychiatrist or the counselor, and her comment to me was, “Why you still going to see them crazy people doctors? You good, you not mad.”

They saw me being out and about and just assumed that I was back to normal, that just because I wasn’t holed up in bed still, that everything was back to normal. They didn’t, and maybe still don’t fully, understand that depression is not something one can just dismiss or switch off, that it is an ongoing battle, one that requires care and attention and time, that it’s a one-step-at-a-time recovery process. 
They also didn’t– or don’t– get that you don’t have to be “mad” or “crazy” to see a psychiatrist, or to get counselling. Too many people have the mentality that they don’t want to talk to a stranger about their business: they wonder, “What can a stranger possibly tell me to help with my life or problems?” 
I am here to say, especially as someone who kept things bottled up, who brushed things off and made it seem as though nothing bothered me, that it helps to talk to someone. 
The counselling that I have received, and continue to receive, helps me to keep things in perspective. Talking to someone, even someone who was initially a stranger to me, helped me to open up. to express, to admit and face my feelings, and to see things from another angle.

The more compassionate, kind and understanding we can be of people with depression, the more likely we are to help. If you or someone you know needs help, please visit our directory of free and reduced cost resources: here. Please ask for help if you need it. You matter.