Quit Enabling People (with Depression)

For the record, the correct thing to say when someone is depressed is NOT “what’s the matter with you?” or “get over it.” That’s cruel and helps no one – it creates barriers. “You have no right to feel that way” is bullshit – you can’t tell another person they don’t have a right to their feelings, however skewed (or justified) of a view of themselves/ the world that feeling comes from. That’s like telling a rape victim they “deserved it” for trusting someone not to take advantage of their inebriated state.

However, tough love is compassionate. Tough love is NOT excusing someone’s behavior, it’s holding them accountable for it while not allowing them to use that as a reason to spiral back into a guilt-ridden depression episode.

“I’m such a horrible person.”

No, you’re not.

“Now you’re mad at me – I understand, though, ’cause I suck.”

No, you don’t, it’s your BEHAVIOR that needs corrected, not your inherent worth as a person.

Calling people on their bullshit and being willing to deal with the backlash that comes from doing so is sympathetic, if not empathetic, in my book. You, on the other hand, can’t be so self-sacrificing that you allow yourself to let your own life fall apart. I mean, you can, but it isn’t healthy. Neither is caffeine and sugar, but I digress.

If someone gets into an accident or is born with a less-than-able body, we call them ‘handicapped’ – which has spawned the word ‘handicapable‘ due to the stigma of the word being focused on inability. Some give up completely – using their situation as an excuse for their self-defeating behavior – some become more active than before their accident or illness. No one’s debating the validity of their physical limitations, no one’s saying it’s not a daily struggle.

Some people say it’s selfish to talk someone out of suicide, because you don’t have to live with the pain day-in, day-out. You want that person alive because it makes YOU feel good, regardless of their suffering. I feel so upset because sharing a meme on Facebook doesn’t win you any points in my book. It’s like jacking off – sure, it makes you feel good in the moment, but it accomplishes nothing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish climaxing.

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