When people say, “But [he/she] had everything, why would [he/she] be sad? What does this person have to be sad about?” People tell you this as if to shame you. As if to tell you that it’s merely a first world problem, so you should just stop whining.
Here’s the thing. Depression is not about being sad. It’s not about the normal emotions we feel when we’re struggling with challenges. Sure, that can be a trigger, but it’s so much more than that. Depression is a hollow, empty, harrowing feeling that makes you feel as if someone has taken your body and mind hostage and refuses to give it back to you.
You may see all of the things you have—all of the blessings you’ve been given—and you may think to yourself that you have “no right” to feel this despondent when there are others who “have it much worse”—but you have no way to claw yourself out of this deep, deep hole.
It’s absolutely terrifying and paralyzing, and even though some part of you may recognize you need help—if you’re lucky enough to have that kind of clarity to see that—you don’t know how to reach out, and you don’t even believe that help can make a difference.
I’m lucky. I did have that clarity. I did get help. The help worked. But I could have just been easily been someone who could have been pulled under by this quicksand despite struggling to climb out of it. It’s that insidious.
So the next time you find out that someone who seems like they “have it all” is clinically depressed, please remember that they’re no less vulnerable to this disease than someone who is in more dire straights—whatever that even means. This isn’t a contest over who has it much worse. This is a horrible, horrible disease that shows no mercy, and unless you’ve been through it yourself, there is no explaining it or knowing how it feels.