Yesterday marked the beginning of a new initiative by Bell Canada, entitled ‘Let’s Talk’, which aspires to spread awareness, information, but most importantly mass discussion and communication about mental health.
The first day of the campaign, February 9, was pronounced “Let’s Talk Day, ” where Bell donated 5 cents for every text or long distance call made by its customers to support mental health related programs in Canada.
In addition to the donations, many celebrities, including Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes took part in the campaign.
And while the day has passed, the talking has only begun (hence why it’s called an initiative). And as an individual who has personally dealt with depression (having been diagnosed with it last year), it is only fit that I do my best to play a role in publicizing the message of the campaign.
No I’m not becoming an unofficial spokesperson, nor do I usually latch on to various causes or fundraisers. I simply believe all my heart that I need to do the best I can to spread the word about. It’s not everyday a hot-topic, national campaign that deals with something that plays
True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for a long period of time. (Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health)
While there’s so much more one can discover and learn about clinical depression (you can easily do this by clicking the “clinical depression link above as well as the Let’s Talk Website), in the spirit of Bell’s initiative I would like to share with you a sample of my own logic in getting to understand this disorder.
I may not be a doctor nor a psychologist, but regardless of that I hope you can find some benefit in taking something from someone wanting to learn more and teach others about something dear to his heart.
And so I present to you, three things you should’nt say to someone with depression:Note – I’m actually not responsible for the actual things – I heard Michael Landsberg from TSN’s Off The Record tell discuss this with Clara Hughes on the February 9th show. Though Landsberg may be responsible for the things, the explanations are my own.
1) Snap out of it
Snapping out of “it” is not an option.
Let’s put it this way: You would never tell a person sick with cancer (or even a cold) to snap out of it… they’re sick! They can’t just snap out of being sick! The same thing applies with depression and other mental illnesses. Sure, we don’t know who has a mental illness without actually hearing from the person (or from another source) and obviously not every sad or upset emotion one experiences is a result of the disorder… I guess the best we thing we can do is to have some compassion and be sensitive towards those we know who have mental illnesses. When they say they’re upset, there’s no internal switch they can reach for to stop being depressed.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t work to make our situations better.
2) What do I have to be depressed about?
Would you like to know why I’m depressed? I don’t know why… I just am…
It’s a common exchange between someone with depression and someone without. We tend to believe that there’s an answer out there for everything, and whether or not we know what it is, we just have to express our desire to solve it (regardless of how putrid the attempts may be).
The cause of clinical depression simply can’t be linked to specific factors of a person’s life. And even if we knew those factors, they’d all be relative to each and every individual anyway.
Sure I may have a gazillion things on my mind and sometimes I can’t deal with the pressure. But that’s not why I’m depressed.
3) Is it something I did?
Congratulations, you idiot. You just managed to guilt me into believing my depression has something to do with you. Get this straight – it’s not your fault. And it’s not mine either.
Communication is key in all facets of life. And with this I hope we can communicate more in the future.
You can visit letstalk.bell.ca for so much more information