It’s that whole Bell Let’s Talk day thing. As someone who has suffered from depression, I applaud the effort. I appreciate the intent when people share the hashtag and put themselves out there as someone who listens.
If only it were true. If Bell truly cared about people with depression, it would undoubtedly have a very different corporate structure, culture and stance towards its customers.
Most of the people I’ve seen sharing these moments are people who would never listen to someone in real pain on a normal day (or any day, including this one). Most would see the thoughts of someone like me as so foreign and strange that in their best efforts, they could only come up with platitudes.
In their worst, they’d revert to the same stigma everyone does – that I’m nuts. That there’s something fundamentally wrong with me.
That I just need to buck up and think positive.
But that has not helped anyone ever in depression. It’s literally the last thing a depressed person needs to hear. A depressed person needs something else to focus on. They need strategies they built while they were feeling okay to consciously access. They need a good laugh or a walk in the sun, or a hug or a kiss or someone to tell them something genuine about how they feel. We need perspective and that only comes from doing something out of ordinary – an action, an idea, a moment of genuine connection.
Not “buck up”.
Not “the bright side.”
Maybe instead of “talk”, let’s do. Let’s connect. Because it doesn’t help to talk if no one is listening, or the person listening doesn’t really want to hear what you have to say.