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Why can't people understand Depression?

43 Answers
Last Updated: 03/16/2021 at 10:39pm
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Jui Shankar, Ph.D


My worldview offers a systems perspective that values diverse clients and their struggles. I believe supportive and nonjudgmental therapeutic relationships empower clients.

Top Rated Answers
April 6th, 2015 9:02pm
People tend to percieve mental illness as a lack of motivation and will power. They often see it as something you can control by thoughts. They don't forcibily know you feel depression as something physical. It's like an imaginary pain to them (even though it's really really real).
June 3rd, 2015 8:40pm
It's not only depression. I believe expecting people to understand your problems and behave the way you want them to is very disappointing. At the end of the day, it's you against the world. You don't need people to understand what you have. As long as you understand yourself, everything is perfect. Understanding yourself, and knowing who you are is one of the best feeling in the world. I hope you everything works in your favour. May god bless you. :)
September 8th, 2015 3:42pm
Hello there :), Because it's a part of human psychology to not be able to fully (100%) understand something they have never felt or been through. Sometimes humans can relate and have empathy towards some things they never experienced, but most of the times they can't relate or know exactly how you feel. It's expecially highlighted when it comes to depression and other psychological problems because such things are still mostly taboo and people usually don't know alot about those. That makes it even harder for people to relate sadly. Depression is not only a problem, it's living hell. Hope I helped you, best regards, with respect, Corvius.
May 28th, 2015 2:25am
They do understand, the thing is that they don't care enough and they don't do anything to help the people that are feeling that way.
March 25th, 2015 3:46am
A lot of people don't understand depression and it's because depression is such a hard thing to deal with and most people don't have to deal with it and they can't understand exactly what you're going though.
May 25th, 2015 12:07am
Unfortunately people who suffer from depression realize that they are victims at a very late stage. Depression starts altering their habits by making isolation and staying off the grid feel comfortable. By the time people realize that they got in too deep, their new daily habits are based on depression and isolation, thus any change will feel unwanted. Once they start fighting depression and the habits it built, thats when the fight with depression starts. It usually takes 21 days to built a new habit, keeping that in mind can be a helpful reminder for fighting depression.
April 8th, 2015 11:03pm
How can someone understand something they never been through?" my ex use to be like I don't understand how you could..." and although I would get so frustrated I had to stop and be Im glad you don't understand because that means you have never experienced what I've been through and I wouldn't want some of the things I've been through happen to my worse enemy.
November 7th, 2015 2:35am
People just do not realize how painful it is unless they have been through it themselves. Understanding is something hard to do as well.
April 4th, 2017 11:57am
Unfortunately mental illness is such a stigmatized subject, people are too afraid to talk about it. I think more needs to be done to educate people on the importance of a healthy mind and what to do when someone says their depressed or suicidal.
May 7th, 2015 6:49am
Many people do not understand depression because they can not fathom what we're going through. They do not understand just not having the energy sometimes to even shower or eat. They can only imagine sadness and not something larger that we fight with on a daily business to do our basic daily needs.
May 8th, 2015 2:10am
Depression has historically been misunderstood. While it may not seem like it, it is actually gaining the most recognition it ever has in recent years. When my Nan had depression some decades ago, she reached a point where she struggled to even leave the house. Her doctors advice was to 'get on with it and stop being sad'. Can you imagine being told that now?! I certainly can't. But the growing understanding doesn't doesn't change the fact that many people dealing with depression are being misunderstood. I think the main reason people don't understand is because of a lack of education. Knowledge is power, and for this reason I think we should all strive to educate those around us to the issues that others might be dealing with.
August 11th, 2015 9:36pm
Because to people who don't have it, the thought that something that dictates your emotions can exist just can't make sense; they have no experience of what losing control of their mind is like, and can't understand why it's such an impossible thing to deal with.
November 11th, 2015 4:58am
I really wish that people would at least try. There's such stigma on mental illnesses, including depression. All it would take is for the person to do a little research on the illness and trust that our experiences and feelings are valid and that we aren't just "overreacting."
November 9th, 2015 10:15pm
As it is a situation inside of you, not on the visible outside, it is difficult for some individuals to see beyond physical symptoms.
November 16th, 2015 8:57pm
It's not something that can be easily measured and identified (like your blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.). It's an illness of the mind and it can have different effects on different individuals. For some, it can cause extreme sadness and hopelessness, but for others, it can rear its ugly head in the form of aggression (especially when trying to figure out the right medications for it)... yet others can experience ALL of these mentioned symptoms together and much more! For the one experiencing depression, it's a very "personal" illness and its very difficult to explain to others. The loved ones dealing with a depressed person have no way of seeing what's going on inside the head of the depressed person, either. It's a very LONELY disease and as Corvius mentioned, "it's living hell."
November 22nd, 2015 5:39am
Because many people don't have it themselves. They may THINK they do, but in reality, they probably don't. The stereotypical thing people associate depression with, it just always being sad, but that's not all to it. People think that if they are sad for a period of time, they have depression. That word if used so loosely, people think they know everything about it, & they think they are experts on it. Where as the minority of people who are actually diagnosed with depression, they actually understand it's more than just being sad, & we have to sit around looking at posts, & memes about depression, & things saying like "you know you have depression when you never smile" which, personally pisses me off, but whatever, I just feel like no one will ever understand depression, unless they have it themselves.
December 1st, 2015 9:35pm
because its not something you can see or touch. its not visible and some people think that its just a mind set. which its obviously not but some people don't want to understand it, because they're scared or just not willing to
July 11th, 2016 7:58pm
one cause they choose to deny that it exists. They choose not to study it when someone close to them has it.
October 24th, 2016 7:53pm
I think people don't understand that it doesn't have a reason. That it isn't something that anyone can control! Medications and therapy can help just like insulin can help diabetes, but you don't see anyone telling a diabetic to simply handle it on their own. I think that the more people who suffer from depression stress that it is a medical disorder with psychological symptoms, the more understanding people might become.
December 21st, 2015 8:45am
Depression is a very personal experience, and is experienced differently by everyone. There are different triggers or causes. Whilst there may seem like a general cause, are all unique to everyone in their own way. There are simply people who haven't experienced depression, and cant fathom to grasp the feelings and thoughts you get when depressed, and how surreal it all feels. We have all gone through different life lessons and experiences, and this is what makes us all see the world differently. So whilst depression is a very individual thing, we can all come together to support and heal each other through these tough times. Helping shine light on each individual together.
June 21st, 2016 1:55am
Depression is more than just bountiful sadness, and depression doesn't take any one form. When some people are depressed they can't sleep, others can't get enough sleep. Some lose their appetite, some become increasingly hungry. People who have never had depression either try to stereotype it or relate it to a period of passing sadness.
July 12th, 2016 7:00pm
They fail to recognise it as a real sickness. Even the person who experiences it tends to forget hard times s/he experiences was a result of lack of well being but just a time of weakness.
August 2nd, 2016 4:32am
Because they don't know what it's all about. They don't know how people think. They don't know how to deal with depression.
August 2nd, 2016 6:21am
Because the condition is rather abstract. The sources, intensity, severity etc. may all vary from one individual to the next. So does coping mechanisms. Human psychology isn't an easy thing to figure out in a generic form. It's different for each individual and ever changing.
March 28th, 2017 7:40pm
Depression is a deep emotional state and sometimes others may not be able to relate to the situation or the problem that is causing the person to feel that way. This could be because the other person has not gone through such a situation and therefore is not able to emphatize with the person or may be they would have handled the situation differently so cannot identify with the reaction.
February 26th, 2018 3:14am
People know about it but those who haven't gone through it confuse it with sadness or they think it's all in our head and if we want we can just "snap" out of it. They can understand but some of them don't want to.
March 5th, 2018 7:37pm
What many people do not realize is that huge part of the depression is in the body - lack of strength, permanent fatigue, many chronic pains and aches. Often depressed persons have no force for their normal daily activities and that contributes to worsen their mental state.
April 24th, 2018 1:04am
That's a good question, and honestly I think it has to do with the fact that they haven't experienced it or have had anyone close to them affected by it. It seems so illogical to be depressed, especially if you lead a somewhat happy life. You can make them understand through explanation, but I too have noticed a ton of people who just don't quite get it
April 11th, 2015 11:38pm
If they haven't experienced it then they might not understand it. They don't see how you process things through your mind. They can feel like you over react with stuff. Just explain
August 10th, 2015 11:08am
Because they have be conditioned to believe that depression is a choice or a lifestyle or a sadness and it so much more and so different than that.