Here’s a tip for you guys, free of charge:
When someone tells you they have depression, severe anxiety, or even PTSD, it’s not your job to tell them, “so do a lot of people.” In fact, you don’t have a job except to hear what they’ve said. If you don’t know how to respond without sounding like a jerk, don’t say anything, or say you don’t have enough experience to be helpful. Wish them well. Walk away if appropriate – leave on good terms, even if your opinion of them has changed. You have no obligation to follow up unless you have genuine concern. If you’re not concerned, leave them alone. Trust me, they’re better off without you if you can’t be the least bit encouraging without negging them at the same time.
Whether YOU think how they feel is relevant is not even close to important – it’s how THEY feel that’s relevant/important to them, and when they share that with you, they’re trusting you to not be a jerk about it.
To some people, admitting that they have this sort of problem is on par with “coming out,” with the same fear of judgment, abandonment, and poor reaction.
It was easier for me to admit that I am bisexual (and literally no one gave me crap about that, except to ask if I was sure…yup, I’m sure) that it’s been to admit, even to myself, that I’m so bogged down with past things I haven’t even begun to deal with that I HAVE PTSD. I have it so badly my body is reacting with physical symptoms, and it’s entirely possible that my Lyme may have remained dormant had I not had a buttload of stress back in 2010. Not really probable, but possible. We know stress set it off…but I’ve had it for 16 years. Why then? Well, I’m going to be working on that, with a professional. The details are nobody’s business except for the people I choose to tell.
What you think of my “self-diagnosis” is not relevant. What you think of how I feel is not relevant. If you have nothing but disparaging comments, kindly take your opinions elsewhere. You don’t know what my life’s been like throughout its entirety (none of you – and I want to stress that NOT ONE OF YOU knows anything except what you’ve been shown or told by me, and anything else is conjecture on your part, and is not valid to anyone but you), thus your ability to make any sort of calls about my choices or feelings is null and void.
I can’t believe that it’s easier to tell people an unusual sexual preference or a seriously-debated and feared body image issue than it is to tell people that you need help, and why. That’s absolutely ridiculous.