Posted by: jedwardswright | October 22, 2010

To Share or Not To Share

It takes a lot of courage to open up to people around us about our depression. The ugly truth is that we are not always received with understanding and acceptance.

In principle, I totally believe that honesty is the best policy, especially for close relationships, but in practice I have had my hind end and my feelings severely bruised by people who still think that mental illness is a danger or a weakness, so I tend to advocate caution in sharing for anyone who is struggling with their depression, especially in the workplace.

Yes, I know that employers are not allowed to discriminate so we are supposed to be protected in the workplace, but there are no guarantees that co-workers won’t speculate and look at us funny, or that bosses won’t be condescending or supervise us more closely.

Call me cynical (I certainly do), but when I am not doing well, my sensitive depressive feelings don’t stand up well to negative reactions, and I imagine that most of us are the same that way.

My point is that we had best be fairly confident what someone’s reaction will be, or how we will handle it if it doesn’t go well, before we confide in them about our depression.

I want to be someone who is open and promotes understanding for people with our condition, so I am taking more chances and speaking out more and more. I am pretty stable at present, thanks to a cocktail of medications that make my cupboard look like it belongs in a pharmacy, so I figure that I can handle the risk…right now anyway.

However, I know that a lot of you, just like me, tend to wear your hearts on your sleeve, so we need to consider carefully before telling someone we don’t know intimately about our condition. The mental health stigma is still alive and well on planet earth, so we need to protect our sometimes precarious well-being.

Even though we often feel alone, there are millions of people with depression in the world. I wish we could have a Depression Coming-Out Day, so that all of us at once could stand up and be counted with less fear, knowing that together we are stronger.

Until that day comes, we are dealing with today’s reality. Let’s take good care of our tender feelings, and think it through before we share our personal battles publicly.


  1. What a great post! Coming to you from SITS. 🙂

  2. Thanks! Love hearing from another SITS Girl!

  3. Thank you for the encouragement. I suffered from extreme depression while on a 16 month internship between my 3rd and 4th years of university. It was really difficult to tell anyone as I felt that I would be shunned and that I would be fired or something if I made it well known. I know a lot of people probably wondered what was wrong with me as I missed so much work, but I couldn’t deal with the shame of telling them. I’m really glad that experience is over.

    • How you responded is completely understandable. In an ideal world we could all be candid about our depression and the difficulties that we face. I hope that attitudes continue to improve as people become more knowledgable about depression. Time will tell.
      I am glad for you that your depression passed, and I hope that you never have to deal with it again!

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