"Dealing" with depression

First of all I know the title is questionable, definitely not the best phrasing but it's hard to find a good title for something like this.

No matter how many times I try to type this, it will always be difficult. To some extent I am open about my history and suffering with depression, but I don't introduce myself to people like "Hi I'm Victoria and I suffer with depression" it's a hard topic to talk about because, not only is it extremely personal but there is also still a HUGE stigma around it. I know the only way to get rid of the stigma is to talk about it, but you never know how other people will respond to it.

This is something I have wanted to talk about for a while but I have always held back, but lately I have been getting SO beyond fed up at people coming out with comments like "well what do they have to be depressed about?" "oh you're fine, just stop being lazy and go do something to distract yourself" "everyone is 'depressed' these days, it's called a bad day, deal with it".

Firstly, you don't have any clue of what someone is going through at home, at work, in a relationship, I think people forget that we only see what others want us to see, I mean I quite often get people telling me they wouldn't believe I could ever be depressed because I seem fine, yet what they don't know is that I have been prescribed prozac in the past, I have hit my lowest (I don't think I need to elaborate on that) I started self harming at 13 and I only stopped 3 years ago (I'm 26) now when I Self harmed it wasn't continuous, I would stop for a few months and relapse, I then found other methods such as not eating and pulling my hair out. So right now being clean for this long is quite an achievement for me- don't get me wrong I still have extremely down days and sometimes I do get the urge to relapse, so I'm not completely out of the woods just yet, but if you had told 18 year old me that I would have stopped harming myself and that I was kind of happy, she wouldn't believe you at all.

I would suggest talking to someone, now I never sought professional help because I was almost in denial, I knew I had a problem but I didn't want someone I didn't know, knowing about my life (ironic now most of my life is online for plenty of people I don't know). I also didn't think they would be able to help me, I have heard mixed reviews from people who have had professional help, some people have said it has helped them, others have said it's no good at all, I think really it comes down to the individual. But even if you don't seek professional help, talking to someone does help, be it a friend or a family member you trust.

When I first admitted to someone other than my former friend that I self inflicted pain onto myself the response was "so you're like a freak or something? that's not normal" and that is so damaging, I know it's not easy for someone who has never faced depression or self harming, to understand but we need to get rid of the stigma around it, we need to help people if we think they are suffering. You're not a freak if you self harm, there is nothing wrong with suffering from depression, but don't suffer in silence.
If you know of anyone suffering with depression then be there if they ever need you, pay attention when they are telling you something, don't write it off as "it's just a bad day" because sometime's it's not.

I can't really sit here and go into what depression *IS* because it's different for everyone, but I can say that comments like "you'll get over it" "it's just a phase" "there's nothing wrong with you" "you're just doing it for attention" "just go out and do something" do NOT help at all and they won't be appreciated.

I hope you can take something from this post.

Thank you for reading