Opinion: Don’t tell me to cheer up

Time to talk 2015My name is Sarah and I am diagnosed with depression. I guess the diagnosis didn’t come as a surprise, I’ve always felt, well, kinda sad. I have been on medication now for over a year and sometimes I wonder if I will ever beat this thing.

It makes me angry when people tell me to “cheer up”, or “get over it” yeah how about you try “getting over” diabetes or a broken arm. My illness might not always have physical symptoms and it might be “all in my head” but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Being depressed means I never know if I am going to be able to cope with a situation. Sometimes funny, sexy, flirty Sarah comes out to play and she is great, she has a great time. But sometimes it’s social recluse Sarah who can barely communicate and sometimes it’s just plain Crazy Sarah.

I wish I could click my fingers and make the depression go away, but for now, I’m stuck with an illness some people don’t think even exists, but 1 in 4 of us will suffer from at some point in our lives.

t’s not all doom and gloom though.  Some things help me through the dark times, such as cuddles from my partner who doesn’t judge me for crying over nothing. We have a brilliantly silly relationship, sometimes communicating in plain old jibberish. I like doing crochet and knitting, which  helps me relax and hey I get awesome clothes out of it. Singing keeps me happy too, I love singing and sometimes I even let myself believe I am good at it.

It’s so easy when you have depression to focus purely on the bad stuff the dark stuff but I always try and remember that I have things to be grateful for, good friends, a decent job and a lot to live for.

* Sarah Brown is a Liberal Democrat activist who lives in Manchester.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Martin Walker 5th Feb '15 - 6:37pm

    Sarah I commend you for being able to speak out about the experience that you have with suffering from depression. It is stories like yours that help show people that depression does exist and that it can be hard to cope with sometime. We have to remember that unlike you some people don’t have anyone to support them through there dark times. That is why we need to change things that everyone who suffers can access better support to be able to cope.

  • Thank you for sharing this Sarah. You express very well the kinds of thing I’ve experienced and I’m sure many others feel likewise.

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