“Get Over It!”

A How-To Guide on "Getting Over" Depression

“Get Over It!”

Get over it.

Get over it...

Get over it!

A simple phrase, but a statement that hurts immensely. There is no sharper knife than when you have experienced something physically or emotionally painful and someone tells you to “get over it”. Inadvertently or intentionally, that person has told you that your experience is not significant enough to warrant your sorrow; and while it may appear so to them, it matters to you and that’s what’s important.

It is often such statements that can make an individual feel worse about their condition.

"No one understands." "I must be a horrible person." "Why can’t I be normal?"

I’ve suffered from depression from a very young age. It didn’t just happen, there were many factors that contributed to it. Growing up, my situation was far from ideal but I wasn’t allowed to express how I felt, and if I did, I paid for it. As I got older, I was conditioned to think a certain way; that I was a burden. In thinking I was a burden, I was made to feel like I had no right to be sad about anything. I was just this massive appendage that everyone had to tolerate. At that time I didn’t seek help, I just told myself I could handle it when in actuality, I was just suppressing it. I was a time bomb waiting to go off. Tick, tick, tick, tick …

During a particularly turbulent period in my life, I consulted a friend about a matter that was wearing me down. It had become such an issue that over time it became acquainted with my depression and soon, I was questioning my worth as a person. Like many times before, I felt like I had no self-worth but now I also no longer had the “control” I thought I had over these feelings. For ages, I kept these thoughts to myself until finally, I confided in one of my closest and dearest friends. I expected understanding but I was met with none, instead, I heard, “get over it.”

This would have been that point in the movie where my face shattered like broken glass.

After that, I never quite saw her in the same light. Here one of my closest friends, just shutting me down because she didn’t understand “the big deal”. It wasn’t until much later that she realised the severity of my condition.

The issue many people have in understanding mental health problems is that it isn’t a physical condition, it may have physical symptoms, but the “wound” itself is invisible to them. They can’t see it and that makes it harder for some to believe it’s anything more than a simple emotional response.

This made me think of the French Philosopher, René Descartes, and his infamous saying: Cogito ergo sum – “I think, therefore I am”.

Thinking makes the thinker exist. It just made me wonder if thinking is proof of my own existence, does that not show how powerful a thought can be? If thinking is proof of my existence, am I not at the mercy of my thoughts? Am I just over-thinking it? Maybe…

Either way, being sad sometimes may be normal but when it takes over your thoughts, invades every free moment you have to think to yourself and gradually starts to take over your life, then we have a problem. Mood no more! And telling someone it’s just a mood is like rubbing lime and salt in a very fresh wound.

Everyone gets sad sometimes...

...Everyone gets sad sometimes.

Please consider the fact that in that moment, in that person’s mind, it is not a competition of who has it worse nor is it about sympathy or trying to make you feel guilty. That person is hurting and they may or may not know why. They think they are fighting a lost battle and already feel like a burden. It’s hard enough to open up to someone when they fear being judged, telling them to “get over it” isn’t going to help.

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Nicky Bennett

If depression was a choice I’m sure we would all find better things to do with our time. When others know little about what is afflicting you, they don’t realise the impact of their words. I hope my work can help others as well as myself.

See all posts by Nicky Bennett