“Tomorrow is a new day.”
A nice and positive statement to say when things aren’t going as you want.
But there’s a problem with that statement…
The next day has NOTHING in it that you look forward to.
I am not saying this because I truly don’t believe that. But I know what I believe in times of depression.
In this short blog post, I hope to explain why this statement is not true when you are depressed and what might be a better way to show compassion with people suffering from depression .
The critical reason why NO ONE seems to understand people with depression
There is a VERY important nuance to make to understand people with depression.
Something in the brain happens that removes the ability to see the “good” in things.
In a good time, we can all agree that you can “win” a day by getting through it and being able to begin a new one.
But in your worst times… getting through this day to be able to receive the next is not a “win”.
There is no victory in your mind when you “gain” another day of apathy and suffering.
It is very important to understand that such a statement does not make a depressed person feel better or get a better outlook.
It has NOTHING to do with willpower either.
There is no amount of your “willpower” that can change your mind IN THAT MOMENT to be able to see the positive side of things.
If that were true, we would have really found out. And we would have really already tried it.
Because trust me…
We don’t want to stay in this place either.
But the memory of a good place has been robbed from our brain.
This is critical to try to understand.
It’s not that we are suffering in depression and we are thinking about and longing for a time that is going to be better.
“Better” simply is not a concept that exists anymore.
Do you get that?
I didn’t for a long time.
Until I started to think about my own experiences…
And then I noticed it.
“Good”, “positivity”, “perspective”, “hope” and “faith” are not “hard” things to achieve when you are depressed.
They seem to have completely vanished.
There exists no positive perspective in the brain of a deeply depressed person.
Not because they pushed it away and it is hard to reach…
This is exactly what makes depression such a complicated problem…
The brain is incapable of remembering or projecting a positive scenario.
It’s not a lack of willpower.
It’s a crazy complicated phenomenon that even scientists have not figured out.
How I hope this information will connect us more
I wrote this with the hope that this information can help us connect more with each other.
This is no “here’s how you help a depressed person” handbook.
That would be disrespectful to the complexity of the problem.
I hope that this information helps us to stay closer together.
Because the worst feeling is when you are alone, in your dark clouds of depression… And the people closest to you seem SO far away when they try to convince you that “tomorrow is another day”.
Acknowledging this CRITICAL difference in the capability of remembering and seeing “positivity” can help us to bridge the gap a little bit.
What can people say to depressed people, then?
Maybe another way for positive people is to first get down to your level.. Sit down with you, in the darkness. Acknowledge your situation.
And then tell them that you are in a different situation and you believe that to be possible for everyone. Even though you are not familiar with the concept of “positivity” or “happiness” that you still believe that is true.
Just like the darkness and negativity is what the depressed person is 100% sure of. So are you 100% that a breakthrough, uplift and happiness is possible for them, too.