Published July 25, 2015 46 Comments
Cerri Dwenn says
July 25, 2015 at 9:27 am
Keith Gottschalk says
July 25, 2015 at 9:37 am
Yep. I’ve found that for psychs to take me seriously, I don’t shower for a few days, don[t shave for the same amount of time, wear mismatched clothes and sigh heavily. If I could fake bloodshot eyes and shake on command I would do that too. “My you seem really upset today, tell me about it.” Wear sharp clean clothes and you get “well you look really good today, you must be having a good week.” AAARGHH!!
Jennifer Wasserman says
July 25, 2015 at 10:51 am
Yup…just like if you have anxiety or social phobia and you’re not visibly shaking in your shoes, the SSI people don’t take you seriously.
July 26, 2015 at 11:04 am
Uuuuagh there are SO MANY BAD THERAPISTS in the world. D: That is awful. I’ve seen clients who present very sharply all the time and are a mess inside, and clients who don’t care much about their appearance and are doing all right. Either way of presenting can be a habit or a coping skill or a learned behavior or compensation or anything. Bad misattuned therapists who make assumptions. I feel angry every time I hear about such things. 🙁
Melly Howarth says
July 25, 2015 at 9:44 am
The times I’ve heard this as an argument why I can’t be depressed… I can see where people mean well by it, but depression is a disease that knows no boundaries. It takes the best and the brightest, the modest, the poor, the young and the old. It doesn’t care who or what you are, it just wants to eat you alive. :/
July 25, 2015 at 10:01 am
“Uhhhh you can’t be depressed because I was programmed to judge a book by its cover.”
Felis Dee says
July 25, 2015 at 10:29 am
And this is why, in Canada anyway, they are now requiring all psychotherapists to be registered with a provincial organization.
July 25, 2015 at 10:40 am
It works the other way, too. Once I went to my initial appointment with a therapist, straight from work at building maintenance. “You should wear nice clothes and makeup, you’ll feel better,” was the extent of her advice to me.
July 27, 2015 at 2:00 am
Well, they probably wouldn’t suggest it if it didn’t work for enough people that it became I thing. I could certainly see why making yourself look good would be a mood booster.
Esmerelda Bohème says
July 25, 2015 at 11:05 am
Wow. That says a lot. But it’s also true.
July 25, 2015 at 11:06 am
PS She should get another therapist, what a jerk! LOL!
July 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm
248 http://t.co/4LtGcEdNi3 via @depressioncomix
Jessica Horn says
July 25, 2015 at 5:51 pm
I’ve heard THE EXACT SENTENCE from my doc.
Jenny Islander says
July 27, 2015 at 1:43 am
I’ve had it heavily implied to me that I must be depressed because I’m fat and losing weight will make ~everything better.~
I may have gotten fat when I did (as opposed to later, with motherhood or other metabolic changes) because I was instinctively trying to mitigate my then-undiagnosed depression and PTSD with foods that have a mood-elevating or sedative effect, which happen to also be energy dense. But assuming that reversing this would also reverse my depression is just magical thinking. It also blames the patient for the nasty bigoted attitude of everyone around them.
July 27, 2015 at 2:06 am
They probably only suggest it because it works. In fact, exercising and eating better is one of the first things a therapist will recommend to anyone-I’m a twig and they suggested it to me too. Exercise really is a fantastic way to treat depression-like, in your case, you say you used food as a coping mechanism-you could make it a habit to say to yourself “I’m not hungry, I’m just in one of those moods” every time you find yourself reaching for one of those snacks, and go for a walk instead. I snack like crazy, and I know I have to remind myself that I’m just bored and I don’t need it.
Dana W says
July 27, 2015 at 4:42 am
If you are really depressed how the hell are you supposed to exercise? If its draining you so dry that getting out of bed to piss is a major undertaking that feels like mountain climbing you are not gonna work out.
January 14, 2016 at 6:40 am
I’ve found that if I can manage to exercise in the times where I don’t feel like complete hell, then after a while I start feeling better. It’s not a magic cure and it by no means fixes everything, but it can help with mood and anxiety and sleep and appetite. Sometimes if I have a few minutes and I feel not-awful, I’ll just get down on the ground and do ten or twenty pushups or situps, or even just stand up and walk around and stretch. If I can use my good times and my okay times, then I don’t feel obligated to try and move around in my bad times.
It can help too when I feel gross or achy or lethargic. Sometimes what that really means is I’ve been sitting or lying down for too long.
Another thing that can help with this is replacing snack food with small servings of fruit or veggies, and drinking more water. Especially drinking more water can help with body aches and pains, lethargy, fatigue, gastrointestinal wonkiness, headaches/migraines, brain fog, sometimes anxiety and mood, and the fact that I stress-eat. (It’s common to have trouble differentiating between tiredness, fatigue, boredom, stress, sadness, anxiety, dehydration, and hunger, especially on some medications. As such it’s common to reach for food when stressed, tired, bored, anxious, or even just thirsty. Of course not everyone stress-eats like I do, but the principle may still apply.
Of course diet and exercise isn’t going to cure clinical depression. But there are times it can help. You don’t have to make any huge lifestyle changes (which is an incredibly daunting prospect when it’s hard just to get out of bed, I know). Even just little bits here and there can make some improvement.
And I’m not sure that this works for everyone. I don’t want to be the person butting in with advice and such. But (unless I misunderstand, and if that’s the case, please forgive me) you were wondering about how to make exercise work with the fatigue and executive dysfunction that come with depression. I thought my explanation (really just some coping ideas I’ve used for myself) might help.
July 27, 2015 at 11:32 am
Telling depressed people they need to exercise is like trying to start a car by putting gasoline in it when you don’t have the key.
July 28, 2015 at 7:03 am
Wasn’t the case for me at all. In fact, it was one of the few things that I felt like I had control over. That no matter what anyone else was doing, my body was mine to do with as I saw fit; that as low as things seemed, I could still run and climb and jump and lift and play. Using my body in such ways feels like the ultimate expression of freedom-a reminder that my body is strong even when my mind feels weak.
It’s how I cope, just like how one commenter below copes by dressing up. It’s how a lot of people cope, which is why therapists recommend it. It’s a way-when your muscles are burning and your heart’s pounding and your lungs are screaming at you to quit-to push through the crushing weight of “I can’t” into the light of “I will”. Train the body to do that and the mind will follow.
July 28, 2015 at 7:23 am
It’s cool that you found something that works for you but there isn’t a single therapy that works for everybody and it’s important to understand that if you want to give advice to people. “Exercise may be recommended for people with mild and moderate depression who are willing, motivated, and physically healthy enough to engage in such a program.” (Josefsson, Lindwall, & Archer, 2013). If you want to rant on about how exercise helps you that’s cool, but don’t suggest that it works for just anyone because according to the evidence it’s just wrong.
July 28, 2015 at 8:17 am
then you are lucky you can do that. If you can still move and run, you don’t have it that bad yet.
Inga Liselotte Burnheimer says
July 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm
I usually dress up, I rarely go out wearing clothes that show “Hey I have a mood disorder!!!”
I always loved fashion and I think that my way of using fashion to “feel better” is a symptom of my disorder, so what the fuck is going on with therapists like this who dont take that into account? I’m definitely not the only one.
Маријан Џима (@mpdjima) says
July 25, 2015 at 8:17 pm
“Sometimes society pushes [women] to be as attractive as possible, just so that it won’t have to take them seriously” http://t.co/pOMmcWwgUs
July 27, 2015 at 2:10 am
Oh, that’s not just a women thing, you know. Men just have to be attractive in different ways to not be taken seriously. Take your average factory worker, for example. As long as he’s functioning as a cog in the machine and making money-the way that men make themselves attractive-nobody has to view him as an actual person and a cog he can remain in their eyes.
July 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm
I’ve learned from experience that women are held FAR more accountable for their appearance than men are. I can safely say, I have learned far more about sexism than I ever wanted to know.
July 28, 2015 at 7:10 am
Well, sure, but that’s just in the realm of physical appearance. If the way in which women are objectified is to be treated as an ornament, then the way in which men are objectified is to be treated as a tool. In neither case are you actually being treated as a person.
July 28, 2015 at 7:31 am
The problem with this statement is that women are just as often treated like tools as well.
Joseph Yong Kim says
July 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm
I don’t think making yourself presentable should have anything to do with your current state of mind. Making yourself look decent is routine for most people, regardless of how they feel. It’s also required for many jobs.
This kind of statement in the comic honestly shouldn’t happen, though I won’t deny it still does.
July 27, 2015 at 1:56 am
It happens to poor people too. Spend some of your scarce money on nice clothes or time at the beauty shop because you’ll never save up enough at your income level to get out of where you are and you are sick of looking shabby and sad? You can’t possibly be poor. What’s even worse is when people who are trying to get jobs that require a certain appearance are called cheaters and moochers because they have nice business clothes and professionally done hair and nails. Apparently there are a zillion corporations out there just itching to hire people who wear donation-box clothes and mussy hair to interviews for jobs that require you to look like the people from The Office.
Douglas Holland says
July 26, 2015 at 1:19 am
Paging Dr. Douche. Dr. Douche, please pick up the courtesy phone.
July 27, 2015 at 1:55 am
Did anyone incidentally read the sign in the last panel as THE RAPIST and and not THERAPIST? I did, and it confused me for a moment there and I was “WTF?”
July 27, 2015 at 6:45 am
That’s because therapist is literally “the” and “rapist” joined together ??? Noticed a long time ago. Currently don’t see any therapists. First time I saw a counsellor was at Uni and that was the only time I felt it was useful. I stopped my recent CBT sessions and realized I’m doing fine without it. I’m not going to break into bits like I thought. I’m pretty much doing a better job than the last 2 rapists..oops I meant therapists did (sorry couldn’t help myself don’t mean to cause offense to anyone reading)
Gebieterin Der Putenschnitzel says
July 26, 2015 at 5:04 am
My psychiatrist himself told me that women often CONCEAL their depression through their attire. I’m really lucky to have him.
July 27, 2015 at 1:58 am
Yeah, I’m having a hard time buying that this is what a professional would say. I could see it as a misguided attempt to compliment the individual and make them feel better (like in a “hey, yeah, I do look damn good today! That’s something” kind of way), but it could easily backfire in the way we see here as the patient views it as dismissive.
August 2, 2015 at 8:21 am
Sadly, my psychiatrist often thought it was a good use of our med check appointments (15 min only) to routinely check on my sex life (I’m asexual and he knew this) and remind me that I should be having sex with my partner at least once a week so he didn’t lose interest and leave. I have no high expectations for what a professional will or won’t think is ok to say to a patient.
July 27, 2015 at 4:45 am
One of the many reasons I have a psychologist not a psychiatrist..
July 27, 2015 at 7:07 am
I don’t think therapists are meant to say this to their clients as they can’t offer personal comments or advice. If the person is actually struggling to feel good about how they look then the therapist sessions would encourage them to think positive about their looks rather according to the approved techniques rather than scold them and tell them they should cos they’re hot lmao as that’s unprofessional. However I see how you are showing the stigma associated with mental health issues even from “professionals” in the industry like doctors, support workers, nurses who are more likely to stigmatize and be a bit judgmental.
I know the drill. So do most on here too. For example apparently because I hang out and chatted with one of the support staff at my supported accomodation once and we had a laugh he assumed I was only suffering minor depression. When he found out I had a degree he said,”what are you doing here then? You SHOULD be working in the industry you studied….you’re still young but time is ticking” etc I’m sure he meant well but I’d explained my previous anxiety attacks and pressures from family which have made me find it hard to cope with pressure and which I’m learning to overcome. It was simply unprofessional of him and no I’m longer call him for a chat or hang out with him at odd hours which isn’t even allowed but I wanted someone to talk to.
Also he was telling me his personal matters. If I’d repeated the things he told me he would be fired right now. Since then I only talk to another support staff when I’m down and call him for maintenance problems since he’s better at that. Shows just because someone works in the industry, as well meaning as they are doesn’t mean they know squat about how to deal with sufferers.
July 28, 2015 at 1:09 am
I wonder whether the next therapist will berate her for not making any effort to improve her appearance. Some of the games people play are designed so that you can never win.
It’s difficult for a depressed person to admit they need help, book an appointment, and follow through with it. The sad part is that most don’t make it that far, and fail to get help they desperately need. If I had been able to objectively assess my condition and had known how effective treatment could be, I would have sought help years sooner and avoided more than a thousand days of utter Hell.
Mike Ryan says
August 2, 2015 at 6:13 am
I think this is touching on an interesting topic. Is it possible, though, that this is a typical experience, or an exceptional one?
August 7, 2015 at 4:58 am
Wow — this hit home. I was 14, I think, when the therapist looked at me and said “Well, if you have the energy to dye your hair purple like that, you obviously can’t be THAT depressed.”
Took another five years, and a semester of college during which I basically didn’t leave my room, before a doc would prescribe meds. Because obviously dyed hair = good mental health.
August 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm
My GP is another of the “if you lost weight your depression and GAD would vanish too” school of thought. She says things like “you’ve got a pretty face, if only you’d lose some weight…” which totally rile me! I’ve been depressed and anxious since my late teens at least (now mid-40s), at weights from ‘perfect’ in BMI terms to obese, and my weight didn’t change my mood disorders. In fact, MOST of the weight has only gone on since I was prescribed SSRIs… but that ‘can’t be true’ because they ‘don’t affect your metabolism’
August 17, 2015 at 6:42 am
248 http://t.co/o8lVl1NGyK via @depressioncomix
Kathy Diedrich Baumgarten says
September 8, 2015 at 7:30 pm
I actually had a doctor tell me this. I cried uncontrollably for like four hours after that. Today I’m awesome, though. Therapy helps. Go.
November 27, 2015 at 12:04 am
I got told by one hospital I went to as an outpatient that obviously I wasn’t THAT depressed because I’d managed to turn up to the appointment. Thanks for taking me seriously when you were a last resort, mental health outpatient services.
January 14, 2016 at 6:44 am
I had a friend turned away from our campus counseling centre because he ‘looked fine.’ He wasn’t fine, and if they’d taken him seriously even a little bit, they’d have known.
March 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm
When I was new to therapy, I had one doctor put me on a diet and try exercise. It sounded stupid, but I figured “what the heck” and tried it.
Six months later, it was brought up again. She remarked that I’d lost twenty pounds and looked much better. She said, “You must be feeling more energetic and happier, right?” I told her no, neither one of those happened. She got the most bewildered look on her face.
She was surprised that I’d actually followed her advice but wasn’t feeling better, and I had to explain it was my weight or looks that were making me feel terrible. She couldn’t seem to grasp the concept.
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