People with depression often say, “others have it worse than me.” The way I see it, no one who lives in your head has it worse than you. – Michael Landsberg
For the longest time, I discounted what I was feeling because I told myself that others had it worse than me. There was someone I knew who was struggling with major depression and needed a lot of help, and I felt that in comparison I should be able to deal with my own feelings. That it wasn’t as bad. I even told myself that I was probably making it up and that my feelings weren’t real. (Though I knew quickly when that dark cloud came back that those feelings were very real for me.) I told myself that I didn’t deserve help because there were others who had it worse.
The problem with the comparison game is that no one wins. It doesn’t matter if you think that someone has it worse, it matters how you feel inside. By thinking that my problems weren’t as bad, I didn’t ask for help until it got much worse. I didn’t do anything to help myself. I believed that I shouldn’t be allowed to feel that way because the stress in my life could be considered minimal compared to many other people. But there is no comparison. What matters is what’s going on inside you.
Game Plan: Don’t make the mistake of comparing yourself to anyone else. If you’re struggling with something, even if it’s just a little bit of sadness, some anxiety over a change, or loneliness, talk to someone about it and don’t discount your feelings. Pushing those small things to the side doesn’t make them go away – it just leaves them room to grow.