Mental Health Support

I don't want to say I 'suffer' with depression

Hi. I've had periods of low moods and depression for a number of years. Finally in May I realised I needed to get some help and I've worked hard over the past 6 months to become far more aware and take a lot better care of myself in order to manage my mental health.

I like to be open with people about what has happened and that I have a mental illness, but I don't want to use the word 'suffer'. For me it's too much of a negative word and I don't want to say "I suffer with depression". People with other illness rarely say they suffer with x or y, so why should I say that about my depression?

Any thoughts about what I could say, how do you communicate about it?

7 Replies

Hi, I think what you decide to say is a very personal decision and my advice would be to do it in the way it feels right to you. Everybody has phrases they do and don't like; for example I tend not to say that I have a "mental illness" as I don't see it like that; I see my depression as a "natural reaction to an unnatural situation". I would never try and explain this to most people however (as it would take far too long and most people unless they've been there are not as interested in the topic as I am!); so I do tend to use the phrase that I "suffer" or "suffered" from depression as it helps me explain my lack of job history and lack of relationship history and general lack of life history. For me it is useful, for you it is not, so we are all different. Here's a few more suggestions.

You could say "I get low moods from time to time but at the moment I seem to be winning" or "I'm more on top of things now" or " I have clinical depression which means that I can go through periods when I struggle a bit ". Or "I've had some difficulties over the years but I feel like I'm getting over them now". or "I've been through a few patch recently but I'm better now". Or "I've had some personal problems recently but things are more settled now". Or, on a slightly different tack you could say "I have depressive episodes from time to time" "I experience depression/low mood from time to time". " I have depression sometimes". " I get quite down sometimes and this has been one of those times".

There are so many variations on what you can say.

I guess it depends on "who" and "why" you are telling them. How much do they need to know? I don't bother telling people who I don't want any sort of closer relationship with ; infact 95% of people I don't tell as I feel there is no need; but we are all different; some people tell everyone.

Just have a think about what feels right for you. Hope this has given you a few ideas. Gemmalouise xx


thank you so much for that think it may take me time but the ideas you gave are helpful x



What about Low mood condition

Or I suffer from

We are what we are, we will never change that until our condition is calmed down and we can celebrate a more positive condition

All the best, keep fighting



thank's but still trying to find my fight xxxx trying so hard to be positive


it is only recently i have felt so bad ,been reading thing's on site and think it's time i saw my GP ,thanks for help xxx


I think with most 'disabilities' (awful word) these days they would tend to refer to the aids that they need to put them on an even footing - eg wheelchair user

Can't think what it is I'd say in that context ...

I also (last year) have a B12 deficiency - and would describe it that way and then explain what it is if I'm asked ... I do suffer from tear bringing fatigue which goes away when I have an injection to top up the vitamin B12 levels in my blood to elephantine proportions but I'm not sure that I would describe it as suffering from a B12 deficiency.

Guess I'd probably say that I have a susceptibility to periods of depression.


Winston Churchill used to refer to the Black Dog ... may be you could use that - though I guess you'd be forever explaining to people where the expression came from :)


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