The top search terms that bring people to this site are ‘do people with depression make up things’ and ‘do people with ptsd make up things’. It’s been that way pretty much since the day I first bought my domain name, and they feature in the top of my stats nearly every day.
Which suggests that there are either a lot of people seeking answers to those questions or just a couple of quite desperate people.
As I knew what I thought the answer might be but had never even come across the questions before in any of the research that I’ve done into depression and PTSD, I did some Googling myself. And came up with nothing.
So I thought I’d answer the question in relation to myself. Unscientific I know. But I hope that it might help to shed some light for those of you who are reading this because you wanted to know whether people with either PTSD or depression make things up.
I don’t recall ever having made anything up about either my depression or my PTSD, either in regards to my experiences and symptoms, or my diagnosis.
I do find that between the brain fog that is depression, the numbing medication I was on for most of the last year, and the blackout that my PTSD has imposed on large chunks of memory, it’s difficult to try to describe to the people I’ve been avoiding for months on end just what I’ve been dealing with. It’s possible that my explanations may sound vague or patchy.
Also, I didn’t get this sick overnight. The mental health crisis that began five months ago had been brewing for so many years that even I’d failed to notice that something was wrong. Low level depression at least had become what was normal for me. But I pretended to other people for long after my depression had devolved into a major problem that there was nothing wrong.
There were many reasons for this:
- I didn’t want to worry people.
- I didn’t know how to tell people I was sick when I could barely identify what was wrong myself.
- I genuinely thought that if I ignored the problem I could, through force of willpower, make it go away.
- I have trust issues that make it really difficult for me to ask for help.
- I was scared that even the people I don’t worry about discussing things with would be so weirded out by the sheer volume of the crazy that was going on in my brain that they’d run away and abandon me.
- I’ve turned to the wrong people to help me with the root of these illnesses in the past and they’ve either used it against me, or promised the earth and then left me high and dry.
However, I appreciate that the incongruence between the front that I’ve put on for most of my adult life, and the person with a serious mental illness that I’ve been unable to hide being for the last year, might seem a little incomprehensible to some.
In fact I know that there are some people who have been unable to get their heads around the idea and think that I’ve been melodramatic at best, dishonest at worst, when explaining my illnesses.
Some people would just prefer not to believe that someone they know could have been abused, or could experience thoughts of suicide, or could self harm or overdose. So they choose not to. Regardless of the reality.
But I have never lied about my illnesses.
I don’t understand them well enough. I could never have imagined that there was this place mentally, or emotionally, that a person could be in to be able to have made it up.
I hope this goes someway towards giving you the answers that you are looking for.