Relationship Experts Open Up About How To Date Someone With Depression
Depression takes a toll not just on the depressed person, but on everyone around them as well. That doesn't mean people with depression should be avoided, it means that loving a person with depression requires just a little bit of extra prep. One Reddit user asked:
People really chimed in on this one! Not just people dating someone with depression, either. A lot of people with depression spoke up sharing the things they want their partners to do or know. Overall, people seemed to agree that it was hard but could be so worthwhile.
As a partner, you can help someone have a happy life, but that is very different from being able to cure someone's depression.
There is an ocean of difference between being supportive in your partner's time of need and being a therapist, you can't do the latter. Treating depression is way above the paygrade of a partner, and should be in the hands of a professional. Think of it like any other health problem, if your partner came home with a broken leg and insisted they didn't need to go to the doctor and all they need is for you to help, you would have their butt in the car/cab/ambulance before they finished the sentence.
Don't burn yourself out trying to fix them, you can't because you aren't the problem. But you can help them get the help they need.
Know that it's OK to feel frustrated and angry about the situation, and not just on behalf of your partner, just because it's hard on you.
Take breaks and assert your need for your own space and taking care of your mental needs as well. If you are exhausted and drained, you aren't any good to anyone, so everyone benefits.
Don't let your partner manipulate you with their depression. Saying things like, "you are the only reason I go on living," is not necessarily romantic. They can make you feel trapped and like you can't be assertive about what you need or have your own space. Be wary of a time when your relationship may switch from you supporting a partner through a health crisis, to you feeling like you are being held hostage by their misery.
Anyone who says, "I can't live without you, if you leave me I will kill myself," is likely not in a state where they can even be a partner to you. You don't have to completely abandon them, but what that person needs is a friend and some serious professional help. That is not a loving thing to say, it's a scary threat - leave.
Keep An Eye Out
Keep an eye on them.
Not like a suspicious side glance, or becoming an overbearing, overwhelming guardian like figure...
But if they're sleeping a little later, a lot more, or they're a bit quieter than usual, or changing the way they eat, or whatever... Just ask what's up? And then just ride through the storm with them. You're not gonna fix it, you really can't. But you can gauge what the temp is, and there are tiny ways you can help.
Only Stay If...
Mainly, it's important to remember that you can't stay with them because you are scared of how their depression would make them react. That will only make you resent them. Only stay if you truly want to stay.
Patience. Some days she wouldn't do anything. Even speak. I just laid with her and waited. She would quietly cry and wouldn't talk to me for hours.
Eventually she said this happens and if I wanted to leave, I could. I said I'd be patient. Eventually I got her to a doctor and after a few months and different cocktails of medicine, she rarely if ever goes catatonic, and has a relatively normal range of emotions.
She still gets bummed out sometimes but it's not as bad.
Now I keep back ups of her medicine in my backpack in case she ever forgets to take them.
It's a lot of effort but I find it's worth it.
We're engaged now and getting married in 2019.
They May Never Get Better
People with chronic depression may never get "better". There will be depressive episodes and incidents for their whole life. So if you're going to be with them, you have to just accept that depression will be there and things still need to get done. You have to keep going.
Basically. just don't stress about it. If they are in a depressive mood, don't get upset about it. When a person without depression gets upset, there is usually a reason and a method to make it better. People with chronic depression are just gonna be sad sometimes, its like a chronic physical illness. You basically need to learn to separate your emotions from theirs, otherwise they're going to bring you down and make you miserable. If it's gotten to the point where they make you miserable 24/7, then just dump them, because you're probably not cut out to handle depression.
You have to be a little bit callused if you want to survive your partner's depression, for the good of them and you.
Empathy And Careful Words
Always try to see things from their perspective. Empathy is important.
If they are having a panic attack, don't tell them to calm down. They know they need to calm down, but its not like a light switch. They can't just stop no matter how bad they want to. They may need a lot of time to calm down, so give that time and show patience instead of saying stuff they already know.
Additionally, always try and point out the positives of every situation. When someone is sad, counting your blessings can be difficult. You may be able to help them by clearly letting them know that yeah, things are bad right now, but its not all that way all the time. Don't point out broad or generic positives like "you're not homeless." It makes it seem like you're grasping at straws or may make them feel guilty for being sad when others have it so much worse. Instead, point out things that are good about the current situation, even if you have to get creative.
All in all, just think about how you say things and what you say very carefully. Always ask yourself how their depression would react to certain words or phrases. You do really have to think before you speak because you can't un-say something.
Use the "Oxygen-mask method."
When the masks fall from a ceiling during a flight, we are told to secure our mask first before assisting others. Make sure you can take care of yourself first and help them second. As most people here have said, you're not a psychiatrist or therapist or counselor. You are there for support and to encourage them to go see those people. It will only make both of your lives worse if your life outside of the relationship is negatively impacted.
Study enough, get to work on time, do what you need to do in your own life so that you can help your partner without worrying about school or work. None of this is your (or your partner's) fault. Lastly and probably most importantly: As much as you really truly wish that your love would be enough to make them better - it won't. It's an important part of your relationship but they need actual help from actual professionals.
Talk About It
We find that as long as we are TALKING (I'm having a bad day, or I'm cranky, or whatever), it makes it so much better.
It puts it out there. If I tell him I'm cranky, he now knows that I'm not slamming the dishes around because I'm mad at him; If he tells me he's had a bad day, I know that his sighs and anger-growls aren't directed at me. Without the communication, the frustration, depression, etc just feeds into a cycle until we are both in such a state that...well, it just goes poorly.
And, if your partner tells you that they're having a bad day...it can reset focus. It gives you a chance to take a step back, and decide to focus on THEM instead. And if you're also having a bad day, it gives them a chance to do the same.
Or, you can both accept that it's just one of those days where each of you just needs to...just be. Be in that funk, or do whatever it is to help improve your mood in whatever way you can.
Talking about it is so, so crucial.
The Downward Spiral
If you start to feel the downward spiral yourself, it might be time to leave.
My ex GF suffered from depression. We dated for 7 years, and she was very depressed for probably the last 5 of those years. I am the opposite--always upbeat, can have fun anywhere, very happy almost always. Her depression wore on me, and home wasn't a happy place anymore. I noticed near the end that I was staying at work later to avoid coming home, since it was always darkened, and she was ALWAYS in bed, under the covers, reading amateur romance web comics/novels. The only light in the apartment was her laptop screen illuminating her face. She never wanted to go anywhere, do anything, talk, or have sex. I hated going home, and I hated the relationship I was in. After some time, I noticed that I wasn't happy myself. I was no longer upbeat. No longer smiling just because. I was getting depressed. She was making me depressed. And I knew I had to get out. So I did.
That time of my life, when I look back at it, has a dark filter in my memories. I think I dodged a bullet. I was being pulled into her depression spiral, and nearly went head first. It's not her fault. I don't blame her. But I had to look after my own mental health, and I knew that I had to go.
Don't feel like you need to stay in any relationship out of a sense of obligation, or feel like you're a shitty person for breaking up with someone because they're depressed. Make that evaluation yourself.
They Need To Get Help
I have depression and am currently going on dates with a lady friend. I've made it a point in my life to try to unload as little emotional baggage on friends and partners as possible, because I have a therapist who is paid to listen to me. Point being, don't be in a relationship with someone with depression unless they're getting the help they need, and making an active effort to use it.
...I know this is hypocritical, but to be honest this makes me unsure if I'm strong enough to commit to move on from casual dating and commit to a relationship.
Another person said the same thing but from a different perspective:
Force them into therapy. I didn't do this with my partner and he started hitting me. If they refuse to go, dump their ass.
Initiate The Healing Process
Take the time to initiate the healing process after a fight. This really only matters if the depressed person is willing to admit they're wrong when they are. Don't be with someone who makes you the bad guy all the time.
Communication is very important and making amends can really take the stress off of the mind of the depressed. What could be a bit of anger for you could be torture for them, even little things can make depression spiral out of control. Especially if you're in a serious relationship, your words and opinions should mean a great deal to them. If you're upset with them, they might feel double the pain from being upset with themselves for making you upset.
Of course, there are a great deal of depressed folk who are actually really crappy people just like there are in any group. So if they're a nice person then this relates, if they're not nice people then it's not worth the hassle.
You Need A Professional
Understand that depression is a disease. Like any disease, it needs to be treated by an appropriate, impartial professional. Do not fancy yourself the knight in shining armor who will pluck your beloved from the bell jar to live happily ever after. If you can't let go of that fantasy, you need to let go of the relationship sooner rather than later.
As a partner, it is not your place to offer unsolicited medical or psychiatric advice. It is especially not your place to do so if you aren't qualified to treat depression as a doctor or mental health professional. If you are asked for your input, encourage your partner to seek treatment from a professional, or to seek a second opinion if they express a lack of faith in their current one. Be a neutral sounding board. Acknowledge and validate their feelings without taking a position on the details of their care or their illness. Leave the rest to the experts.
If you or someone else in your life has also been diagnosed with depression, resist the urge to project these experiences onto your partner's situation. Everyone's symptoms are different. Everyone responds differently to medication and therapy.
If you have a mood disorder yourself, or if you're emotionally vulnerable for whatever reason, proceed with extreme caution. Think carefully about how constant exposure to a significant other's depressive symptoms will affect you. If you decide to move forward, be proactive and diligent about self-care. _Your mental health comes first._If you wind up in psychological distress as a result of the relationship, you impose an unnecessary burden on an already burdened partner, and both of you will suffer for it. There is no shame in admitting that you aren't well-suited for this particular challenge. The earlier you're able to come to terms with this, the easier it will be for both of you.
Read the f^ck out of whatever reliable sources you can find about depression for the sake of being knowledgeable enough not to put your foot in your mouth, but for the love of all that is holy do not let this tempt you into playing therapist. This is for your own edification, not so you can fix your partner or show off.
That said, no matter how much you study, if you do not have a confirmed diagnosis of depression yourself, you don't understand their experience. Not fully. Sometimes, you'll have to take them at their word, because you'll never be able to wrap your head around the matter at hand. You will need to accept and embrace this as fact for the relationship to work. Some people have difficulty with the concept that a relatively advantaged person cannot fully understand the experience of a relatively disadvantaged person, or that the disadvantaged person's voice carries more weight with regard to their own experience. If you're the kind of person whose hackles get raised when someone suggests that your privilege be checked, you have some reckoning to do before take the relationship to the next level.
"Determined To Drown"
"You can't save someone who is determined to drown"
It's a horrible phrase, but if someone has the means and just refuses to get the help they need (therapist, medication, abuses substances as a quick cover, etc) then they have decided and are determined to drown themselves. Depression isn't a rational illness, and there are times someone will actively fight against getting better.
You can beg, and plead, and fight, and drag them to therapy, and sit in sessions with them - but they have to do the work and if they refuse there is literally nothing more you can do. It's heartbreaking.
It comes from the metaphor that depression is like drowning in the ocean. Certain things will make you drown quicker and some things will give you something to float on the surface but unless you find and work through the causes you won't ever get out of the water
Know What You're Getting Into
If you can't handle someone who needs emotional support, don't get in a relationship with them. It might sound bad, but people battling depression need monitoring and support. Someone who can see past the facade they sometimes put up to hide their pain. Honestly, anyone with something like PTSD, Depression, BiPolar, Anxiety, etc, they need someone who is willing to listen and be there for them. I do agree with the person who said you can't be a partner and a counselor, but having been in that relationship before, you do end up being that from time to time.
If you make the decission to stay, you have to realize this is the situation you have to deal with, you have to be supportive but also need to take care of yourself. You matter too. Put yourself in your partner's shoes, support her on sticking to treatment/meds, if you can, find some activities you can do together, even ifit's just playing checkers, but also try and do something that gets you out of the house, a hobbie, spend some time with your friends. And keep in mind this situation may not be long term.
Having said that... You have all the right to walk out of that relationship if you can't or won't deal with it.
You have to think of yourself and your own wellbeing/mental health. It doesn't make you a bad person to get out of it. It's your choice.
It's Nothing Personal
It's not a reflection on how good or bad a partner you are. Try not to take it personally. I've known people who think if someone is still depressed while dating them that they must be doing something wrong. That they're not good enough to make them happy, etc etc. And that's so completely not the case.. Unfortunately mental illnesses don't just disappear once you're in a relationship. Someone could be in a relationship that they're really happy with and still be struggling badly with depression. It's really not a reflection on the partner.
Dealing with depression is difficult and exhausting for everyone involved, including your SO. It takes a lot of energy, a lot of confidence in oneself, and a strong foundation of healthy communication skills in order to make a relationship work through depression.
My partner has suffered from depression for longer than I can remember (and I've known her since grade school). There are ups and downs, for sure. But even at her lowest points she's a compassionate, hard-working person who loves me and wants the best for me. I love her and want the best for her. The hardest thing is to acknowledge that sometimes, helping her is just not possible and I have to back off for my own sanity. A major depressive episode is like a bottomless pit, and you can throw energy into it until you have none left and not even make a dent for the person you're trying to help. When it's like that, the only thing I can do as a supportive partner is let her know my love for her has no limits by my actions do.
That is something they have to understand from their end too. If your relationships are to last through the darkest times, you have to be able to love someone even when they set limits on their love. They have to be proactive about their own mental health and ongoing support (therapists, trusted friends, self care, etc). They may never be able to "fix" their depression, but they need manage it to the best of their abilities.
You must have multiple sources of support. Your partner must have several sources of support as well. If you rely only on each other you will both burn out. Lean on friends and family when you can. See a therapist - and maybe your SO could see one too. You both need to be able to say "I can't handle helping you right now, please turn to someone else." But in order to say that you need to have someone else to turn to.
My relationship with my partner is getting better over time. We know each other better every year, and she knows more about how to take care of herself every year. Her depression is never going to go away... but we work through it because the good is worth more than the bad.
Don't Feel Bad
Don't feel bad or scared if you need leave them. They might even kind of want you to. Source: currently in treatment for depression, too depressed/weak to break up with my lady even though I want to.
Call Them Out
It might sound harsh but don't let them get away with too much because that they are ill. A certain number of allowances for their illness is called for, but if they are rude, mean or inconsiderate, call them out on it. Don't be afraid to ask them when YOU need something - just be specific in what you need them to do, e.g. 'do the dishes today please' as appose to 'do more around the house'.
If the person is willing to work on their illness then you should get down in the weeds with them, encourage their treatment, and be as involved as you can. You can't anchor yourself to a sinking ship. They need to do the work, you are just support. If you are some person with a unfufilled savior complex then move along, it doesn't work like that.
Have Your Own Space
My wife of 10 years has had depression for a couple of years as a side-effect of a physical illness she has. She feels useless and it hurts her mentally. I've learned through trial and error that you can never be their councilor. Support them and help them, but never tell them how to get better.
Having your own space is incredibly important because I don't have the motivation to help her if I never have any time to myself.
Being woken up suddenly is not very good for our health.
Especially for the elderly, it's not something to make a habit of. Sleep interruption can increase blood pressure, cause a worsened self image, and cause a day filled with irritation and confusion.
No one wants to be woken up, but there are definitely some reasons for being woken up that are worse than your alarm clock.
We went to Ask Reddit to find out some of the worst reasons people have been woken up.
Redditor Toothpiicxxk asked:
"What's the worst reason you woke up?"
These truly are the worst.
We love our pets, but sometimes not so much.
"My cat was throwing up right next to me."
"She brought you breakfast how cute."
"I was just about to answer that my cat threw up right on me, specifically my hair, which I had just washed..."
Some horrible news hits you.
"Being woken up to be told someone you know died certainly qualifies."
"Or when you already know, but you wake up in that ignorant bliss that lasts for about a second and then it hits you. And this goes on for a long time."
"It's been about 15 years and I still will wake up on occasion thinking I have to tell my older brother something cool that I know he'd love to hear about. Or have a vivid a** dream about how it was all an mistake and he's still here. Happens less often then it used to but oof does it ever still hurt."
"Woke up at about 3am to a cop repeatedly ringing my bell. my mom had accidentally drowned in the tub. she was really weak from chemo."
"Woke up to a phone call telling me my incredible brother-in-law had been hit and killed by a drunk & high driver, his wife was also expected to pass as her neck had been broken, and their kids were both in surgery. My husband and I were in the will to get the kids, so we needed to fly to Chicago right away. As I sat there in shock, I hung up the phone, turned to see my sleeping husband snoring away, and knowing I would now have to wake him up to tell him the worst news he would ever hear."
2018 false missile alert.
"I live in Hawaii, that time we got the missile scare."
"Oof at least it wasn't real but I would have definitely panicked if that was me."
"Damn, I slept straight through it. My mom literally woke me up, told me; and I still went back to sleep."
"What were you supposed to do? Go outside and witness your annihilation?"
"I think it's the right thing to do to inform people even if there isn't necessarily anything that can be done about it."
"Some people would appreciate being able to conduct prayers, get one last hug with their loved ones, etc."
"Cockroach walking on my lips with no shame. I brutally murdered it as soon as I yeeted it halfway across the room."
"I had a weird dream about a cockroach somehow paralyzing a friend then walking towards me in that same room. Then I awoke to find this a**hole cockroach slowly creeping on my lips."
"When I threw it away, what startled me was it did not panic AT ALL. It even slowly headed towards me!"
"I also mouth washed and brushed my teeth and even disinfected my lips with alcohol. It was a surreal experience."
"I seriously loathe roaches and there's no other way to ensure its death than a brutal one."
Screams in the night.
"One time I got woken up by a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night. I live alone and it also woke up my dog who was freaked out the rest of the night. Searched everywhere including outside and didn't find anything."
"Well that was lucky. Imagine what would have happened if you had found it..."
"Hopefully a fox, coyote, cat, or cougar."
"Being clearly asleep, and then someone wakes you to ask, 'Are you asleep?'"
"Bruh my mom be like [this]."
"The only correct answer to this question is 'yes.'"
"I woke up to my mom calling me sobbing because she thought I had died, I was 10 hours away and my blood sugar was severely low and wasn't answering any calls, that was horrifying."
"We've learned what does and doesn't work for waking me up in a medical emergency."
"Blood sugar can be a b*tch, found my mum having a really bad hypo while sleeping when I was a toddler and for years and years after would wake her up to check she was okay without realizing I was doing it for that reason. Glad you're okay!"
Something so relatable.
"My alarm rung. It's a daily struggle."
We've all been there.
If you're not a morning person, waking up in the morning can already be a challenge, but no one wants to get woken up to horrible news or an emergency.
In fact, we should be waking up naturally with our own personal sleeping patterns.
We all know that's easier said than done.
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People have a habit of excusing crap behavior - honestly because it's often easier in the short term. Long term = flaming dumpster fire.
The excuses people use to dismiss behavior range from mundane and meaningless to the sort of leaps normally reserved for kangaroos and Olympians. It's sometimes amazing that these excuses work - but they do.
Some of them work so well that they're just sort of "accepted." That, obviously, kind of sucks and is something we should avoid - so let's talk about 'em.
Can't swerve around what you don't see, ya know?
Reddit user TMTtasmachine asked:
... and away we go.
" 'That's just how they are.' "
"One of the biggest enablers for tantrum throwing, bullying, etc. is that they get treated with kid gloves to avoid dealing with them." - alexrt87
"Oh my God you hit the nail on the head. Whenever someone says 'that's just the way they are' I say:"
" 'Yes, that's the point! Glad you noticed too! Now is it okey-doke for them to be jerks they have special jerk privileges? Or maybe they are just people and should treat everyone else as such?' " - notatrumpchump
"It depends on how it's said."
"People are the way that they are, and you shouldn't be surprised when they continue to be that way."
"This, obviously, doesn't excuse it - but people also shouldn't be surprised when a bad person continues to make bad decisions. Neither should we waste space in our minds being bothered by it." - unlawfulfoxy
Harassment Isn't Humorseason 2 lol GIF by ShamelessGiphy
" 'It's just a joke, bro.' Harassing people isn't humor." - loading__99
"A guy who says/does offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him." - Eatsleeptren
"Dude, legit had someone come up to me and start shouting in my face, calling me Madison, pretending I was cheating on him. Literally the most crowded location outside a theater, everyone staring at us, looking at me like I was some horrible cheater while I was out with my then fiancé."
"I started hyperventilating, my fiancé nearly decked the dude, and then someone shouts 'CUT' like this is some big 'YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA' moment and everything's supposed to be okay."
"I burst into tears."
"It was the most humiliating moment of my life, and thank god my then fiancé, now husband is not the type to overreact or jump to conclusions, or be abusive. Imagine how bad that could have been for someone with an angry or abusive partner."
"Prank videos are a plague on the internet and there is a REASON so many of them are fake, or involve actors." - Darkovika
Stay Sober, Then!Drunk Drinking Beer GIFGiphy
" 'I was drunk / high / etc.' "
"Then don't drink?! Stay sober if you can't NOT be an a**hole!" - BasedBenjamin
"Alternately, I hear a lot of 'I'm a happy drunk!' "
"Yeah, according to your drunk a$s. That doesn't mean you're not an ahole. Not remembering is not an excuse either." - PepeBabinski
"I was also loud, obnoxious, and I wouldn't remember sh*t the next day."
"Quitting drinking has been one of my best choices of my life." - TTungsteNN
"Help"new girl coach GIFGiphy
" 'I'm just trying to help you' " - Miserable-Air1234
"Every time I've heard this, they're manipulating me while helping only themselves." - mykittenfarts
"My Mom to a T. Everything she does is better than anyone else's and she always gets pissed that people don't praise her for 'helping.' "
"She's now a certified (by herself) psychic and I have come to the conclusion that she's not a covert narcissist but an obvious one. I really wish I was joking." - Silent_Discussion657
Parenting ProblemsLeave Me Alone Run GIF by TLC EuropeGiphy
"Any variation of 'I'm a Mother/parent.' "
"Had some lady cut me in line at a coffee shop and she hit me with 'I'm a single Mom of 3!' as her excuse."
"Ok? And? I was still here first." - maid-for-hire
"I'm a single mom and I f*cking haaaate when other single moms/parents pull that sh*t to get special treatment."
"Last week, I was having a rough morning, my kid was being difficult, and I was running late. I was rude to a cashier over a minor inconvenience."
"Not only did I apologize for my shitty behavior, I wrote corporate to let them know how professional and patient she was while I acted like a f*cking toddler."
"Was being a parent part of the reason I was frustrated? Absolutely. Was it an excuse for that behavior? HELL no."
"I acted like a b*tch, and I called myself out, and I apologized. I still feel bad about that - I rarely let things get to me to the point I snap at others." - ClusterfckyShtshow
"Wow. I'm a Mom as well and tired but it doesn't give anyone a right to use it as some sort of ploy to get away with stuff."
"Like, mice become Moms about 12 times a year. You're not special 🤣" - SpoonLoops
Believing Your BossThe Office Monday GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"I had a boss say some really racist sh*t around me one day and the next day, out of nowhere, he says:"
" 'Don't believe half the things that come out of my mouth!' "
"It was not really an excuse, more like trying to cover for himself after the fact, but still stuck with me." - sirlongbottom441
"Report them to HR. Seriously." - kokichi--ouma
"Looking past the racist stuff for a bit, that's not a very encouraging thing to hear from a boss…" - WonderfulBlackberry9
Bad Day AgainBad Day Reaction GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
" 'I'm having a bad day/week' "
"Okay, so you decide everybody that you interact with deserves the same fate? Get out of here, dude." - myordinaryexistence
"We all got stress, don't take it out on me. I get some people have stress bad enough for it to be passable every once and a while (family member passing, etc) but general, stress should not lead to you being a jerk to me." - willsimpforfree
"Damn, I'm definitely guilty of this. Usually I remember to apologize after but at this point I've learned to just avoid the situation in the first place by minimizing my interaction with people if I'm in a shitty mood." - nozzzrul
"Reminds me of when that White boy went on a murder rampage and killed a bunch of Asian women & that a-hole sheriff gave a press conference telling the media that the 'poor boy had a bad day.' "
"My idea of a bad day involves going home after a rough day at work and just staying in the house."
"Apparently, I should change my ethnicity from Asian to White and go on a murder rampage, see if my @ss gets a sympathetic sheriff to say on my behalf that I had 'a bad day.' " - kingkazul400
It's Not An ExcuseSeason 2 Reaction GIF by FriendsGiphy
"This won't go down well, but using depression as an excuse. As someone who suffers from it, it's still not ok to treat others like sh*t" - Rainbowwallstickers
"Could not agree enough. My partner has a 'friend' who treats everyone like sh*t all the time, has no consideration for others and openly mocks people in public."
"She gets so much grace from those around her under the guise of her 'mental health.' It's so infuriating watching an adult woman never have to take responsibility for her actions." - 34boor
"I get there are some things you can't control, but you are still responsible for keeping that sh*t in check and if you're aware of your mental illness, you should be aware of how you approach people and situations."
"I'll admit I used to be guilty of using my mental illness to be an @ss, but now I'm trying to better myself" - VeeSquibbles
Florida Gonna FloridaLooney Tunes Florida GIFGiphy
"People are letting Florida off the hook way too damn much. And I live in Florida."
"Just because it's hilarious doesn't mean it isn't still completely f*cked up." - AlphaWhiskeyOscar
"The phrase 'Florida Man' is almost always followed some heinous way a Floridian is being an a$$hole." - PepeBabinski
"I'm also originally from Florida, and that state has serious problems. We need to pay attention to it." - [Reddit]
Moment of honesty ... as a Floridian ... yeaaaah, I'm gonna have to agree with that last one.
We live in a time where we are critically re-examining how we pay workers. After a two-year-long pandemic where some low-income and "unskilled" jobs were deemed "essential," we now must put our money where our mouth is.
For too long in the world have incredibly important jobs been overlooked or else outright maligned. Teachers in the USA make some of the least money, career-wise, and have some of the hardest jobs. Dancers pay to put their bodies through hell with no guarantee of paid work after training.
So how do we fix this problem? By naming it, of course.
Redditor u/NightReader5 asked:
"What professions are severely underpaid?"
Here were some of those answers.
Our Elderly Deserve Better
"I worked as a CNA in a nursing home and I loved it. It's such hard work for such little pay and that's why I had to leave."
"Not only that but I was a rare person in that I LOVED caring for the residents. Nothing was beneath me such as changing a dirty diaper or spoon feeding."
"Everything helped their quality of life. Sucks they can't keep people that genuinely enjoy it cause I couldn't make over $10 an hour."-Dancer9d9
"Came here to say this: Emergency Medical Technicians. I will never not be just a bit salty about this."
"My husband is one of those people who does this job because it's his passion and he loves helping people."
"It would be nice if he earned more than the kid who just got hired at McDonald's this morning."-ThePotterheadHobbit
High School Bathrooms....
"The janitors at my high school. I walked in the men's bathroom there once and there was a mega-giant steaming pile of crap and diarrhea right in the middle of the floor."-satanic-sex-god
"Anyhow. Are you sure that was a high school? We're talking grades 9-12 here, right?"-VoicedVelarNasal
"Unfortunately yes. Other highlights of my oh so great high school men's bathroom that contains teenagers from 14 to as old as 20 are:"
"A dude bringing a sledgehammer to school and smashing a sink, the toilets being blown up, the toilets being frequently clogged with trash..."
"Smashed beer bottle glass covering the floor, and a centimeter of pee flooding the bathroom whenever you walk in. I hate it here."-satanic-sex-god
You know immediately YOU might not want to do this job--so why is someone else getting paid next to nothing to do it?
The More You Help Others The Less You Get Paid
"Statistically speaking, any job that provides significant social benefit to others, the less you will get paid, something that David Graeber discusses in essays and his work, Bullsh*t Jobs."
"This is so sad. I'm currently in a job that pays very well, I just dont find any meaning or fulfillment with it. I want so badly to do something where I'd be helping others- something with purpose- but I honestly dont think I can afford it."-mko0njo9
"Social workers. Dealing with negligent, abusive parents while trying to help the children while in an underfunded, low-paid system is a travesty."-ZRX1200R
"Can also confirm. I like working with my family's but I don't get paid enough to deal with their crap or most of the bureaucracy."-Altowhovian93
Minimum Wage To Go Against FIRE
"Entry level wildland firefighters. They start them at $15 an hour."-NuclearEyedSquirrel
"I live in a small town in Ohio and I think the lowest starting wage I've seen was 11."
"That's the low side and those places are having trouble hiring because there's so many places paying higher. McDonald's here starts at 13 or 14 an hour."-rjoh4459
One Kid, One Para
"Paraprofessionals. Yea, my town increased the pay rate for paraprofessionals to get more people to apply since they have a shortage but the pay increase was not that good IMO."
"For that job, I think you need to be compensated for the physical and mental demands of the job."
"It's a hard job and they should be paid for the work, the pay rate in my community for the job with 60 credits is $14.50 but I think it should be more than that."-YourQueen2Bee
The question then becomes, why won't the people who HAVE money do something to help the quality of these jobs, and make sure that these people get paid?
"Everything in veterinary medicine. Kennel technicians, Veterinary assistants, Veterinary technicians, Veterinary receptionists, and Veterinarians."-aIsiduous
"Veterinary interns/residents, too. I work 70-120hrs+ per week, am on call about half the days per month, have to pay for my own board exams and accreditation fees out of pocket, and all for ~$33,000 per year."-WyrdHarper
"It's bullsh*t. There's nothing on this planet I want to do more than be a veterinarian, but I simply cannot afford the debt. Hopefully one day we'll get the recognition deserved. Stick in there, I know you got this!"--aIsiduous
In The Classroom
"I work in a special school, I love it but I really don't think we get paid enough for all the times we get yelled at, punched, kicked, bit, spat on, cursed at, have our classrooms trashed, have things thrown at us..."
"And then we also have parents making demands and admin telling us their 'simple' solutions to all of it that we have to carry out while they have zero clue on what it's actually like to spend a day in the classroom."-Sajiri
A Morbid State Of Affairs
"Funeral directors/embalmers/funeral professionals. We didn't get days or holidays off to begin with. Now the pandemic has stretched us to working double overtime, which we are exempt from getting paid for under Florida statutes."
"And forget hazard pay for being exposed to COVID multiple times a day every day via the deceased, the deceased's family members, the general public attending funerals, and the hospital/nursing facilities we remove decedents from."-Lesscute
So why are we holding off on giving these people a raise? Their jobs involve dangerous, mentally and emotionally taxing situations, and yet, we treat them as if society could function without them. The truth is it couldn't.
And society had best learn that as soon as possible.
What causes a small town to die?
Honestly, there can be quite a few factors, but perhaps the biggest one is that small towns often lack the upward mobility opportunities that are more available in urban areas.
As a result, many towns around the United States for instance have lost tens of millions of people as their populations seek jobs and opportunities elsewhere.
And what remains of these places can be pretty sketchy.
People told us more after Redditor RadicalizedSnackWrap asked the online community,
"What's a super sketchy US city that we never hear about?"
"Daytona Beach, FL. Imagine a bunch of alcoholic high school kids who came for spring break in 1984, and never left, and never grew up."
Oh, I don't have to imagine it.
I've seen it!
I lived in a neighboring town for a while and bodies would always turn up in farmer's fields that the cartel in Yakima had dropped off there."
Sounds like Netflix needs to get its hands on Yakima, a new show to go against Ozark.
"I remember a story..."
"Guntersville, Alabama. If I were to ballpark it, over 80% of the population are meth addicts and traffickers.
I remember a story where a man walked into the Walmart, took all the supplies and equipment required to cook, and proceeded to cook meth in the bathroom."
"A run-down town..."
"Reading, PA. A run-down town that is mostly used as a central point to run drugs between New York and Philly."
I am writing this from right nearby actually, and I can smell it from here.
"Small town almost entirely..."
"Butte, Montana. Small town almost entirely comprised of violent meth heads."
"More of a town than a city..."
More of a town than a city, but it's such a weird place, bordering on Twilight Zone. You'll see a meth house right next to a youth theatre."
According to a friend I have who spent a lot of time in Arizona, this sounds about right.
"Used to have..."
"Gary, Indiana. Used to have a prosperous steel economy, but now it's just home to abandoned buildings, failing infrastructure, and lots and lots of crime. Just look up pictures."
"I always said..."
"Amityville. Yes, that Amityville.
I always said the "Amityville Horror" house is for amateurs. You want something scary, put on a nice watch or a gold chain and wander around downtown Amityville after dark."
I went there once.
I have not been back.
"It looks harmless..."
"Harrisburg PA. It looks harmless and maybe a little boring but holy hell that place is a giant puddle of corruption just waiting for someone to step in it. Not just state government, there's a bunch of layers you can use to crawl up the corruption ladder."
"Used to be..."
"Natchez, Mississippi. Use to be the headquarters for the KKK. Not much there besides crackheads, plantation homes, and European tourists. Don't own a nice place if you're black, you'll be stopped by the police and questioned."
It doesn't look any of these are changing anytime soon, and that's sad.
Have some small towns to tell us about? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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