I was looking through the list of links I want to someday share on this blog and realized that I have quite a few related to depression in the queue.
As anyone who has read my other posts on this subject knows (see the bottom of the writing related tab for the others), I think it’s important to let people know that they’re not alone in feeling depressed and to encourage them to seek the help they need whether that be counseling, a change in life circumstances, or medication.
There seems to be this stigma in our society about being depressed, so I see a lot of people who are secretly miserable and can’t or won’t admit it. I have no idea what life was like fifty years ago, but it seems to me with all the social media and TV and everything else that we live in a far less forgiving world and that the level of pressure to succeed is ten times what it once was.
Before, if you lived in some dirt poor part of the country or world you were probably surrounded by other people who were dirt poor, too. Now, thanks to international media and development and what have you, you can turn on a TV or log on to a website and see just where you fall on a global scale. So, even if you’re doing well for where you are, you can feel like shit compared to others.
Which means that pretty much the only people who can really be happy with where they are are the ones who are so ridiculously wealthy that it’s obscene.
Or the ones who have quit caring what anyone else thinks or does and learned to just focus on what works for them. (Harder to do than it would seem…)
I think most people these days are not satisfied or happy on a regular basis. (Maybe my sample is just biased?)
Add to this the fact that depression is not logical. So, on top of people who are situationally affected, you have people with chemical imbalances that can be living a life that seems perfect and still be miserable or want to die.
So, I thought I’d share a few more links to show that, if you are depressed (a) you are not alone and (b) medication can help.
Rob Delaney – On Depression & Getting Help
“I describe the physical symptoms because it helps to understand that real depression isn’t just a ‘mood.’ These two episodes were the most difficult experiences of my life, by a wide margin, and I did not know if I would make it through them….I’m saying that I would rather be in jail in a wheelchair with a body that doesn’t work than experience a severe episode of depression.”
“I strongly resisted medication at first. But after having been through depression and having had the wonderful good fortune to help a couple of people who’ve been through it, I will say that as hard as it is, IT CAN BE SURVIVED. And after the stabilization process, which can be and often is fucking terrifying, a HAPPY PRODUCTIVE LIFE is possible and statistically likely. Get help. Don’t think. Get help.”
Wil Wheaton depression lies
“I haven’t ever felt suicidal, but I do have Depression and Anxiety. I suffered for no good reason for decades, until I couldn’t reconcile my awesome life with feeling terrible all the time. Talking therapy wasn’t ever enough for me, and I was very resistant to medication, because I believed (and continue to believe) that we are an over-medicated culture.
But, still, I wouldn’t just sit around and suffer if I had a treatable non-mental illness, so I went to a doctor, and I got better. Now, I take some medication every morning, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Charlie Loyd Suicide reporting on the internet
“Suicidality impinges on the brain, but it’s no more a person’s self than a hepatitis that impinges on their liver. We do not secretly wish that people would just get over hepatitis; we do not assume that they know best how to cure it; we do not wonder aloud what part of their personality the hepatitis comes from; we do not shrug and say that if someone apparently wants hepatitis – and, implicitly, they have it because they want it – it’s not society’s place to stop them.”
I think it’s all a spectrum and it’s important to be honest about where you fall on that line.
We all get down every once in a while. That’s just life. There’s no way I could have lost my father without feeling very sad and depressed. For me, that was part of the normal grieving process. If that had continued, however, and I was still finding myself randomly crying with minimal triggers two or three years later (like I did the first year), I would’ve had to seek help.
That could have meant finding a safe environment to talk with someone about my life that didn’t have all the complications and levels of meaning present in my normal relationships (like therapy). Or seeking training on techniques to short-circuit a pattern of thinking that was destructive to my function (like cognitive feedback). Or taking medication to rebalance the chemicals in my body either for a period of time or forever.
In my view, you keep going until you’ve tried everything. (Easier said than done if you’re in the midst of depression, I know. And that’s a deep, dark place I don’t have first-hand experience with, so all I can do is share these links from others who have and hope that if you’re reading this and you are struggling, that you seek help.)
They have a saying in skydiving, which I’m about to butcher, that goes something like this: Keep fighting until the blood fills your goggles.
Depression is dark and lonely and it often frustrates your loved ones because they don’t know how to break thru that wall. I’ve experienced in many times in my 48 years. Medications do help but sometimes you have to switch meds. Therapy helped too.
As someone who has been close to people dealing with depression it is a sort of helpless feeling to watch someone go there and not be able to help when you want to so badly.
I’m glad you had the courage to find help for your depression and to talk about it now.