Bad PR for depression, etc.

Some conditions make us uncomfortable. We hear and then we sympathise, making the requisite clucking noises. But our eyes shift, looking for a corner to rest upon.

“She is HIV-positive?…” And then you don’t know what to say. Should you say, “Oh, that is awful”, or just shake your head? Nothing seems appropriate or sensitive enough. The same goes for mental conditions like depression and schizophrenia. How does one react? I mean, how bad is something like depression, really? Is it just a new-age euphemism for self-pity and inertia? What do depressed people do? Other than whining, crying and constantly complaining about their lot in life, that is?

Is it fashionable to be unsocial, sport dark circles and look ravaged? Sure, especially if you happen to be a rock god or an artist. After all, it just adds to the melancholy, creative-genius stereotype.

As for the ordinary people, depression is nothing much to them.

Just blinding, crippling pain.

Pain that crushes and burns every sign of life inside. And no, it is not self pity all the time. Nor is it an attention-seeking social gimmick that you are playing out. The friend that you meet every day? The one with the biggest smile and the funniest jokes? Look closely and maybe, just maybe you will find a sliver of pain running through her/his eyes. Anybody can be depressed, and most of the times we have no idea.

People who are truly depressed, are the ones who would do anything, just about anything to get out of it. They will try everything, from music to friends to prayer. And sometimes, nothing will work.

They will tell you so many things. “Fight it. “It’s all inside your head. All self created.” “Think positive”. “Always remember that you are not alone.” “Go out, do something new, meet people.” “Etc.” “Etc.”

You see, what they don’t get is the fact that you are depressed because all those catch-lines above have failed. Miserably. They think you are depressed in spite of it.

Right. You are depressed because you want to suffer. Day in and day out, all you see is pain and if the rest of the world has anything to say about it, it’s happening probably because it is something as simple as you not thinking positive. 

And of course, the most ignorant question of all. “What reason do you have to be depressed? You have everything going for you, etc, etc.”

There IS no reason,. If there was, it wouldn’t be depression, oh ye of blissful ignorance.

For those who know what it’s like to be enslaved to a mind, only they will get what you through. They will know how desperately you want to be happy again, be normal again. You are exhausted. Time and again you have tried not to be, but you have not been able to help it. The smallest, most insignificant things have plunged you into a fit. You have hated yourself for it and tried to beat it out of yourself.

Have you cried? Are you crying while reading this? Because I am. Because the battles seem so long, so tiring and so, so “unwinnable”. Most of your loved ones probably have no idea that it is happening to you, because you haven’t told them. You are ashamed of it, as am I. What will they think? How long will they be able to take time out of their busy lives and do something about it anyway?

You are scared that you are going to be like this for your entire life, and all you want is for the pain to end. For some mercy from an unknown quarter.

Most people are outraged at the thought of suicide, at the entire idea of people taking their own lives. True, it is cowardly, escapist and utterly selfish. I agree and I am sure you do too.

Here’s a truth. Everybody who commits suicide doesn’t want to die. In fact, some of them are probably very much in love with life and want to experience it. Sounds paradoxical, right? Why end something you love ?

Because all you want is for it to stop. The pain. The suffering that knows no reason, knows no bounds. Like a bull blinded with red rage, you are blinded with pain. You love your family, you know your suicide will leave them shattered forever. You, of all people know how selfish your act is going to be.

But, you are helpless, so helpless. You are begging for mercy, pleading for it to stop and you will do anything for a way out.

I am sorry if you are able to identify with this post. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But if you are, then know that you have my love. I am not saying there is no light, it’s just that our journey to find it is longer and painful.

While I am seeking mine, I hope that you find your light too. :)

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3 comments

  1. Hi I have just read the above with great interest. I have suffered with depression for many years, even spending some time in a military psychiatric hospital having been found trying to sluce my wrists with an electic razor, the put it down to stress and sent me back to my job, protecting my nation from a underground bunker going down at 7am and coming out at 7pm, in the winter not seeing the sun for two weeks before a week off.
    Today I live on and off with depression due to fibromyalgia, arthritis in most joints and recently being diagnosed with a blockage in my brain and spinal cord stopping signals reaching my legs.
    I have been told to pull myself together and get on with it, its only a bit of pain. If it was only a bit of pain then I wouldnt be on some of the strongest painkillers going and skill have days the pain is so bad that I curl into a ball and wait till its over with.
    People who have had charmed lives dont understand pain or the followers of pai which are depression, anger, flustration, tears, screams, the silence, sleeplessness and people asking if you are ok with sentences as “Are you ok, you don’t look like you are” If you have been awake for the last 20 hours because you are in so much pain you would rathet wet yourself then move from the position that you are in. “Oh that cannot be good for you” No its not, but neither is the drugs I have to take to give me some sort of life “That must be depressing for you” Of course not, I really enjoy living in this state of readiness to jump up and punch the next person who asks me if I am ok.
    As you and I know depression has many faces and I wish I can slap them all. But I smile and get on with life as if I didn’t I would be depressed. :-)

    1. Pete,
      Your experiences leave me speechless, as I cannot even begin to comprehend your feelings. I think you are so brave to keep fighting the way you are doing. The way is so long, and so dark sometimes, isn’t it?
      On an another note, you are doing some great work, as I saw on your website. Keep beating the monster. :)

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