Rambling thoughts about depression

in #life5 years ago (edited)

Depression is not a joke or a fad. It is not a choice or a victimization. If I were to explain the process by which you become depressed, I would say it is just like a butterfly effect. It starts with one thing, an idea, an accident, a malice. You become conscious, you start asking questions, and the others, unable to understand your suffering, they continue to confirm all your fears.

Most people do not know how to treat a depressed person. Instead of accepting that the person suffers, no matter what the reasons seem to be, they blame him for exaggeration and victimization. A strategy of some is to tell the person that the problems they have are nothing and that it is stupid to suffer. So they think they're helping her.

But the problems are relative. And even if some issues seem to be infinitesimal, they collectively add up to create a major one. Just as several drops can fill a glass, so small problems can fill the conscience and the sense of injustice in someone.

Depression is almost a taboo subject. If you say you are depressed, then be sure someone might say you're exaggerating. So the solution is to hide and try to mask all the irregularities that happen in your head. People criticize hard. And they do not understand that a depressed man is analyzing 10 times more a thing, a look, a touch. To them everything has a double meaning. 

Depressed people have lost confidence in others, but especially in themselves. They consider themselves guilty of anything and any misunderstanding. And when they feel cornered, they react in surprising ways, which shock many. 

The outburst should be a warning signal to everybody else around, it's a help cry, an "I can't take it anymore!". Instead, others blame the person for misbehavior and exaggeration.

And all because people are selfish and self-centered. Everyone thinks they have bigger problems than others have, everyone thinks their way is better, everyone thinks they should not be burdened with the problems of others, so they make the least effort. An effort is still there, because everybody asks you if you're OK when you're sad. The conversation, however, stops quickly, and the one who asked takes comfort in the fact that he did something.

I'm not saying it's not hard for others. Of course, it's hard and tedious to deal with a depressed person. Communication is tough, you feel that everything you say is judged, etc. But the effort you need to make is an emotional one. Those who can save a depressed person are those who have an emotional intelligence, they are emphatic and know how to listen.

No matter how idiotic it may sound to you what a depressed person says, you have to listen to him and not mock him.

Why does the psychologist not talk too much, but instead let you express yourself? First of all because he does not want to judge you and then because he knows you need to talk to someone about what you feel.

So, if a depressed person wants to communicate with you, to share his grief, let him express himself. It may be that after a discussion longer than 2 generic phrases, you might come to really understand him and you will no longer be disturbed. Listening must not be just physical; that is, while he's talking, you shall not think about how boring it is, or judge it in your head as you listen. Listening must also be mental.

Do not tell a depressed that his problems are small!

I insist on this because it is the most annoying thing you can hear. It's like you cut a finger, it hurts you and someone comes and says "well you did not cut your foot." But you are a pianist and you will never play again. And so with the problems.

Each of us appreciates certain things more, while is more ignorant about others. If society is built around some values, that does not mean there are no exceptions.

Depression is not paranoia. Depression is manifested in many people by exaggeration, it is true. But to others through an exaggerated realism. Have you ever thought maybe a person you think exaggerates is more awake than you? Did you ever think that when you are OK, you ignore the reality that surrounds you just for the simple reason that you are not affected at the time?

Not all depressions react the same way. Some people are crying, others are nervous, some are even laughing and smiling all the time, afraid that others could see their shitty state. There are only a few people who witness the signs of depression, the rest think that those depressed are actually the happiest people. 

That's why I say if a depressive opens up to you, help him. Do not be ignorant and do not judge things just from your point of view. Do not think they're doing something bad to you or adding to your problems. Try to realize that the person really suffers.

I do not understand why we know that depression is a disease, but we do not perceive it as one. If we see a seriously ill man, we are sympathetic to him. If we see a depressed man, we blame him. It seems that in vain we add a few terms and definitions to words, because we are still at a stage where we can't openly discuss about sensitive topics.

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That's a great piece on an illness that is so misunderstood! I'm a psychologist who has seen depression up close, both professionally and personally. It sucks, it's hard, it's dark, it's a real disease. Thank you for bringing more awareness around this via your writings.

Thank you for your kind words! I hope that people will start paying more attention to those in suffering. :)

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Thank you for choosing my article! :)

This is such a great piece. Depression is one of those things that people shy away from and do not want to talk about because they are often seen as weak if they do talk about it or other they feel that others will judge them and feel their issues are insignificant.

One thing I have learned while dealing with post traumatic stress from my military and law enforcement experiences and dealing with my own depression on a daily basis is that people can get become depressed from many different things and it is not anyone's place to judge them for that, and you are 100% correct in saying that those people suffering just need someone to listen to them. The problem is that those that are suffering usually feel like a burden to others and will hide their problems because or they seclude themselves and push others away.

Depression sucks and people need to be perceptive and notice the changes in their friends and loved ones so that they can truly help them through it. Thank you for this awesome post.

Thank you for your insight and I'm really glad that my post can bring awareness to this matter. I also went through a depression and I saw people being misunderstood. After trying too much to make people listen to my advice on how to act in these situations, I finally decided to write about it. You're entirely right, most of the time, those that are suffering are in hiding, so to speak. As for me, I stopped sharing my pain because people judged and didn't listen. So I started helping myself with music, drawing, and meditation.
Thanks again for your relevant comment!

Well, at some point I used to blame people mostly for been depressed. Mostly because I came from a background where you learned to swallow up any shitty experience and move on. Since I could do it, I expected others to do same.

But I learned early enough that we all have different emotional strength and I should expect everyone to be as strong as I am. It's important that we try to help others out of their own depressed state.

One advantage of offering a helping hand is that there's a certain joy one gets from helping others. You feel important and have some sense of purpose because you actually help someone recover. That can help your own depression.

Well, from my personal experience I can tell you that even if you
are used to swallow up the shit, there might be a time when the shit is too big even for you. It's true though that there are people who deal with problems that seem small to the most and that's why it's hard to understand their pain. But as I said in the article, too many small problems can be equal with a big one.
You're kind & smart for helping others.
Thank you for stopping by!

A well penned essay. Depression has always been too easily dismissed. You get the commiserating “everybody feels blue sometimes” from the kindest folks – but that only diminishes the depth of real depression. You’re right that there seems to be a cultural callousness to depression, even from people who are themselves dealing with depression.

I found your link in self-promotions on the @curie Discord chat.

Thank you, @momzillanc!
I just joined @curie on Discord. It seems like someone promoted my post, which is great. :D Thanks for giving it a read.

You didn’t post in self-promotions yourself? That’s great that someone shared your essay there for you!

No, I didn't. :D I will also take a look at your posts.

Thank you. I would appreciate that very much.