Depression. An ugly word sure to grab the attention of many, but it’s rarely spoken about as it’s seen as a dirty word. We live in a world where those who have it don’t want to burden anyone so they suffer in silence most of the time, the demons in their heads their only friends, and those who don’t have it most of the time try to understand (and fail miserably).
Understanding What Someone Suffering With Depression is Actually Experiencing
Understanding is the key word to this piece. Many of us don’t actually understand what depression is and even more of us fail to realise how deadly of a disease it can actually be. Depression, if not treated, can be as deadly as cancer. Most people reading this will think I’m over exaggerating and I’m guessing you’re probably the same group of people that only ever see the “Hollywood” side of depression. The side you see on movies where there’s that weird kid who sits in his dark room listening to SlipKnot whilst he’s writing his goodbye letter to his Mother before ending his life. This is hardly ever how things happen. Most people with depression will never let others see how bad they’re getting until things get really bad and most will never know until the said person has done “something silly” (a term used regularly by healthcare professionals) or they tell you.
Depression is like watching the whole world around you, let’s say having fun at a water park, enjoying life and you are too. You’re all having fun and splashing, enjoying life. All of a sudden you begin drowning. You’re drowning and you feel as though nobody cares enough to save you. They’re having fun. They’re enjoying life. You’re drowning and others realise all you have to do to save yourself is stand up. “The water isn’t that deep, just stand up!” they tell you looking from the outside in. You can’t stand up. You’re paralysed. Paralysed by the fear that has spread from your mind all the way to the marrow of your bones. You fight and you fight to get back to the top, but it’s no use, so you give in and continue to sink.
You continue to sink and as you’re going down, the things you used to love, suddenly have no meaning to you. You notice monsters. The type that used to live under your bed. The type your Mother used to scare away at night. Your Mother’s love can not save you from these monsters. You hit rock bottom and start to live there. You make it as comfortable as you can because that’s all you can do. THAT is depression!
Depression is like that annoying cousin who has been at your house for far too long. The one that outstayed their welcome ages ago. The one that you want to go home because you’re sick of sharing your stuff with them. The one that you just want to scream at because they’re taking everything that’s good from you. As much as you try though, you can’t shout at depression. Depression will laugh in your damn face.
So now you actually sorta kinda understand depression, or a least should have a bit more of an understanding, in my next post I’ll talk about how you can help someone suffering from depression.
Image from Guilherme Yagui