Consider this a brief hello from the other side. It has been some time since I’ve sat down to write much of anything beyond a few hashtags on photos taken the rare moments that joy peaked through the permanent dark overhang above my head. I plan to address my absence and more very soon, but this weekend involved reconnecting with friends lost to my dark passenger and brought up some interesting “problems” in communication.
Would you tell someone with cancer to just stop having cancer and get over it? Probably not… But few treat depression the same way. There are many great articles I’ve read recently that are sometimes able to put the words together better than I can in any brief conversation without delving into the depths of psychology, philosophy or without sounding a bit too much like Sylvia Plath. I found myself struggling to really impart my stance to friends who I adore but simply do not understand. This is by no means a fault of their own, and in fact they are much better off for their lack of understanding. No one should have to understand depression from the viewpoint of those who suffer from such a debilitating illness.
After multiple conversations, some more successful than others at sharing my situation, I took to google for articles or quotes or the like in hope of finding “how to explain depression” to someone who has never had it.
Until I break through more (and enough) to go further in depth, here are a few of my finds that struck chords into a melody. I posted a few on Facebook in the hopes of slowly stopping comments I hear from the people I love and the people who I know love me because hopefully we can make this easier on each other the more they know.
From an article by Danny Baker on Huffington Post:
“Perhaps it’s not possible for you to understand what it truly feels like to have clinical depression unless you’ve suffered from it yourself, but the above descriptions should give you some indication. If nothing more, they should make you realise that depression is far, far more severe than just “having the blues” or feeling “sad”. It is a soul-sucking, debilitating illness–one that is so severe that it claims nearly a million lives a year worldwide. So if you know someone who has it, don’t just tell them to “pull themselves together” or to simply “get over it”. Instead, listen to them. Support them. And most importantly, be their friend.”
“There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”