Hello. It has been some time. Sorry if anyone missed me.
Lot has happen, and this is almost the only journal I keep. It started very slow and weird and now I write what I think and what I feel I need to express while choosing a photo I take to accompany it.
Today I want to talk a bit more about depression. Although it is quite hype now to talk about it, we are post-mortem more than 5 days since a celebrity committed suicide so I think I can go on a little.
Anyway, how many are going to read it?
I wanted to talk about it. It’s not an easy subject to approach. Mostly because it is incredibly personal, it is not very understandable and it is stigmatised.
Let’s start about that word there: stigma.
If you google this word you would find this immediate definition: a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. Synonyms: shame, disgrace, dishonour.
Such a good place to put one of the most common mental health issues of the world in. Because the depression itself is not enough! 😉 So this is it. It’s shameful to have depression, “it’s your fault really” “what reasons do you have to be depressed” “just stop being depressed” “smile more it will help” my personal favourite “why did he kill himself? he had everything!”.
Where should I start? First: it is not my fault if I have depression. Even if the term is used too regularly and perceived as an excuse to avoid work or other obligations, so is the flu and I never heard someone shame someone else because it got infected. Imagine: “Hew, you got the flu? you’re so weak, just stop producing all this fever and come to work! You have no reason to have the flu”. But somehow, in all other diseases you don’t say it is our fault that we are sick. Because we are and it’s more common that it seems.
You know why?
Let’s go then to another of the comments we get: “you don’t have reasons/ you don’t seem sad enough to be depressed”. To all of you dear people that love to stigmatise depression let me tell you a little secret… We are kind of very good at hiding it! IT IS A STIGMA, THEREFORE I WILL NOT BRAG!
Someone that is smiling can be close to suicide, we control the muscle of the faces, if we want to, you will never know when we are sad, we live in a place where we cannot have these kind of issues. Because it makes us unpredictable (like the human kind is SOOO predictable…).
Also, let’s say another thing here: people with depression can?are allowed to be happy. Depression is not the opposite of happiness. So also, don’t shame someone with depression that let’s himself feel happiness or smiles. We can! And we should! We are not supposed to always be down. And we are not cured because we are happy. Depression is the opposite of vitality. When we can barely get out of bed. Where we stop having interest in what you love. We become… numb.
As soon as we try to talk about it, people become uncomfortable. I can talk about all the feelings I have related to “normal” (acceptable) situations, but I cannot talk about the dark thoughts that can pass through my head.
Because it is shameful.
Because I cannot.
Because I have a lot more than most of the world, therefore I should be happy.
So naturally, we are good at hiding. We also are good at shutting up a lot because we know we are going to be judged more that listened to. Because another thing, my dears, sometimes we just want to be listened to. We just want to put it outside so it doesn’t keep on growing inside of our minds. And it’s so hard already to put most of these thoughts in words.
You know, it is not easy to talk about it, you might think it is because some feel the need to talk (maybe too much but maybe they really need it!) so you think that if they talk so much they must be exaggerating. But do you know that when we put the words out, all these thought because real. They are not in one place anymore, they are out, they are real. And still, what we will get is a judgement.
There is a reason why you wouldn’t expect someone to take his own life.
Because it is against our nature.
We are made to want to survive.
Still suicide happens.
Because this is real.
But this doesn’t make us less capable of building a career or have a family. We shouldn’t be put in shame-prisons or put aside. We should be cared for and helped. We should stop trying to relate because we CAN’T. Depression is the most personal disease you will ever have, and NOBODY will ever relate. We shouldn’t try to understand exactly, we should listen and help, but listen again. Because most of the times it is what we need. Normalising it can also make people aware that they have it. It can make people comfortable about seeking help that sometimes has to go through medication, and this ultimately can spare lives.
So please, let’s talk about this. Let’s end the stigma. Next time someone wants to talk about it, don’t become all itchy and avoidant of the talk. Just listen. Try to have a conversation and if it doesn’t get anywhere just say that you are there. At the end, depression isolates, and ultimately takes you to the darkest place. Having someone(s) that says “I am here, not going anywhere” is the most you can do. Oh and a hug. A hug is always nice.
And please, stop questioning why someone has depression! Unless you are asking the biological process whether it’s genetic or a hormonal unbalance caused by a traumatic event or a change of diet, then you are allowed to ask why. You are basically allowed to ask why someone has depression just like why someone has cancer or lime disease, or any other.
We are people.
We should not be shamed.
We should talk.
Love, T. If you want to listen to a talk that talks a bit about it here is a good one: