Part II ~ “What does she have to be depressed about?”


“What does she have to be depressed about?”DSCF3092

This comment always gets under my skin!

Yes, I get this comment a lot.

The first time someone is told of my depression, this comment is usually their first reaction.

People don’t make ignorant comments like this to those with other health conditions, such as oh…cancer. That would be highly callous and crude.  Cancer survivors get kudos and sympathy, encouragement and toasts to their intestinal fortitude, for coming face to face with death and beating it back to its gate, and live to tell about it.

But for people like me, who look at death every day as a possibility, who plan out each and every detail of how, when and where to commit suicide, we get told to get over it, to think about something else, change our perspective, keep busy so that we don’t give ourselves the time to be depressed.

The worst of all is the outright invalidation. We are told straight to our face by well-meaning friends and family;

“You don’t have depression; there’s nothing for you to be depressed about.
You have a good life!”

Can you imagine saying those things to someone diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, who is looking at death`s door only a few feet away;

“You don’t have cancer, you’re just losing weight.

Think about something else, that will make the pain go away.
Stay busy, don’t give your mind or body the time to have cancer.”

WTF!

This is why so many people hide their depression; the stigma, the invalidation, the lack of understanding, the ignorance with which people view this illness.

I did NOT ask for this illness, my body created it all on its own, without my consent, without my consult.

Depression is not caused by personal weakness.  It is a serious illness, medically acknowledged, and medically treated.  I cannot will it away.  I cannot wish it away.  I cannot meditate it away. Nor can I simply change my perspective; shift my paradigm, and POOF! I am healed.

who symbol

Image courtesy: World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) published in 2012, that globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.

My doctor once told me that depression has a fatality rate of 1%. For every 100 people who have depression, 10 of those will attempt suicide, and of the 10 people who attempt suicide, 1 will succeed. Based on this fatality rate and the WHO publication of 350 million people who suffer from depression, then 1% of successful suicides would work out to more than 3.5 million people.  That is four times the number of people as published by the WHO earlier this year, quoting a little over 800,000 people, who die from suicide every year.

I don’t know where Dr. W. got his statistics from, but it was enough to stop me on my tracks and make me pull back on my ideas and plans for killing myself.  Holy *%*&! Those are real numbers, with real people behind them. This illness is real, with real consequences.

I am not depressed.  I have Depression.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Part II ~ “What does she have to be depressed about?”

  1. I am sick to death of people telling me I just have a choice about how I feel, and how I am responsible for all kinds of things. I wrote about it on my blog. http:aprilesutton.wordpress/RobinWilliamsandTheChoiceofHappiness

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Last year before undergoing ECT treatments, my depression had reached a state of psychosis. I was paranoid much of the time. I thought God’s will for my life was to commit suicide because he had lessons for those who loved me that needed to be taught through that. Undermining the existence of depression is ignorance in it’s purest form. My psychosis was not something I sat down one day than thought, “Gee, that’d be fun.” If you haven’t experienced it, the only concrete thing you can compare it with are days where you are a little down. Those are days where you can change your thinking. With depression, there is very little that can change the thought patterns until medication has a chance to kick in. I did not choose to have a chemical imbalance, just like no one chooses cancer. The more we can shrug off the stigma and educate the public, the more acceptance we can achieve. Again, thank-you for this blog, helping give voice to this experience!

    Like

    • Brava chicken2003! I hear your voice too!

      There are many lessons that God has in store for us, but suicide is not one them. I’m thankful you have come through the other side of your depression. Take care of yourself. Many blessings…

      ~Sandi

      Like

  3. The other comment that drives me nuts is “get a grip” which makes want to get a grip on there throats. Nobody wants to feel like this, it’s insidious and does have a massive impact on your life, sometimes deadly, it’s a silent invisible illness, and the journey back is tough.

    Like

    • OH SO RIGHT therabbitholez! Nobody wants to feel like this. I’d love to be gal smiley all the time, but I can’t. Who can? (shrug) Thanks for the validation, I wondered if it was just me. lol! Have a great day…sending cheers your way. 😀

      Like

  4. Hi Frances, I’m glad that you have evercome your depression, and that you are excited about life again. As for me, my condition is a constant in my life. I get up every morning and must be thankful that I can. It takes a network of support to keep me whole and hale. Thanks for sharing my journey. Many Blessings your way. 🙂

    Like

  5. I have experienced depression before and its not a nice place to be…constantly wondering what’s there to be excited about. I’m not sure how and when I overcame it, but I’ll tell you this, it did take prayers, writing…(and boy I wrote!) and a good support system. It’s rather cruel to talk down on or take lightly anyone having depression, cancer or anyother illness for that matter. I like it that you can express how you feel…I look forward to reading how you totally overcome it.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s