I Didn't Choose Depression, But I Can Choose Other Things
October is Depression Awareness Month, and there have been a lot of brave souls and bold posts out there on the internets. I myself am someone who is burdened with what my psychiatrist kindly calls "a biological tendency toward the dark side," and so I find the posts to be a good call to community. I also think these posts serve as a reminder to all of us that struggle and weakness is as much a part of life as joy. But even if that's true, depression is still very, very hard. Here is a post from My Accidental Life which captures the struggle, the struggle, the struggle, and goes on to names the victory she can claim. Please share some words of support and compassion with her!
Depression: Truth in Words
I have severe depression. No, I am not just overdramatically sad sometimes. I am not an attention seeker. I have a diagnosed mental illness that will require medication for the rest of my life.
Telling me to "cheer up" "look at all you have" or "tomorrow will be better" isn't going to change anything. Using "tough love" and telling me to "pull it together" or "stop being dramatic" also isn't going to change anything. You can't talk me into being happy.
Depression is not an emotion.
Credit Image:Jon Robson via Flickr
Though depression manifests as a complex series of emotions, it is not. It is an illness.
When I am in the midst of a depressive episode I can not see the forest for the trees. I feel like I am being crushed from the inside out. My thoughts and emotions are irrational. I am full of self-doubt and loathing. The chemicals in my brain no longer function properly and often leave me a sad trembling ball of hatred.
[... And yet] even in complete darkness we are given choices...