Sean, from Florida, USA, shared this on his Facebook with his own desire to spread the awareness. Here, we can continue it!
Check out the original post here.
“(Warning, you are about to read a novel. There’s a TL;DR at the bottom of the post but I encourage everyone to read the details I have laid out. This was very hard for me to write. This is probably the 3rd time I deleted this post out of fear, but I have to post this sooner or later.)
I am diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, or “depression.” What is depression to me?
Before we get to that, I need to make a few things clear. I don’t want anyone messaging or calling me asking if I’m ok or offer to lend an ear so I can talk to any of you about my problems. I appreciate the kind gestures, but at the moment, yes, I’m ok and if I do need counseling from you, I’ll let you know by asking you myself. I’m posting this not because I’m in any immediate need of help but because I wish to spread awareness for those who don’t quite understand what depression is, what it does to people and how significant depression actually is. I’m also very aware that what I say here can be seen by everyone who is “Facebook Friends” with me. I’m expecting certain people to share this post with my parents who, in turn, will read this post and talk to me about it. It has been done before and with this post, it will happen again. Despite that, I’m going to follow through with what I have to say because I refuse to have my voice censored due to the simple fact that “others can see it.”
Depression itself is different from person to person. People suffering from depression can feel extreme sadness, anger, absolutely nothing at all or a mix of all of the above. There can be causes as to why people experience depression, but there are cases, the case that I specifically fall in to, that experience depression with no real explanation as to why it came to them in the first place. There are certain topics that I will lay out in this post that make me depressed, but there are times where I pretty much feel this way for no reason whatsoever, and to me, that’s the worst.
People with depression fight an uphill battle all the time. Yes, cancer patients, homeless people, veterans who have been injured in battle, people with mental and/or physical disabilities, abused pets, endangered species, ect. have uphill battles of their own that they fight as well, and I wish to not detract from the support these brave souls are all given, for that’s not what I’m aiming to do with this post.
The people and animals with these tough situations in their lives are automatically given the support and understandings they deserve. For the depressed, this is a different story. We’re generally on our own because we’re so scared to talk about our problems without coming off as a crybaby whiner. That doesn’t mean that the people and animals with the conditions I listed above can’t be depressed either, but for those of us with depression who have a roof over their head, who are physically healthy and are uninjured who still feel this way, it only makes us feel awful about ourselves and forces us to keep quiet about our troubles.
Many people see depressed people as “lazy” or “Debbie Downers” who crave attention and want their hands held all the time, which in turn causes others to believe that we depressed people WANT to feel this way, as if we chose this path.
Depression isn’t a choice. Contrary to what many people think, nobody wants depression to stick around when they get it.
Depression is an illness. It is an illness that doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone at any time under any set of conditions.
A lot of people that I know who are aware of my depression often tell me not to let depression be a defining factor of who I am. I have to wholeheartedly disagree. Depression is a part of who I am and it’s here to stay. Depression doesn’t go away forever. It may seem like it has disappeared for good, but all it’s doing is lying dormant until it wants to rear its ugly head again. This factor of depression is different for most people. It can be “gone” for a week, a year or even three decades or more. However, it’s always there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for you to expose the weak spot in your armor, and when you do, its attack on you is nearly instant.
This isn’t me saying that I have given up the fight. The point is that what makes depression a part of me is my ongoing fight against it and how it has shaped me to the person I am right now. Day after day, I’m in a constant struggle with feeling too much or feeling absolutely nothing at all with the combination of feeling hopeless and apathetic. I’m not as excited about the things I like as I used to be. I’m bored all of the time. I constantly keep to me, myself and I with no real interest in going out and doing things unless I have absolutely no choice in the matter, such as work.
This has lead to me shutting out a large portion, or pretty much all of my friends. Most of them don’t even talk to me anymore because they assumed I don’t show interest in them, and that’s totally understandable. The reason for this is because I have bothered people in the past when I talked about my problems. I might have sounded too desperate or I kept messaging them too many times which caused them to become sick of dealing with me. Again, I find that understandable, and because I find it understandable, it has lead me to think that I’m a Debbie Downer towards all of my friends. I wish not to ruin anyone’s good time, so I keep to myself to let them retain their happiness. It’s a warped concept, and the fact I’m aware of that is weird, in my opinion, but I can’t help it.
So…. “What is depression to me?”
– Depression is feeling sluggish all the time. I have no energy and don’t feel creatively inspired.
– Depression is understanding that others in this world have it worse off than myself yet I still feel this way. While people living in 3rd world countries live without roofs over their heads, I’m living under a roof, treated like a prince by my loving parents, eat healthy and good food, have a big, loving family full of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents and I have access to a plethora of technology, such as an Xbox One, a Wii U, a 40 inch smart TV, a gaming laptop and the iPhone I’m currently typing on, yet I have Major Depressive Disorder. This makes me feel like the most ungrateful scum the world has ever seen, and knowing that is making all of this worse for me every day.
– Depression is feeling absolutely helpless when someone else is facing conundrums of their own and I know I can’t help them no matter what I say or how hard I try to even attempt to make their situations any better.
– Depression is not feeling motivated to accomplish what you want to do. I want to be a Twitch streamer as well as being an author of horror, but often times I just feel lethargic and without energy. “I’ll starttomorrow.” “I’ll start tomorrow.” “I’ll start tomorrow” I keep telling myself, but it never happens and I’m only hurting myself and those around me by not doing anything productive. This feeling of not being motivated to accomplished my goals has kicked me out of college and the sick part is I don’t even know if I want to go back. What the hell is wrong with me?
– Depression is experiencing episodes of feeling absolutely nothing. No emotions. Nothing happy, sad, anger or even empathy. I’ll just have days where I don’t care about anything.
– Depression is, in contrast to my previous point, experiencing what I call “hyper-emotion.” Too sad. Too livid. Too scared. I’ll sometimes go to bed in tears and I don’t even know why half the time.
While I admit that the majority of this post is geared towards what MY experiences with depression are like, I don’t want this post to solely be about me. As I said earlier, I aim to spread awareness about the illness that is depression. If any of you know someone who is feeling depressed or shows signs of it, take it very seriously, but don’t force anything. If you ask someone to help them and they don’t want to talk to you about it or they don’t respond, respect their decision. Let them come to YOU after that. It’s not that you’re the cause of their suffering or anything like that. It’s just very hard for some of us to open up to even some of our closest connections. If they do come to you for help, do everything in your power to help them feel better and to hopefully find viable solutions, but again, forcing things on to people is a no-no. Try to UNDERSTAND what they’re going through. Listen to what they have to say without interrupting them. Don’t cut corners and just outright tell someone to “quit your whining and go do something about it” or “you’re just making excuses” because they either already tried too many times to count or simply don’t have means to a viable way to go about doing what they want to do.
The most important thing about dealing with us depressed people is to be patient with us. We want to get better, contrary to what you might think. It just takes time, and it takes energy that a lot of us have yet to muster.
TLDR: I have depression. I’m not in an immediate need of help so I kindly ask everyone to not message or call me about it. My life is actually not that bad but I still feel down all the time and it makes me feel horrible. It’s a defining trait of mine despite others telling me that it shouldn’t be because I still fight it just about every day. I feel sluggish, I feel ungrateful, I feel bouts of extreme emotion or absolutely nothing at all. I wish to spread awareness of depression and to ask each and everyone who knows anyone with depression to treat them right and not force them to do anything they don’t want to. Healing takes time.”