Depression is a vile and vindictive disease. It is a thief in the night that has come to rob you of your joy. Living with such a debilitating struggle can often be compared to living in a real life horror movie. You know the ghost exists, you can sense its presence, but you never know when it’s going to reveal itself. Night after night you hear footsteps in the hall…Taunting. The ever so slight creaks of the floor are enough to send you into overdrive…Living with depression is exactly that. Except it’s hardly living, wouldn’t you say? I know of many people who suffer so deeply from depression and anxiety that they are literally crippled in fear. They cannot leave their own bedroom without diving into a massive panic attack. I said it before and I’ll say it again…Depression is a disease.
Yet not many see it as such. If we’re being honest here not many people know much about depression. If we’re being even more honest I suppose we could say that people view depression as a crutch. Almost as if it is a pity party constantly thrown by the host to receive attention. Can it be? In some situations, maybe but not everyone is an attention hoarder. It also doesn’t help that the only coverage of Mental Health that I see going on depicts us as lunatics who crash into public places and kill people. How many people in recent weeks/months/years have claimed “mental health” as a reason for why they murdered innocent people? One is far too many…Needless to say those of us within the tiny walls of depression are facing an uphill battle.
With that said I would like to spend tonight’s post on giving you some of the most important (in my mind) Misconceptions of Depression. Education goes a long way in helping a depressed soul. So without further adieu, here are my top 3.
1.) We are not insane:
Can we please just take a moment and clarify to the world that we aren’t a bunch of lunatics? Sure, there may be one or two of us that might have those tendencies but the majority of us are normal people like you! Just because we may suffer from an invisible disease doesn’t mean you have to treat us like one. Of the people that I have met (who struggle with depression/anxiety) not one of them have looked any different from you or I. We are all human beings with souls, emotions, and lives. Albeit our emotions can be a little more extreme than others. I’m simply saying that being ostracized in culture doesn’t help our deposition. This doesn’t just go to people who have bad presuppositions but also to the ones who simply pat our backs and say “It’s not that big of a deal.” Really? Too many people opt for this cop-out and I’m sure I can speak on behalf of my friends and say it doesn’t help. Which brings me to my next point…
2.) We know what we are feeling is irrational:
We deal with ourselves every single day. From the moment we open our eyes to the moment we close them again. We didn’t ask to live with something like this. We didn’t willingly go find depression and say, “Hey, I’ve got nothing better to do tonight so why don’t you come over and steal all of my joy?” Being stuck with ourselves gives us a lot of time to think and explore. We know for certain that our fears, thoughts, and emotions can be completely irrational. We know that most of what goes on in our heads will never happen but it doesn’t change much. There’s really nothing one can do when experiencing a panic attack except pray and find a friend. We can’t help but think strangely while we’re short of breath, our hearts are pounding out of our chests, and the world is spinning. They kind of go hand in hand with each other. I say this to say that we don’t need to hear practical how-to’s on how our lives could be so much better if we only just ______. Yes, there are times for advice and times for action but mostly we just need a shoulder to lean on.
3.) This is an everyday battle for our lives:
Let me just say that for a lot of us this true. I’ve experienced suicidal thoughts before and they’re not fun to deal with. Sadly, some of you reading this may have even tried committing suicide yourself. This disease affects our brains which influences the way we live. If the heart is the seat of the emotions then the mind is the steering wheel. It’s hard for us when we feel lonely, sad, or wired up. A lot of times we’re not looking for words of encouragement (except other than “I love you” or “It’s gonna be okay”) but rather just the knowledge that someone is fighting for and with us. Having that presence nearby is strength enough for us when we feel we have nothing left. I can’t tell you how many times it’s helped me knowing that there are people who care and understand my position. I certainly don’t struggle as much as some people do but I can assure you that it still makes all the difference.
Well, there you have it folks. We’re not insane, we can be irrational, but all in all we just want someone to fight with us and for us. I can certainly say that in recent weeks my bouts of anxiety and depression have pretty much faded. Only the grace of God can be acclaimed for that as I know He is working in my heart and healing some of those wounds. I would be amiss to expect them to never happen again but I would also be amiss if I thought there would be no one around to fight with me.
I hope and pray this has been encouraging/helpful. If you’d like to see more of my posts about Depression, scroll to the top of the page and click on the tab that says, “Of the Broken”.
God bless and thanks for reading!