Depression is a vile and vindictive torturer. I can almost say that with every instance of my struggle I have come to see that it almost has a mind of its own. It moves and breathes as if it is a living entity. It crawls through the broken spaces of your heart looking for a home and it very rarely comes alone. Anxiety is depression’s right hand man. If depression is the killer, anxiety is the weapon it uses. Irrational fear, trembling, shallow breathing, rapid heart beats. It’s as if you had entered into a real life horror movie where the killer is everywhere but nowhere at the same time. It’s a thief in the night and it comes to destroy any ounce of joy that was left in your heart.
I have often found that there are many misconceptions to such a disease. Our culture has certainly formed its own mindset towards those who battle depression and unfortunately it’s not a good one. The only times I see Mental Health mentioned in the mainstream media news is when it has to do with yet another lunatic murdering dozens of people. Mentioning that you struggle with depression nowadays causes fear within the heart of people.
“Are they going to go crazy and kill someone?”
“Are they going to kill themselves?”
Really? People honestly wonder why we become so isolated when we face bouts of anxiety. I have come across a few misconceptions about this disease and would like to share them with you. It is my hope and goal that those reading will be enlightened and more inclined to lend a helping hand the next time they come across someone fighting.
1.) We’re not insane:
I honestly can’t blame the majority of society for thinking this when all they see relating to mental health is that which I stated before. Regardless, we’re not crazy, people! I can guarantee you that the majority of us don’t run around looking for the next person we can get our hands on due to having a rough day. We’re normal people with normal feelings, except our feelings are more often than not that of sadness (Extreme sadness at that). In those moments our sadness is elevated because of our struggle. What may be a small thing to some becomes a huge issue to us. It’s not something we ask for but it’s something we have to deal with. So please, do us a favor and stop watching the nightly news. It’s not helping any of us.
2.) We know that what we are feeling is irrational:
As I said above, this isn’t something we’ve asked for. Due to unforeseen circumstances, whether it be chemical or circumstantial, we experience horrid feelings of fear, sadness, and loneliness. Those who are aware of their struggle certainly have come to terms with this truth. We know that we are acting, thinking, and feeling strangely. We know that our worst fears will probably never come to fruition. Unfortunately, our minds continue to try and convince us otherwise. When panic strikes there isn’t anything one can do to make it go away instantly. It’s almost like the flu; We have to let it run its irrational course…
3.) All we need to know is that someone cares:
Having experienced bouts of depression and anxiety I know that all we need is someone to show that they care. Mind you I said show, not speak. Words are appropriate in some circumstances but not all of them. Our natural inclination in dealing with the unknown is to speak. Words are practically useless when it comes to this disease. You can’t talk someone out of a panic attack. You can’t just tell someone its going to be ok and just leave them. There are no practical ways to make us better (In all honesty medicine only keeps depression at bay..). The only think that truly encourages us amidst our pain and anxiety is a shoulder to lean on. It’s the warm presence of a loved one. Yes, we know it’s going to be ok sooner or later but having you around only makes us realize it even more. We just want someone to be there for us. We are fighting for our lives and it’s nice to know that someone is wielding a weapon with us.
Depression sucks. Forgive me for being blunt but it just does. Thankfully, recent weeks have been excellent and I feel as if I am coming to a good place of healing. I have been thoroughly encouraged by the work that God is doing in my heart. It’s also been a few weeks since my last panic attack and hopefully it stays that way. Unfortunately I know that there will come a time when I slip back into the cesspool of depression. When that time comes I can only hope and pray that someone is there.
I hope that this has been helpful and informative! For more of my posts about depression click the menu tab that says “Of the Broken” up on the top of this page.
Thanks for reading and God bless!