Depression and Misconceptions.

sad woman with hand in head with redhead hair - stock photo

 

I don’t mind when people say they don’t understand depression, most of us who struggle with mood disorders fail to understand it.
But, what does make me upset is when people say that the depressed person is only acting this way for attention.
Attention? Many days I have just wished to be swallowed up in black hole away from sight.
I really wished such insensitive souls could be locked in my head, or anybody’s head for the matter, that suffers from chronic depression, for one week or better yet a month.
I think they would change their tune then and perhaps gain some empathy in the process.
No one faults them for their lack of understanding; it is their lack of compassion that is hard to swallow.
We already know our faults and have beaten ourselves up over them repeatedly; we don’t need you to kick us when we are down.
We don’t need you to try and cheer us up , then go off in some mockery of self-righteous indignation because  you could not.
I think many of us prefer to brood on our own; we don’t want to cause a fuss or disturb anyone’s happiness.
We appreciate true concern; we wish we could take your advice to cheer-up, how we wish for it.

Advertisements

16 Comments

  1. Thank you for your post. Depression is a serious problem that is greatly overlooked. My suffers from clinical depression. Many people have asked me, “why is she depressed,” as if it is something that comes and goes. I have explained that she suffers from “clinical depression,” which is a chemical imbalance, but it doesn’t seem to sink into the minds of people who should understand the reality of that horrible disease. I have heard other pastors preach, “cast out that spirit of depression.” A pastors’ wife, a fine woman who has known us for many years, recently asked, “why is she so depressed?” I respond in a loving manner each time that I try to describe my wife’s situation, but many people who ask such questions don’t have a lot of love, or ability to understand the situation, when they inflict pain on people who are suffering from the kind of great emotional pain that is so very difficult to describe. I have once heard it described as being a deep black hole. I have had three family members, two cousins and a sister in law, who have taken their lives, due to their emotional stresses. Each of them knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And, there are people who add fuel to the emotional fire by condemning such suicide victims to hell. I have found myself to be very inadequate in my ability to always do the right things when they are needed, as they relate to my wife’s situation. She has helped me to understand such things, but I am not inside of her mind, as your post has described. Please continue to make this horrible illness known to those of us who have no idea of what it is like to suffer from such an illness that often seems to have no end in sight. I know that some believers in Christ who have said that God delivered them from depression. I am thankful for such testimonies, but I also know that there are many other people who will never experience that freedom. I think that my wife is one of those who will be a slave to her present clinical depression. (Please forgive me for not proof reading this comment; I didn’t want to go back through that pain.)

    Senior Pastor/Equipping the Saints
    Philip 3:10, “That I May Know Him”
    http://gravatar.com/cchurchchurchblog
    http://cchurchchurchblog.wordpress.com/

      • Thank you for your thoughts. It is important for us to remember that clinical depression is not the same as someone who has, as is so often said, “the blues.” Many people can have mood swings that are horrible, and still come out of them. That is not the case with those who suffer from clinical depression. Conditions in life can affect a person’s emotional health. As those conditions change, the affects that are caused by those conditions can diminish or even go away. Those who suffer from clinical depression are bound by their chemical imbalance. My wife has very good doctors. She has a trio of internist, psychiatrist, ob/gyn who are proactive in dealing with my wife’s situation. Many of my friends and associates are very supportive of the situation that binds my wife’s daily life. But, there are others who continue to ask the same questions about why she can’t “get better.” A person who suffers from clinical depression is not crazy. They have a medical problem. Just as we can not “cast out that spirit of heart disease,” neither can we cast out the “spirit of depression.” People who suffer from depression are very aware of their health situations. They don’t need to be patronized. They need true understanding and compassion from those of us who have been blessed by not having to suffer from the same debilitating disease. Pastors need to know that medical attention is needed, in addition to prayer. People who are clinically depressed may not always be rational in the decisions that they make, or in the words that they choose. Please let me say again, “thank you.” I am very thankful that you took the time to comment on my wife’s emotional health condition. May our Lord Jesus richly bless you.

      • I was diagnosed with “clinical depression” as well. However, I really believe , in my case, it is closer to bi-polar depression. Because, I have highs and lows; I start a million projects that I never finish, I am highly creative ; I have times of great confidence followed by times of great negativity . All signs of bi-polar. This is a condition that is very misunderstood, as people think you are a total nut-case. Really, if you saw a bi-polar person walking down the street you could not guess by their demeanor, they even had this condition. Chemical imbalances are not a persons fault, a demon didn’t cause it, and it certainly does not mean a person is crazy. Compassion is always the key, isn’t it?

  2. *big hugs* You’re not alone, my dear. I hate when people act like depression is something that is controllable. My favorite line to hate is, “You have nothing to be sad about”, right up there with, “Other people have it so much worse than you”. People who haven’t experienced TRUE depression have no idea what it feels like to be straight-up miserable without even necessarily having a reason. It’s nothing to scoff at, and certainly has nothing to do with wanting attention. In fact, when I’m depressed usually the last thing I want is any kind of attention what-so-ever. 😐

    • It is exactly that, they “have no idea”. It is like they don’t realize we already know others have it worse. In fact that thought alone has triggered a deeper depressive state, the knowing you should not be depressed and not being able to do a thing about it. Guilt is not the best motivator. I wish you the best. 🙂

  3. Depression, panic attacks, extreme anxiety, for years I have suffered with this. For years I refused to believe I needed some help, but was desperate to find out what was wrong with me. I am glad that I had some people around me that did not tell me to just “cheer up”. It is NOT possible, they are real conditions, as real as diabetes or cancer, or any other disease you can name. Mood disorders, yes I have some, recently it’s become very bad, I hate feeling the things I feel, and I get angry sometimes when someone that should know me gets upset because I dared to cry over something! I cannot control this, I take medication, but it is like taking cold medication , it only masks the disease, it does not cure it. I refused for years to take medication, and when I finally broke down and said yes, it took years of trying everything imaginable to get things right, but even now, they are not great, there is no absolute cure yet, and even less understanding of the illness. Ignorant people, and those who dare to look at me differently if they know I have these problems are a problem themselves, I am still waiting for this to be taken seriously. I know how you feel, I can understand, and I thank you for your post, as usual, well written, and touched my heart.
    M

    • It is hard for them to understand . I know the right medication can help. There is no “cure”,but I believe there is hope, I have to or I couldn’t cope. One thing that greatly helped me was to give myself permission to feel bad/miserable,there is no quilt that way only an acceptance of sorts. I really believe guilt only adds to the problem. I am glad it was of some help.

  4. I am truly touched by reading these posts. I have so much compassion but very little understanding. I believe that the words those of us who do not fully understand should simply be “I am here for you.” I love you, Rae and I am always here for you.

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