It’s often difficult to speak about depression, for many reasons.
One reason is that it’s very difficult to put emotions into words. They’re not something that we have a solid scale for. You can’t compare other people’s emotions to your own, and it’s very hard to describe them in solid external terms.
Another reason is self-doubt. This is something that the brain-gremlins feed at every opportunity. They whisper that you’re not worthy of love, and that you shouldn’t burden others with your problems.
A third problem is the lack of understanding of depression. Understanding it requires non-sufferers to grasp a completely foreign state-of-mind, and while many sufferers may remember times before or between depressive episodes, people who have never suffered from depression don’t have any comparisons to help them to understand. This makes it difficult to talk about, as it can be incredibly frustrating when the person you’re talking to just doesn’t get it, even when you know that it’s through no fault of their own.
And finally, there’s the problem of social stigma. There’s a percentage of people who consider depression to be a sign of weakness, or of laziness, or even just something unavoidable that shouldn’t be spoken of in polite society. And again, this can be very frustrating for sufferers. It can make it difficult and scary for them to speak up, either to ask for help or simply to try an share their experiences with others. It can make people want to hide away.
This is why I want to say thank you to all the people out there who suffer from depression, and who’ve come out and spoken about it anyway. From friends on facebook who’ve put up posts saying “I’m depressed and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with it, and there’s no reason to be ashamed of it” to people who’ve gone to a huge amount of effort to help make fellow sufferers feel less alone, or to help their loved ones understand what they’re going through.
I want to say thank you to people like the author of http://www.diycouturier.com/post/47249603128/21-tips-to-keep-your-shit-together-when-youre (who stood up for all of us who are ticked of at “smile and you’ll feel better” type attitudes, and who’s given a list of 21 very practical pieces of advice)
I want to say thank you to the author of http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/jerkbrain-lies/ (for sharing her experiences, and offering advice to others for dealing with jerkbrain/brain-gremlins)
I want to say thank you to everyone who’s taking part in http://thisiswhoiamsite.wordpress.com/ (especially those who set it up, but also everyone who’s contributing to help show other depression sufferers that they’re not alone; they’re not weird, or mad, or lazy; that there are others out there just like them.)
And these are just the people who’ve sprung into my mind right now, as I’m writing about this. There are so many more out there, and I want to say thank-you to them all.
How about you? Is there anyone in particular who’s helped you to understand depression, or whose advice has helped you to cope?
What sources have helped you? What authors or bloggers have inspired you? Who do you think depression sufferers like me and all those others out there should definitely check out? I’d love to know!