Crazy Pills, Bloggers and First World Problems

Recently three bloggers who I enjoy shared with their readers about their struggles with depression. They have historically alluded to their struggles with mental health issues, but never in the intense and painfully revealing recently emoted way of recent blogs. Here are the links. -

 Nothing like a creative mind to really capture the depths of despair a person experiences during a major depressive episode, huh? If you didn’t know much about depression prior to reading about their struggles, you certainly can’t claim ignorance afterward.

Not everyone experiences depression the way these women did. Depression looks different on everyone, sort of like skinny jeans or red lipstick. If you Google the word depression, you will be directed to endless amounts of information.

Depression is also something people feel they have to hide because they feel guilty. They wonder how they could be so miserable when others are struggling with what they believe to be more serious issues such as hunger, poverty or war. I’ve heard depression described as a “first world problem.” THAT makes my blood boil!

What does that even mean, a first world problem?

The Urban Dictionary defines a first world problem as a problem that arises as a result of living in wealthy, industrialized nation that people in third world countries would roll their eyes about.

 It’s true that listening to someone bitch about having to wait a month for the iPhone 4 seems ridiculous when 3.575 million people a year die as a result of water borne illness  is worthy of an eye roll, but it’s also hard for first world people to relate and understand the problems and struggles of people living in third world countries. This ignorance and lack of experience with regard to mental illness also often causes people who has never suffered from depression to make  ridiculous statements about depression, like calling depression a first world problem or telling people to just “snap out of it.” That’s like telling a diabetic to stop being lazy and start making insulin. It’s stupid and unrealistic.

 Just as diabetes is a medical condition that a person can’t wish away with positive thinking, depression is a complex illness involving biochemical, structural and environmental things that are beyond our control. We are people, human beings who are imperfect in mind, body and spirit.

Depression is NOT a first world problem. People all over the world suffer from depression. I want to share something with you that I found when I was doing a little Google on depression (I just used Google as a verb for the first time and it was fun). I found it on a website called Crazymeds,  READ THIS SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY AND WITHOUT FOOD OR DRINK IN YOUR MOUTH BECAUSE YOU MIGHT CHOKE ON THE FUNNY!

“If you do need to take medication the math is really simple: which sucks less? Taking an imperfect medication that controls the symptoms of a condition that puts your life somewhere in the spectrum of “barely tolerable” to “dear God please kill me now;” or trying to get through life with that same condition which will keep getting worse the longer you go without treating it. A lot of these meds suck donkey dong, but you know what? When you’re mentally ill, and/or have some neurological problem like epilepsy or migraines, and you’re not taking any medications, or not taking the right medications, it sucks syphilitic donkey dong while a red-hot poker is being jammed up your ass.”

No, I didn’t write that, but clearly it’s right up my writing style alley. I wish I wrote it. I also with I could wear skinny jeans and red lipstick. I also wish I never experienced depression. Yeah, I’ve struggled a bit and shared it on my blog. I will say that my share took nowhere near what I consider to be the level of gut wrenching courage it took for the women whose blogs I linked above.  I’ll share it anyway.

I know I’ve been less present in the MWDAS group and on my page due to my re-entry into the workforce.  I work quite a lot these days.  I’m a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  I have extensive experience working with people of all ages struggling with mental illness. In sessions, I keep a straight face and do my job as a professional. In my heart and mind, I am thankful for the brave person sitting across from me who has taken a huge step in not just recognizing that they have a problem, but that they are asking for help. I have been where they are and it’s brutal.

I hope you will take the opportunity to read the blogs that I linked. It’s a first world opportunity for you to use the internet to learn about something very important. It could change your life. It could arm you with the information to help someone you love change their life. If you have the courage to share the struggles of these courageous women, you could quite possibly SAVE a life, and that’s one of the coolest things about being a first world person who can harness the power of the internet!

Do some good! Read these blogs and then you can get back to bitching about your first world problems such as waiting to get the latest iPhone or how the ATM only gives you $20 dollar bills when you really would prefer $10’s.



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    I LOVE this. I am a full time wife, mother and student suffering from depression. Thank you! I spend a lot of my time advocating for the victims of mental illness. This made my day!

  • This ignorance and lack of experience with regard to mental illness also often causes people who has never suffered from depression to make ridiculous statements about depression, like calling depression a first world problem or telling people to just “snap out of it.” That’s like telling a diabetic to stop being lazy and start making insulin. It’s stupid and unrealistic.

    Yep. Nice post, Nikki!

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    More people need to talk about this!! My mother has suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. She now controls it with medication but that wasn't always the case. My sister & I muddled through the "Dark Times" as kids but because of the shame & stigma associated with this disease, my mother didn't receive help sooner & neither did we.

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    Great post. Just wanted to say that in a perfect world this line of thinking would apply to all mental illness, not just depression. The stigma surrounding depression is great but the stigma associated with other mentally interesting conditions, such as bipolar or schizophrenia, is astounding. We're the crazy people that even other crazy people stay away from.

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    I saw The Bloggess' post this week too. It broke my heart. I know several people in my life who struggle or have struggled with depression. I take an antidepressant and I'm very vocal about my melancholy days on my blog-
    I wish there was more awareness, more condolence and more understanding to so many that are feeling in the dark. The cold, hard truth is that when it's not taken seriously, there are devastating results. My neighbor, mother of four daughters, shot and killed herself in her house while her children were home. She switched meds that week and couldn't handle it. Nothing FWP about that. Sad and heartbreaking, but not because of the 'luxury' society we live in.
    I enjoy your blog very much!

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    Thank you for this. I have had chronic depression ALL of my life, since I was a child in an abusive and neglected family. I struggled constantly with feelings of guilt for the way I was. My parents and some of my family members asked me why I never smiled and told me that I complained too much and was too mopey. My dad would get on my case for being lazy, but really I was just so sad that it was hard to do anything. It was hard for me to understand as a child to understand what was wrong with me; to understand why I was not happy. My parents were not supportive for many reasons which are far too complex for me to discuss here, but needles to say it is incredibly scary when at age 13 I had my first suicidal thoughts and they never went away into adulthood. It took me a really long time to ask for professional help. I kept it inside, some moments being much worse than others and my thoughts of suicide being much stronger at certain times in my life. Finally last year, after I thought I couldn't take it any longer, I asked for help because I was so tired of feeling the pain and tired of wishing for death and tired of slowly killing myself by not taking care of my body. I called county mental health services and was able to get into a therapist right away. I also got on medication. 4 months later I feel like a totally different person. I no longer have thoughts of suicide, and while some days I do still feel a little down, I am now so hopeful and happy for my future and happy with my life in general. I have made huge life changes and transformations since working with my therapist. I have come to understand why I have been grieving inside for so long and have confronted many of my child hood demons while also getting on a medication that almost immediately soothed my mind of suicidal thoughts. I know this comment is a bit long, but I just want people to know...depression is real, but so is help, and once you get help it can change your life if you let it. I am still recovering, but I have so much hope now. I am a totally different person and I can clearly see my future and it looks very bright from where I am sitting.

  • People should never forget that real health depends how well you take care of yourself and not what health insurance you carry but I agree health insurance is important for every one. Search "Penny Medical" or online for dollar a day insurance plans.

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    I am trying to hard to share this link with all my facehooker friends (yes, I said facehooker)..but I can't seem to do it. That mean little man I call shame is whispering in my ear how much I will be judged. I battled depression and recently have found it lifting off me- the wet blanket being removed. So, I had to send you mad love but still not sure I can share it. I am going to work on it.

  • Depression and its ancestor "nervous" illness are nothing new in the medical world. All one has to do is read medical history to understand that it goes back to our knuckle dragging days; however, it is only in the last sixty years or so that medical "science" has divorced the emotional from the physical, and it is only in the last decade or so where the perspective of total wellness is coming back.

    To wit, ever notice the increasing number of pain clinics and chiropractor offices springing up? They are competing with Starbucks for commercial space. Why? Anxiety/depression induces symptoms that go undiagnosed by allopathic doctors, such as most back pain, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc. Unfortunately, the former do not offer a cure, either, for most, as the problem is in the mind, even though the pain and symptoms are real.

    Are depression and anxiety First World problems? No. Are the soothing and care of these symptoms made harder by an increasingly isolated and lonely population, as well as the failure of institutions like family, religion, community, and government? Yes.

  • Thank you for this. Thank you so much! I've been battling, often in silence, depression for a very long time. I read the links you posted. Much of it hit close to home. I read your blog about post pardum. I considered writing a blog about my story, a story that includes a one night stay in the loony bin from trying to od on sleeping pills. Of course, I didn't. Maybe some day. BUT, I was able to share, on facebook no less, with those who wish to read about it, a link to this blog and an admittance to my suicide attempt.
    Once again Nikki, you are my hero! HERO! :) Divine intervention led me to you! hearts!

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    I had another take on the term 'first world problem' based on my experience being pregnant with my first child. I was so sick, that none of the other normal complaints of pregnancy registered.

    I would think that depression might rank likewise in 3rd world countries, it is there but there are too many other more urgent problems to address. Or maybe there is an expectation that people will be sad in such situations so that clinical depression gets lumped into general dispare.

    I would also guess that the depressed in those situations have a much shorted life expectancy, they just don't have the drive to fight and live.

    I am guessing this is not what the person who described it that way meant. It was just what came to mind for me.

  • But I really do prefer 10's. Sometimes I want I have $30 in my account and want it all, but I can only get $20 :(

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    Thanks for this blog and for sharing the links to the other blogs. It is sad to know there are other people suffering with depression, but I took quite a bit from each blog that seemed to be written about me specifically. Or that my thoughts and feelings were coming out of someone elses mouth. Thanks again for sharing!

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    Depression is real and there are far more better reasons to be depressed than technology and not being able to keep up with the Jones'. For example, and yes I'm using this opportunity to share my book, I have plenty of reasons to find myself not wanting to get out of bed and hating the world around me. It's an on going battle and never ending struggle. Here is a link to my Kindle ebook. It's called Clinically F*cked: The Early Years and yes, it's a free download right now:

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    I want to share my blog with you all about being crazy and taking crazy pills.

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