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 http://www.Water.org 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, http://www.crazymeds.com 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.