SoCS – The “Ins” and “Outs” of Depression (Sort-of)

I was reading a book last week and the two main characters were having a conversation, revealing backstory.  She admitted that she wrote books but she hated them because they were full of anger and rage.  Depression was also mentioned and the guy said, “You don’t look like a depressed person.”

It got me to thinking.

What the hell does a depressed person look like anyway?  It’s pretty stereotypical to think that all depressed people walk around wearing black and crying all the time.  It bothered me because Depression isn’t something that is necessarily recognizable, as much as some people might think it is.

It makes me angry when people talk about depressed people as if they know what it’s like.  Oh, you’re depressed?  Here’s a list of things that you can do and you’ll be cured:

  • Just take a pill
  • See a therapist
  • Just be happy (Seriously??)
  • The sun is shining and you have all these amazing things in your life.  Just focus on those things and everything will be better

The sad reality is that many people think all of these things are cures, rather than tools.  I don’t believe Depression can be cured.  It’s something you live with every day.  Some days are worse than others, but you survive somehow.  I think the worst thing you can do is go into it thinking it will all just go away at some point.

I spent at least ten years of my life firmly believing that I would one day be cured.  I took pills, I saw therapists, I focused on goodness, only to find myself in a deeper, darker place than I was when I admitted I had Depression.

I know it’s different for everyone, so I’m not here to tell you how you should handle your Depression.  But for me, I found that acceptance was my best friend.  Rather than fighting the bad days, I accept them.  It isn’t easy.  It’s hard to wallow in the darkness, but I do it with the firm belief that it is temporary.  I know things will look better soon and that whatever is going on internally doesn’t define who I am.

That’s probably the hardest part of Depression (for me); in those moments when the Depression hits me full force, I truly believe I am an awful person and everyone in my life would be better off without me.  It’s a scary thing to realize your thoughts are basically beating the shit out of you and it’s hard not to fall into the trap of believing yourself; well not yourself, but the thoughts.  See, even I have a hard time separating my thoughts from my self.

This doesn’t have much to do with in/out, except that maybe you can think of Depression like that.  Rather than letting it define who you are, think of it as being “in” the Depression and then being “out” of it.  Does that work?  Maybe in a simplistic sort of strange way.  I really just wanted to rant about what I read in that book, and somehow fit it into the theme for this week.  I’m probably cheating, but I did Stream of Conscious, so I guess that’s probably all that matters.

Happy Saturday everyone!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “in/out.” Use one, use both, use ’em any way you’d like. Enjoy!” Feel free to click the link and join us in our stream of consciousness writing.

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12 thoughts on “SoCS – The “Ins” and “Outs” of Depression (Sort-of)

  1. Depression could look like a number of things. I am clinically depressed (on top of autism spectrum disorder). Just random strangers passing by me wouldn’t be able to peg me as a depressed person. Nor could my coworkers or bosses. By all means I appear to function normally. The demons I fight on a daily basis are invisible to them.

    I just realize this is part of who I am and the battle will be never ending. At times I want to throw in the towel. At times I have a burning desire to end it all. Yet here I am still.

    Oh, and those stupid little “fixes” non-depressed people throw about like they’re nothing just make my blood boil. They don’t know what it’s like. How then are they qualified to say things like that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, they aren’t qualified to say those things, but I can only imagine it’s easier for them to think of depression as temporary.
      I’ve been diagnosed with severe depression and acute anxiety, as if the extra descriptive words somehow makes it that much worse, when really depression all in its own is difficult to live with. But we survive.
      I’m sending you all my love and huge virtual hugs. I know it’s hard, but I also believe it’s worth it! ❤️

      Like

  2. I wonder if we’ll ever find a cure for depression… probably not.I know what you mean about the difference between a cure and tools for coping. I’m using some of those tools on a daily basis myself! Sometimes they work better than others…

    I guess the best we can hope for, as a society, is that sometime in the future we’ll have a better understanding of the kind of traumas and stressors that trigger a lot of depression and anxiety, and that we’ll develop better resources for prevention, if not cure. Maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s kind of like chronic pain, which can include feeling depressed. Invisible on the outside and terrible on the inside. Both receive a lot of judgment, well intentioned or not. Well done fitting these thoughts into this week’s SoCS.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an excellent post Helen, you are right depression doesn’t have a definable face….the people I know with it do accept it as part of their life and have strategies of their own to deal with it….thanks for sharing, has got me thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I could write book about this subject…oh wait, I AM writing it…and I just want to tell you, your description and words are so moving and will go a long way toward helping those who don’t really “get” depression. Thank you so much. I’d like to share this (reblog?) with another site I follow called https://brokenlightcollective.com/. Is that OK? As a psychotherapist in private practice for almost 40 years, and who deals with depression myself, I appreciate your candor and depth so much.

    Thank You Helen! Just one more reason for me to absolutely love you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would be honored for you to share it! I’ve always wanted something good to come out of my darkness, so I decided long ago to be open and share. It helps knowing that my words might help someone. Thank you!

      Like

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