WARNING! This blog contains touchy subject matter!
For starters, let me make the bold statement of stating that Depression is not a choice!
This may be controversial for some of spiritual backgrounds or unique opinions. It is fine to be diametrically opposed respectfully. However, there are some that need to hear this. If you or someone you know suffers with anxiety or symptoms of depression, you already know how heavy this topic is.
What is depression exactly? It is a mood disorder that causes changes in temperament that may be gradual or sudden. It is a persistent or occasional feeling of suddenness and loss of interest. Depression is mental health disorder. Anything dealing with the brain affects the remainder of your body and does cause some health issues. There are some physical factors linked to depression as heart disease, drastic weight loss or gain, fatigue, hypothyroidism and much more.
According to my research over 264 million people suffer depression. That’s millions of people fighting through each day or certain seasons. Depression can lead to suicide. Approximately 800,000 people commit suicide annually. Now that is a great number and I believe it can be preventable for most. Depression is enough to manage along not to mention the external complexities of life events and circumstances that add to it. The worst part of dealing with certain symptoms is judgement. Negative, dismissive, or judgmental comments coming from anyone is critical to someone in this state. You can push them away, cause them to shut down and even slip deeper into a whole. Many would argue that your words do nothing. As stated in a previous blog “Sticks and Stones” you will see that it is quite detrimental. How can we mitigate this? By support and kindness. Now, I am not suggesting you walk on eggshells but to be considerate of the fragility of that person’s mind and emotions.Get them talking and try to find out their triggers. This would help your relationship greatly if you had an idea of senstive topics and/or situations.
The great debate has been the argument of the gene vs. the person. Sometimes it is both. Some people are predisposed to certain actions, symptoms, and behaviors. Others develop such symptoms in their juvenile state, adolescence and even adulthood. We all go through something where it might make you question your worth, existence, and purpose. However, it gets dangerous when you are hopeless and believe you would be doing everyone a favor by removing yourself permanently. Some experience trauma and have not appropriately dealt with such blows and continue to smile and occupy time and mental space with activities and work. Some burry themselves in their hobbies. Look at some of the greatest celebrities we know struggle with substance abuse, depression and the list continues on. They have everything it seems except happiness. They become perfectionist and exhibit other qualities where their profession is the core of their existence. It makes sense why some are distraught when their careers make left turns. The people to watch are not always the ones in the corner sulking. Contrary to most common belief, it is the person in charge of everything, dealing with pressure and responsibility. It’s the person smiling and fully functional. They are team players and most commonly creatives. We hear the saying “I am an Artist, and I am sensitive about my stuff!” Many are tired to their gifts and abilities.
Creatives, Artists, Leaders everyone deal with various levels of depression. Some people can bounce back faster than others. We often judge people by their leaves. Leaves are external and visible features. We rarely know or acknowledge the root. Many fail to go that deep to someone. All you have to do is to accept that these occurrences are real and your loved one or friend is not some hypochondriac seeking attention.
I am highly convinced that many depressed individuals are empaths. Everyone has a measure of empathy within. Unless you are a sociopath, you will feel something. However, empaths have the ability to embrace everything and feel everyone in their atmosphere. They are often sensitive and tend to be some of the most mindful, thoughtful, caring individuals. Many are emotionally intelligent and uniquely observant. There is a plethora of reasons why someone may be emotional or depressed. Not everyone can handle a million things thrown at them. I personally prefer to say that a person has a compromised resilience tolerance.
The truth is, many people who suffer with this illness absolutely hate the feeling. They desire to be upbeat and have stability. Nobody chooses to lose passion, desire and fire within the things they loved most. Nobody wants to cry themselves to sleep.Many who are severely depressed are often experience systems unbeknownst to many around them. The phrase “misery likes company!” Is Not true for all people. Facades are worn to dismiss judgement and labels. It is like feeling trapped in a box underwater and left to mental sharks who smell blood. We demonize, ostracize and citizen people who deal with such symptoms even if they are fully functional. I recommend that we make it acceptable to say, “I AM NOT OKAY!” and create windows and doors for assistance.
As the holiday’s quickly approach. I would encourage everyone to check in with everyone they know and love. Donate to the homeless and those less fortunate who must sit and watch the world shop and spread love and joy. Smiles, shopping, holiday décor does not mean that they are well either. Many who have lost loved ones or do not have families are often down during this season. They do not need a pity party what they need is someone sincere just to be there. “They say its better to give than to receive” so while we are amidst the giving season lets give priceless gifts like love, support, prayers and kindness.
Encourage yourself or others to seek help and be surrounded by positive things. Positivity can be a religious community, friends, loves ones or just fun amongst good people. I strong suggest seeking professional help. There is nothing wrong with talking to someone who can help you make sense of things as well as tap into your faith. As a Christian, I stress having a personal and honest relationship with God. Many may never understand what you’re dealing with but He does. You can be healed but you must be honest with the Celestial Doctor and tell Him where it hurts. Truth is, He is the remedy over any prescription a physician can subscribe.
Here are some resources and hotlines to call in case you ever should need someone https://www.betterhelp.com/