The funny thing about depression is that it doesn’t make sense, and you know it doesn’t make sense, but you believe it anyway. Lately, I’ve been going through a big wave of depression, and sometimes it can get quite challenging to cope with, so I figured I’d talk about it tonight.
When many people hear the word depression, they equate it with being sad, or feeling down, but there’s a world of difference between depression and feeling down.
It Comes Out of Nowhere
The thing that is so distressing and frankly upsetting to normal living is that it is unpredictable. It appears so abruptly sometimes and without any apparent cause, and very few people can really understand that. If something was going wrong they would perhaps have a better grasp of why you are depressed, but it’s those days when you wake up in the morning and just can’t get out of bed that are the hardest.
It Makes Sense, But It Doesn’t
Very often depression creates pseudo-logical arguments for why life and the world in general are terrible. These arguments are often easy enough to disprove, but even having disproven them, your brain refuses to accept the truth. And this is another big misconception that people have.
When someone is depressed, friends and family will try to “reason” them out of it, making arguments for why life is good and why there is no problem to worry about. But the problem is that they don’t realize that depression isn’t logical. It can sound some times like the depressed person is trying to make a logical argument for the way they feel, but they always know the argument is flawed, and pointing out its flaws doesn’t make it any better.
Just Because I’m Smiling Doesn’t Mean I’m Happy
Another big misconception about depression is that it’s easy to notice. While peaks in a depressive episode may be easy to detect, very often, the majority of it flies under the radar. One of depression’s favorite forms is a never-ceasing pressure, which is easy enough to ignore, at first. But when day after day after day that pressure closes in, it becomes very exhausting.
Through all of this, the depressed person can continue to live a normal, healthy life, and none would be the wiser. Then people are all surprised when the slightest adversity comes around and the person falls over like a reed snapped by a hurricane. The problem is that by that point, the foundation has already been eroded thin, and just a gentle breeze can send everything toppling down.
I Haven’t “Forgotten” the Bible
Some people think that a person suffering from depression just isn’t a strong enough Christian or that they don’t know that God tells us to, “be joyful in all things.” Stop. Just stop. Depression is not a memory wipe. I don’t forget everything I’ve personally read and learnt just because I am depressed.
I know what the Bible tells us to do, and I’m not sinning by being depressed. Just as God does not expect jokes and laughter at a funeral, don’t expect a depressed person to dance for joy when their third attempt at something fails. What you can do to help a person going through an episode of depression is to support them. And by this I mean pray for them, offer them encouragement. Try to understand how much of an effort they make just to get out of bed in the morning, how difficult it is for them to eat their food and move on through life.
I think I’ve carried on about depression enough. I’m sure those of you who’ve read to this part of the post all get my point now. The truth of the matter is that this entire semester, and even further back into the middle of this summer, I’ve been suffering from a long period of depression. It’s mostly been just that kind of pressure I’ve been talking about, which isn’t so bad, but there have been waves, and they’ve hit pretty hard.
One of the biggest waves was all of my friends leaving for college, and I literally mean all of them. I’m not a very social person, and my friend group was pitifully small before school started, but now it consists of only two people, and they are people I met in class this semester. Beyond that, I have no friends.
Recently, my cousins from Singapore (whom I’ve always been close to), came over to visit, and we had a grand time. However, ever since they’ve left, I have been feeling more and more lonely. This, of course, has compounded in the way that anybody who suffers from depression can understand. All the small incidents add up and they suddenly feel like an overwhelming burden.
My point in writing this post is not to evoke pity or sympathy though. There are a lot of people out there who are worse off than me, and I don’t consider myself “disabled” or “handicapped” in any way. I wrote this post to bring awareness to a subject that I am personally involved in, and I hope that if any of you know of someone who suffers from depression that this will help you understand them better.