brought on by big brother star Andrew Tate making some really…insensitive statements on depression.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jk-rowling-and-patton-oswalt-hit-back-at-reality-stars-depression-claim_us_59b663dde4b0dfaafcf906bd here’s the article if you wanted to read it. In less eloquent terms, fuck that guy.
Boy howdy, if only I had a nickel for every time some person gave me shitty advice on how to cure my depression! As a guesstimate…I’d probably have like, thirty cents. Maybe more. I like to think big.
But here’s the fun thing about depression, my friends! I have changed my life!
I moved away from my hometown and went to a college more than six hours away. I found a bunch of great people that I’m proud to call my friends. I went to the gym, I loved my classes and I learned some good shit that will stay with me for the rest of my days.
I even kicked it in France for one semester. Guess what, pal?
I changed my life. And depression was still there! Hanging around like a shadow. Ain’t that funny?
I once saw a graph that was a pretty accurate description of what depression feels like. Hopefully, I can find it and post it here, but if I can’t, it was a picture of a pie chart. One sliver was labeled with ‘sadness’. Another had anger. Another said loneliness. And another said hopelessness. I hope you understand where I’m going with this. Where I’m going with this is that sadness is only a piece of the pie. The bitter, shitty pie.
I believe many people have this misconception that depression is interchangeable with sadness; this is not the case, unfortunately. They are not similes. You can’t substitute one for the other. Sadness is more of a…situational feeling, at least to me. I get sad when I find out a loved one has passed away. I get sad when I have to leave my dog when I go back to school. I get sad when I gain three pounds.
The thing about sadness is that it can be reversed by thinking positively. It can be reversed by putting a plan into action.
What do you do when you are sad about gaining weight? You go to the gym and work it off! And then you are less sad.
Depression doesn’t…quite work like that. Granted, sometimes Depression is situational, brought on by a shitty environment or sharing space with shitty people, or going through a shitty, life altering event.
In my specific case, mental illness crept up on me as a late teenager, following me like a shadow, biding its time to finally make a move. And it did. And since then, my life has never been the same. It pounced, seemingly from thin air. Depression is a heavy weight that is perched on your shoulders, a heftiness that lingers.
Depression is a heavy weight that is perched on your shoulders, a heftiness that lingers.
It is feeling numb one minute, and suddenly you are filled with insatiable, frightening fury the next. It is forgetting. It is living life detached from the rest of reality. It is caring about nothing at all. It is sleeping for seventeen hours in a row on Thursday because you stayed up all night on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It is in your ear every single day, whispering malignant things that eat you up on the inside. ‘Your friends hate you, no one will ever love you, you will not be missed if you are dead, says It.
Depression is feeling so worthless that you write goodbye notes to your friends and family, and you down a handful of pills, or drop from a chair with a noose around your neck, or sit in the car with the garage locked tight and the engine steadily running, to finally end the pain of it all, of being alive.
I certainly wouldn’t describe it as bullshit.
A nightmare seems pretty on the dot.
I tried to run away from it, fast as I could. Tried to change my life in college, tried to leave it behind in my home country when I went overseas. And you know what it did? It followed me wherever I went, crawling under my skin and into my bones even though I was a thousand miles away. It’s an exhausting experience. If it was so easily curable like Tate claims if all I have to do is keep telling myself depression isn’t real, if lifting some stupid weights at the fucking gym would finally make it fuck off and dissolve completely from my body, then you would see me there all day, every day!
If it was so easily curable like Tate claims if all I have to do is keep telling myself depression isn’t real, if lifting some stupid weights at the fucking gym would finally make it fuck off and dissolve completely from my body, then you would see me there all day, every day!
You recall all those things you took joy in, those things that made you happy, all too exhausting to continue, and you weep. Depression perches itself on your shoulders and makes you slow, stagnant. An unmoving puddle that will eventually shrivel up and disappear. My shoulders and neck have hurt for years, even after intense sessions of massages.
I watch as my friends grow as people, as young adults that will soon find themselves in the big, wide open world, and I cannot be more proud of them. And more jealous, as they pass me by.
I wish depression wasn’t real. That it was a terribly long lasting bout of sadness, a sadness that rose from nowhere and will one day bury itself from once it came.
Dealing with people that give unprovoked tidbits of advice about how I should do healing therapy or take up yoga or eat more kale to make myself feel better is simply a given living with a mood disorder. It’s useless, but I listen anyway because this advice normally comes from a party that is trying to be optimistic and helpful. And sometimes I do take that advice, because perhaps an intense regimen of yoga or a diet consisting of only kale will be the Golden Ticket I’ve been searching for, the cure for years of hurt.
I mistrust people like Andrew Tate. I fear the people that call mental illness or mood disorders made up things of fantastically sad people until I inevitably display nasty, messy behaviors brought on by my depression, and they turn tail. I tend to keep my distance nowadays. It makes me feel even worse, makes me feel lonely and sad and misunderstood like some sort of leper, like a freak.
I live with people like Andrew Tate. People who believe that tough love or doing a hundred squats in a day will be a wake-up call for the poor, pathetic losers ‘suffering’ from something they think is depression. A simple change in thinking can reveal the silver lining that so many have been searching for. I have friends that have this mentality. I have a family like this. And even with them, I keep an arms distance. I have ceased telling my mom any time a depressive episode kicks
A simple change in thinking can reveal the silver lining that so many have been searching for. I have friends that have this mentality. I have a family like this. And even with them, I keep an arms distance. ‘
I have ceased telling my mom any time a depressive episode kicks in because she gives me the same answer every single time “what do you have to be depressed about? you’re going to a great school and you have a family that supports you. If anything, you should be more grateful.’ A couple months ago, she disclosed to me that she had stopped taking my calls for an extended amount of time because I was such a drag to talk to. In that moment, with a striking clarity, I realized that I was, I am, basically on my own in this fight.
It feels like I’m walking on a tightrope whenever I try to ‘change my life’ as Tate phrases it. As I try to turn the other cheek, to focus on the nice things in life, like the leaves changing in autumn or being curled up in a large blanket as a thunderstorm rages outside. For a short while, a very short while, it seems to work. Inevitably, I fall off the small wire of sanity back into the deep darkness that lies below my feet. It has been a constant struggle for years, and I hope that one day, it will dissipate as quickly as it appeared. Or if I could at least starve some of it away with a regimen of medication and therapy and good friends and a constant sleep schedule.
Simplifying something as complicated as depression into just a feeling of sadness that can be negated by thinking happy thoughts is, to put it politely…a dick move. You can change your life a million times over—shave your head bald, get tattoos all over your body, throw away your whole new wardrobe to buy a new one, move to a different country, etcetera, etcetera. In the end, depression always catches up, no matter if you find yourself living at the very edge of the world. And it will sit on your shoulders and whisper in your ear that you are nothing, and it will drain all your energy and seep through your brain like a malignant tumor.
Listen, learn from and support people with depression, people with mood disorders in general.
Making statements like Andrew Tate’s will undoubtedly isolate the person you love that is hurting. It’s more than sadness. It is a creeping thing that will swallow you whole if you’re not paying attention.