I see posts like this all the time, scattered throughout Facebook and Instagram and Pintrest, and everytime I see it I just want to scream. This is some straight up bullshit, and I’m going to explain why.
First of all, if somebody is pointing out that you might have a better life than you are currently experiencing that is not an attempt to diminish how awful you feel. It could come off as condescending, but only if you have allowed your depression to give you tunnel vision. This isn’t some asshat trying to point out the obvious just so you’ll stop feeling sorry for yourself. This is a friend, a fellow human being who has dealt with their own set of struggles throughout life that you know nothing about, and this human is trying to get you to see something brighter, something better than the world currently reflected in your eyes. It’s not about making you feel bad for how bad you feel, it’s about making you see that not everything is falling apart, that you have some good in your life. How much time do you think a human can stay in the dark, alone, before they fall apart? Those circumstances alone, a dark setting, hiding yourself away and refusing to see the light, that can bring about depression within anybody, so of course someone who cares about you will try and force you out, one way or another. Personally, I would get much more aggressive and demanding, but this sort of measured action is probably more effective.
So, to sum up that first point, let’s just say this: if you’re counter argument for why something somebody else is telling you devolves into a senseless repetition of “I have been clinically diagnosed with depression, you can’t understand, blah blah blah,” then you’re friend is right, and you’re just being an asshole about it, which is fine, it happens to everybody, but depression isn’t an excuse. Clearly your friends know you have depression and are making an effort to understand you, but for some reason you think that having depression means you don’t have to make an effort to understand them? Because they don’t have it as bad? Yeah, no. You aren’t alone. You can feel alone, but that doesn’t make it true. Does that truth make it easier to deal with? Absolutely, but maybe only marginally so. Still, it’s something, and the whole point is to get you to see, to acknowledge that something.
Part #2: Depression isn’t some “mood” or “phase.” Sure, why not. Depression is a complex set of physiological tendencies that drive a person to behave in a certain way, so I guess one could try to argue that it can’t be defined as a simple mood or a phase in ones life. The problem with this statement though is that it implies that, outside of a clinically diagnosed depression, any other form of depression isn’t as real. Anybody who’s lived 10 seconds can tell you this is bullshit. Depression hits everybody at some point. Depression can certainly be a “mood.” You’ve had a long week, working overtime to cover the cost of having your shitty car fixed. You cancel plans with friends, your significant other cheats on you, it’s Saturday night and you run out of hot water in the middle of your shower. Those circumstances can bring about depression within anybody. Is that depression not as real as yours? In the moment it is just as powerful, and maybe even more so. This could hit a person who is generally always upbeat, and to get beat down with so much at once, it makes them question why. Why is this happening to them? What did they do to deserve this? And after a night of drinking alone, the answer they land on might be nothing, that they did nothing to deserve this, but it happened anyway, so maybe just their existence was enough to bring about this fucked up bullshit. But that wouldn’t count as “real” depression, right?
To summarize that second point, depression can hit anybody, not just those who are diagnosed. And maybe some people are just better at hiding it than others. Maybe the person who’s trying to help you right now is suffering through something, and you have no idea, and you couldn’t have any idea, because you don’t want that to be true, and not because you don’t want them to be suffering like you, but because you are revealing in the knowledge that nobody has it as bad as you do right now. And how do I know that you don’t care? Well, that becomes clear in part 3.
Part 3 is short and simple. “I don’t expect you to understand.” That sentence is really all I needed to read to know that this entire post was fucking ugly bullshit, depression pandering asshattery. How dare you. How fucking dare you make the assumption that someone else can’t understand? Are you the first person to ever suffer like this? Is your pain that fukcing unique? Do you know every secret of the person talking to you right now, so you can say with 100% certainty, that they have no idea what you’re going through?
Depression, when expressed like this on social media, paints a picture of a lonely, cynical asshole who thinks they know everything about everybody, but nobody can know a fucking thing about them, and it’s pointless. It’s a pointless post that does nothing to help you. It doesn’t help the people they want to help you, it doesn’t help the part of you that won’t admit aloud that you actually want people to try, and it doesn’t help the stigma around depression that has evolved with the dawn of the internet, where depression is shared around message boards on tumblr and reddit as a fucking meme, so of course it’s never taken seriously, until suicide prevention month rolls around, and everybody on Facebook is sharing a post with the suicide hotline number, and some idiot plays that stupid ass Logic song (which is some of the worst mainstream pandering to suicide to make money while doing nothing of substance, fuck that song, fuck Logic and his shitty raps and his shitty fucking rap name, and fuck pop music in general for always using real fucking problems people face, then turning them into this over simplified issues that can be handled in a 4 minute shitty 4 chord formatted song to push to the masses, only to be forgotten about with a year to make room for the next batch on pandering bullshit).
Look, it’s really simple. I’m depressed. I lock myself away in my apartment for days that turn into months, only forging outside for work and a quick run to the gas station to buy chips and mountain dew. I saved money on my phone bill last month by not having a fucking cell phone the entire time. I have no social media accounts, minus this blog, my tumblr and the twitter account, all of which are under the name Taylor Finn, which, in case some people aren’t aware, is not my real name. Nobody I know in real life reads anything I write. Hell, nobody in my life even knows I like to write period. I have friends, but ignore them. I have a family, but I ignore them. I cut, I overdose on sleeping pills, I’ve been forced to stay in a hospital twice in the past 6 months for attempted suicides. I’ve been like this my entire life, but it was easier to hide when I had school. Without that structure, the depression got worse and worse, and I don’t have any answers. I don’t know how I’ll make it out. In fact, every day I grow more and more certain that I won’t ever feel okay with being alive, and I’ll be dead long before I turn 30. But even though I believe that, and I’m living like that, I still know that depression can be beaten. I know that people care. I know that people have it worse, and that knowledge does not make me feel better at all, but I know it. And I know stupid ass posts like this piss me off, because they scream of childish bullshit. They scream of somebody who wants attention, but is to embarrassed to ask. You have depression! Great! That’s not an excuse to be an asshole!
At the end of the day, this is just how depression has evolved. The internet turned it into this fucking meme of whiny bullshit. Depression isn’t fucking fun, it isn’t a fucking game, and it isn’t an excuse for anything you do or say.