Saturday, January 21, 2012

I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing.

I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing.

I think there is a huge problem in terms of public health, in a disorder that goes seriously under-treated and is not given the attention it needs. Depression.

It is so much more than having a bad day.

Admit it. Most of us have had shitty days. Or maybe a shitty week, or a shitty month.. Where things just don't seem to go your way. And that makes us feel pretty crappy. It really does. But we have a reason to feel this way. We are sad, but we can explain it. We can see hope and we know that things will get better - that this shit is just temporary.

But depression is something totally different. Depression is something where sometimes you just feel like you are falling apart, and you can't attribute it to a bad day or a mean comment or a heartbreak. You just feel like you are falling apart... and that there is nothing you can do to make it better. It completely debilitates you.. I think the best way to describe what is feels like, is to call it an emptiness that just won't go away.

And the worst part is, is that people don't get it.

"But your life is great." "You are doing so well in school!" "You have nothing to complain about."

So a lot of people go on thinking that this is just who they are. About 25% with depression get help, the others just go on ... and suffer. Truly, suffer. Relationships fall apart. Grades can drop. You can gain or lose weight. Then they start to feel trapped, like there is no way out.

But I mean, there is a way out. You can get help. And help IS there. But the problem isn't the lack of help, it is the lack of common understanding what depression is. And now we live in a world where it is common to COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN. Making it even harder to notice the signs.

Depression can affect you, and it does not discriminate. You can be poor, rich, ugly, pretty, popular, smart, young, old... It can happen. And just because you have it good in life does not give you a reason to not get help. Because you can lose all the goodness in life and slip away from everything you know.

Describing depression as a black cloud, to me, is a really good way to explain the way it can take over. At first, it really isn't there. It just peeks in and out. And slowly it creeps its way into your life. Taking over slowly enough that it is hard to notice the effects. And somedays, you get a little sunshine through the clouds. But the cloud never really goes away.. And soon, the sun, even though it is trying really hard, just CAN'T break through the clouds. But usually, at this point, you are so used to the clouds being there that you don't even realize the sunshine is gone.

But the great thing is, what most people don't understand, is that life doesn't have to be like this. There are ways to find the sunshine, and with time... and bravery, you can find your rainbow. Maybe that sounds cliche.. But who cares?

Depression happens. I know this on a personal level. It really really really sucks, and it really really really sucks even more that people DO NOT get it. And they do not respect how hard it is to live with.

I just hope that a blog like this can raise SOME awareness. Because in today's society, I think all the complaints we see on a day to day basis on facebook or twitter or bbm make us think that everyone is "depressed" or whatever. But like I said, there is a difference between complaining and having a shitty day/week/month and being depressed.

There is no shame in getting help. None.

And if someone judges you, screw em. They have no idea and they might never understand it. And that is fine, they are LUCKY they don't understand. Feel sorry that they do not have empathy, but do not let it stop you from thinking something is wrong. Society is so messed up. We are all expected to be so happy and perfect and smiling all the time, and sometimes, it is just impossible. It doesn't matter how great things are. It happens.

It's okay not to be okay.

Life is pretty great, and I want everyone who is suffering to have those dark clouds cleared from their lives. Because no one deserves to be depressed. Everyone deserves a way out.

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