Really, you’re not.
Mental health, specifically depression, has become one of the more talked-about and studied health concerns of recent history. The headway we have made as a society in terms of accepting people for who they are, not who they seem to be, is an incredible step forward in acceptance and creating a more inviting world for those that truly struggle.
But in the grand scheme of things, most of you are nothing but hypocrites. Complete and total posers who just want to be a part of something that everyone else seems to be ‘talking about’. How offended are you right now?
And it’s not necessarily your fault, there is a lot about depression that cannot be explained to the fullest and clearest expectations to someone who has never experience it themselves.
Depression isn’t the blues, its not feeling glum because it’s raining outside and your plans to go to the beach were altered. Depression is living with two identities. One is who you are, who you want to be, and who you wish you were, the other is the exact opposite – an ongoing struggle to recognize the difference between realities. If you haven’t experienced depression personally, it’s tough to grasp. I get that. But that’s where all you hypocrites come in. Every single person in this world is effected in some form or another by mental health, whether you realize it or not – yourself, a family member, a friend, a co-worker. It’s out there and it’s around you.
And that’s the thing – whether or not you realize it. You’re best friend of 15 years could secretly be going through an extreme battle with depression, yet they haven’t come to term’s with the way in which they feel comfortable enough to share that burden with you. It’s an embarrassing thing to admit if you don’t fully understand it. The person you sit next to at work might seem to be the happiest, most outgoing person you have ever met, but chances are its an overcompensation to hide the true guilt and dreadfulness that sits within them.
But that’s where the burden falls solely on you. Think about it, how many times have you jumped on the bandwagon every January 27th and tweeted “BellLetsTalk”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant thing Bell does each year (one of many), it gets people talking, it gets people thinking – and that’s the point, to create as much awareness surrounding mental health as possible. But let me ask you, what else did you do? I bet your nimble little fingers were scrolling through Twitter and saw the abundance of others tweeting the hashtag, so you’ll join in, of course. Gotta’ get those re-tweets, right?
Does your perception of someone change once you know they suffer from depression? I guarantee it does, even if you don’t want to believe it. At this stage, you have two choices: accept them for who they are and continue to be supportive, or chalk them up to being fucked up and move on with your own life.
How often do you criticize someone you witness acting a little more strangely than you do? Here’s the thing – there is always more to the story than meets the eye. That person you see walking through the hallway at school with their head down, keeping to themselves isn’t a weirdo (maybe they are), or strange, or fucked up – for all you know, they could have attempted to hang themselves earlier that morning, but failed, and were forced to face the reality of the world once more. That person you don’t see anymore downtown partying hasn’t done it on purpose, they haven’t grown tired of you, in retrospect, chances are they deeply wish they could be there. Yet, they could be at home, lying in bed, watching TV, waiting for their life to end, blocking out reality for the deepest, darkest corner of their brain. A place where they truly believe they are nothing more than pathetic and worthless – who’s going to miss me when I’m gone?
Take a step back and really grade yourself. Have you done enough? Are you that person that shrugs off a person with a mental illness as just another loser? Just because they seem to be different from you?
On the outside, no, no you’re not, you’re not that person, how can anyone be that person? But take a look back on lost friendships and relationships and ask yourself if you were as accepting and inviting as you could have been. Subconsciously, something made you think of that person differently.
That guy or girl who cant shake the feelings of worthlessness is just as capable as you are – maybe even more-so, because at the end of the day, winning a war, and that’s what depression is, a war, teaches you invaluable lessons about strength and perseverance.
We’re all fucked up in some way or another.