In Blackest Night – The Trouble With Depression…
I’ve been thinking about depression and its place in society. It’s taken a while to figure out what to write about it (it’ll probably come out all wrong regardless of the time spent on it) but the above clip from ‘The Sopranos‘ pilot episode kinda hits it on the head. See, in a depressed person’s head, the thoughts never stop. In many cases it is difficult to find a voice. But, once found, it can be hard to shut it up. There’s no happy medium. They say to not bottle it up. They say it’s best to talk about it. They say to never feel like you cant go to them for support.
But once you pop that lid of despair off your tube of mental Pringles…yep, you got it; you just can’t stop. I’ve gone through phases where I open up and talk about it freely and then I start bottling up again. Why? Because I get the sense that they don’t want to hear it. They are fed up of it all. They were just being polite by offering an ear or a shoulder and, upon finally accepting their offer, they wish they’d never bothered. “Oh, here we go again with the torrent of negativity.”
At least with a blog, there is no they as such. People can choose to read it or not. But it’s not without its own sense of irony. When talking about depression, the focal point is you. It has to be…otherwise what’s the point? I generally hate talking about myself at length but I know that it’s something I need to do to try and tackle this sonofabitch. But, because mental health issues don’t just go away, it’s an ongoing thing. You can’t just have your say and let that be the end of it. It’s a dark and gloomy tapestry, intricately woven with many stories to tell. When people offer up their ear or shoulder, I believe that they think it to be like a short-term lease. The horror hits them when they discover that’s not the case. It’s like you have become a squatter in their apartment of time.
The perception to others is a killer for people like me. We struggle to open up in the first place because we don’t want to be a burden, we fear being shunned and we hate being judged. So, when offering up your ear and/or shoulder and by having us accept the invitation, why should we feel bad for doing just that? Liken it to a dog you bought for Christmas – it becomes too much to manage in terms of time and attention – is it the dog’s fault for following it’s nature or is it yours for the ignorance and naivete? No it’s not.
So, we have this ‘dance’ of sorts where we do what we are advised, we become pariahs because eventually we outstay our ‘welcome’. And then we go back to bottling it all back up to then do the merry dance again at some point. And they wonder why we’re reluctant to seek help…
I went to the doctor last week and had a few concerns to raise about other aspects of my health but I didn’t bring them up because of how I thought I would feel upon doing so. I mean, haven’t I got plenty wrong with me already? So I second-guess and assume a prognosis without seeking the appropriate advice because of how I think I will be perceived. A laundry list of what ails me and all I can think is how I would come across as a hypochondriac if I mention them.
This is one of the many things that is wrong with society as we know it. The internet gave birth to a major augmentation to the freedom of speech but when one exercises that right, they are chastised. Yes, just like everything in life, there are those that can take the piss (which of course causes a lot of the stigma and ignorance) but not everyone is deserving of that categorisation. Another problem is ‘proving’ your mental state.
It’s easy to just blurt out that you’re depressed etc. and *Pfwooom* the protective bubble is deployed. Look at Uncle Junior in the later seasons of The Sopranos – feigning dementia to bypass the full justice owed to him.
I want to raise awareness and provide an insight but, as well as probably not doing a good job, you can lead a mule to water…
Thanks for reading.