Nobody understands depression. Seriously, not even the people who have it. I’ve been battling depression since I was eleven, started therapy when I was seventeen, and started medication when I was twenty-two. I still don’t understand depression. That’s the first thing those who don’t have depression need to understand: It doesn’t make sense. You can have the best of intentions, giving us your best advice, thinking rationally but depression isn’t rational.
This blog was inspired by the #TheWorstPartOfDepressionIs trend. After reading a number of the tweets, most of which I could relate to, I realized why people can’t understand depression. Every one of them was describing the mental destruction, the irrational sadness, and a few experiences. How is someone who hasn’t experienced depression going to understand what it feels like to have your brain trying to literally kill you? Even those who know someone battling depression and have witnessed the struggles have trouble understanding. In fact, most of the tweets were about experiences dealing with those who don’t understand and the frustration of not knowing how to change that.
I’ve experienced this many times and so I’ve decided to take a different approach. When you tell someone you cut yourself, everybody gets it. There’s sometimes blood, there’s cleaning the wound, pain, band aids, and the dread of pulling off the band aid. These are all physical traits; depression has physical traits as well. Even someone who hasn’t experienced depression understands feeling exhausted or joint pain. Everyone has at some point dreaded some future event. Thus, I’ve decided to try to explain depression without much of the mental descriptions and focus on the everyday existence with depression. I’m going to talk about the exhaustion, the pills, the therapy, the flare-ups, and all those other things I have to deal with because I have depression.
Here’s to hoping someone reading these who didn’t understand the frustration of depression before will have a better idea now.