Oh, So We’re Talking About Depression Now?

So depression is a concern?

Depression is a thing?

When did we actually start caring?

We’re still interested in helping people with depression?

That’s nice! That’s really honorable!  However many people are under the mistaken impression that depression is something new?

I’ve heard people say that they were taken aback when people committed suicide. People are all shocked. They say they didn’t know that the person was suffering.

With this writing is going to speak to ‘my experience’. In other words, this is my experience with depression.  I’m going to speak regarding a synopsis of how I was feeling.

So you say that you didn’t know that the person was suffering from depression? Well, let me tell you how I ended up suffering depression.  Let me tell you what I remember:

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You say you didn’t know that I (or others were suffering from depression). Well, I remember telling you all about the issues that I was suffering.  I
also remember you looking the other way.

I remember crying out to you for help, and you give me a whole song and dance about everything that ‘I’ needed to do to pull myself up and out.  I was under so much oppression, so how in the world could I pull myself up and out.  That’s why I came to you.

I remember coming to you when I was so hurt by the condition of my personal life, and you called me weak, emotional, disrespectful, and/or the problem.

I remember having some emotionally verbally and abusive friends. You told me that perhaps I could help them, but when I tried and they steamed rolled back on me, at me you blamed me.  You told me to try to help them; but when I DID, it all ended up my fault.

I remember having an emotionally verbally mentally abusive spouse. I told you how “I” was suffering behind closed doors with that person. You told me they needed help. I had to work on them. I had to give them my love and respect because they were, of course, my spouse, and as a result, they were deserving of it.  But I had to earn mine. I had to earn my love.  I had to earn my respect.

Depression makes you feel all alone, oppressed, and without a friend in the world.

You explained away the hurtful things that they said and did. But when I told you how fed up and angry I was, you said I was the problem.

Finally, I decided to tell you how frustrated I was with the one-sided treatment. Even at that time, I didn’t know that I was dealing with anything abusive with my spouse, loved ones, and friends. However, I knew that I was dealt with unfairly. I remember wanting to feel validated, and you said: “then what”.

Then what????

I remember communicating to you how I was tired of giving to people who love stepping on you.  I told you that I was weary with having to be less than who I was so that someone else (especially men) could feel bigger.  Do you remember what your great advice was?  You told me I had a problem.  Even if you were right (which you weren’t) by saying that I had a problem, you didn’t even ask me if I needed help.  You left me in my frustration, pain, and anger.

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You looked away from what was happening to me personally. You developed an opinion that I was disrespectful with no evidence except me expressing that I was frustrated. That was your evidence – your only evidence – that I was disrespectful. But you looked away from the actual evidence of what my spouse and other friends were doing.

You were my counselor, my friend, my teacher, my mentor but ultimately it was not your concern.

Several years ago, I finally shut down. Since it needs to be expressed, why then don’t I’ll tell you. You never helped me. Whenever I came to you, you made excuses for the people hurting me. However, I had no excuse for being hurt. I had no excuse for being stressed. I had no excuse for being tired.

I was held at a higher standard.

Later, I made it clear that I no longer felt comfortable talking to you and you were so confused as to why.  I told you that I held so much anger in my heart toward you and you explained it all way.  I told you that I felt that you had treated me unfairly, and it ended our friendship.

Why would I continue to come to you when all you did was blame me for how I was feeling; expressing that I was hurting; and for someone else’s bad actions?

Why would I continue to come to someone that along with my so-called family and friends loves to throw stones of blame?

Why would I continue to come to you when you seemed to pleasure stepping on my feelings?

I realized you weren’t on my side.

It was then that I knew – that God showed me – that I was going through depression. Me not knowing much about depression I thought it was a one-time thing. However, my symptoms got worse. I remember being so afraid to come and talk to you because no matter how bad things that you were going to blame me. You were hardly ever saw my side.

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It was months and some years that I crawled through.

A few months ago a friend told me that based on my symptoms it looks like I have what’s called seasonal depression. I made the decision to go to the doctor to get that checked out. However, because of fear, I canceled my appointment three times before I drag myself there.

Once there, finally for once as I begin to express to a professional what I was going through, I had a professional that actually listened to me. I had a professional that I actually believed me. You were supposed to be the professionals. At least I thought so.

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I look at myself and now I’m happy. But I laugh. I take pills for
depression. I think about everything that I had gone through; how I tried to reach out for help; how I tried to plead with you all for help; but you look the other way. Didn’t intervene. You were preachy. You wanted to seem so wise. But you were so brutal.

And now I’m concerned. Let me help you out with something else:

Again speaking to my own experience, people who suffer depression can be some extremely popular people. But they know what it feels like to be loved for what they have and not for who they are.

Some people who suffer depression can be extremely giving people, and they know what it’s like to be used.

They know what it feels like to be loved for what they can provide for a person, again, not for who they are.

They’re all fine well and good as long as everything is fine. As long as they’re keeping everyone else around them fine, looking good, and happy. But what happens when they’re not happy. Do the same people run to their aid when they’re down and wounded?

As my counselors and so-called friends, you told me to run to the aid of those who needed me. You said they’d run some mine as a form of reaping, but they didn’t.

However the funny thing is people who are depressed are stressed, they feel undervalued, they feel underappreciated, they began to feel as if they don’t matter.

People who are depressed wished they had someone who would just understand

When I spent my time in counseling with you, I came to know that I didn’t matter. You told me to put out so much effort to people around me. However, you never told those people to do the same for me.

So it kind of amazes me that people are now surprised to find that their favorite individuals suffer depression. It kind of amazes me that people want to jump on the “let’s help people who are depressed bandwagon”.

It really surprises me when people say that they didn’t know that certain individuals were suffering from depression. My question is why did you not know? Did they tell you? Didn’t you listen?

Looking the other way is not the same as not knowing. Not taking something seriously is not the same as not knowing. Not valuing a person’s suffering is not the same as not knowing. Many of us did know, it was just easier to not get involved.

Now, depression is a problem.  Now suicide is a problem.

People just don’t want to get involved.  You just didn’t want to get involved.

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17 Comments

  1. I didn’t even know that there’s something like seasonal depression up till now.
    I’m glad you’ve been able to recover from it, get out from the abusive relationship and be happy.
    Thanks for this educative post; I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Your article is so spot on and I totally agree that depression is a huge problem, and so is suicide. I have been aware of this from early on as two of my classmates committed suicide when they were teenagers and I always asked myself ‘why didn’t you see the signs?’. Looking for and noticing signs of depression in people around you and not looking away when they need help is, indeed, so essential. And it doesn’t take much to give support and to make other people feel important and valued. I think if everybody made it their goal to make at least one person feel good every day, the world would be very different.

  3. This post was very insightful. Sadly, many people do not realize how prevalent depression is. After something happens they say they didn’t know. Too bad. What they should be saying is that there were so many signs, but they didn’t take the time to be bothered with someone else’s problem. I’m glad you are getting help. You are never out of the woods on this, but stay with a positive outlook. God Bless you and have a Merry Christmas. Marion

    • Thank you so much for your comment. It’s so very true that people really don’t know how prevalent depression really is. God bless you and yours as well and have a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

  4. I know that in Alaska, they call it cabin fever. Because the winter days are dark and cold. So many do not do anything, as going outside in the cold and dark is depressing. So every winter many Alaskans suffer from this. So hence, the alcohol and drug problem there is high, especially in the winter.

  5. Hi Lane, it sounds like you have been through some really tough times and have had people around you that haven’t cared. That would make things seem even harder when all you need is some compassion.
    I too understand depression as I suffer from it myself; I have over the years found my own ways to deal with it and have learnt not to rely on others trying or pretending to understand. They don’t, and they never will unless they have been through it themselves. I understand now that other people don’t understand, and I now don’t expect them to either. That way they don’t dissapoint. I now see that we all have a cross to bear in one way or another, others have pains that I can’t understand, but I do offer a listening ear to those who need it which is sometimes all we can do.

    • Yeah. Some people haven’t cared, some tried to help but had no knowledge of how you, some pretended to be a friend. It’s true that some people don’t know until it lands at their door step. A listening ear can go a long, long way. It’s what I went through that made me want to be a help.

    • Monique, Monique. That really made my day. I appreciate your comment as to my writing style. Sometimes I get so stuck and don’t know where to go. I really appreciate that encouragement.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Lane

  6. Hi Lane:

    Thank´s for sharing such personal and intimate information. It must be hard for someone to open herself and have the courage to embrace the problems.
    We all knoe that the first step to the cure is acknowledgment.

    • That’s very true, Bruno.

      What made it even harder is that I grew up in a world that stifled this kind of talk. It was considered ‘inappropriate’ to open up regarding issues such as this. I did because it helped me to heal and it helps others to heal as well.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Lane

  7. Hello Lane,
    I hear you so much on this article. My oldest sister went through/is going through a depression and it is not easy, especially when you are ‘right’ there on the inside. It seems easier to identify and take action when you are on the ‘outside looking in’. But in any event, it is a difficult place to be – either way you slice it.
    I hope you are in a better place and it is a good thing to share your experiences as well as those of others, so others in the same situation can find solace.
    Namaste
    Michelle

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