I'm thinking about it a lot this week.
I've just had a bad few weeks. As I've said before, I've gotten super spectacular at hiding, suppressing, and ignoring many problems that plague me. They're snowballing and avalanching, however, and I can't seem to keep up.
That said, we'll say today is a decent day. As long as I don't think too hard about the recent chain of events that's sent my head reeling, I'm fine. (Do I want to talk about it? No. It's highly personal. Have I done anything wrong? No. Has anyone close to me done anything wrong? No. Some things have come to light that are threatening to completely shatter me if I let them. We'll leave it at that.)
Today, I am thinking objectively about PPD and why it is so hard to seek help.
1) It is SO hard to trust people. Especially for me. I already feel as though depression is a weakness. I despise crybabying and whining and moaning and griping. I never want to seem like that kind of person. EVER. You can say that part of the equation is nothing more than having too much pride. And you'd be right. Also, this world has gone downhill. We're so focused on technology and material things and getting things done NOW and getting what we want NOW that we as humans tend to be a bit self-absorbed. That being the case, it's hard to speak with people when we feel like a burden - a whiny, nutty, messy burden. Add to that the low self esteem that comes with depression, and we genuinely feel as if nobody cares to know.
2) We don't feel as if anything is REALLY wrong. Maybe this is also pride, maybe this is denial. Maybe this is just part of our human tendency to be unable to admit fault. If we admit we are depressed, we admit we have a problem - a problem we already feel is somehow our fault, even if it isn't. That can be a monumental task in and of itself.
3) We have experience with depressed persons. You know that one person who just seems to be a walking black hole? They drag everyone around them down into the abyss with them. Every waking moment for them is filled with heartache and tears and me-me-me, sad-sad-sad, die-die-die. It gets old. It gets annoying. We despise those traits. We decide we never want to BE that person. And then we become that person. And then we despise ourselves.
4) We feel as though being depressed equals being crazy. Or even lazy. I mean, who in their right mind would have such a constant, negative outlook? Well that's just it. You're NOT in your right mind. But you're not crazy. Depression, these days, is wayyyy too common. If you don't get down and overwhelmed and sad from time to time, then you might want to question your sanity. As far as laziness? Never that. Depression is a killer and a disease. It will rob you of your health, your happiness, and your energy. Depression does not equal laziness.
5) We understand that others close to us are depressed, too. When we know that someone else feels just as bad as we do, it can be next to impossible to willingly unload our burden upon that person as well.
6) Therapy carries SUCH a stigma. "You're taking off work? Oh, what for? Where you headed?" Nowhere, just to the nut-doctor so he can fix my head. Nobody wants to admit to that! We don't want the world to look at us like we're crazy, we're weak, we've lost our everlovin' mind. But that's hardly the case. It takes strength to ask for help, to reach out, and to work towards getting better. Letting yourself wallow takes no strength; yes, it saps you of your energy, but it doesn't require strength or persistence. Moving forward does. And sometimes, it hurts. It hurts like Hades. But that which does not kill you can only make you stronger.
7) There is a comfort in depression. Now THAT sounds odd to say. But it's true. After a while, it becomes what we know, and it gets comfortable. Is that a good thing? Hardly! When your scary thoughts stop scaring you, it is REALLY beyond time to get help!
8) We feel like nobody could really understand. This is not at all true. We know, deep down, it's not true. Other people have been through what we have been through. Others have suffered. It's so cliche, but others have it much worse. Depression makes it hard to be objective, however. Regardless, even, of the fact that those we love have never experienced the things we have, they love us enough (usually) to TRY. They can exercise empathy and put themselves in our shoes and work to see why we feel the way we feel. We just have to ask, and then we have to let them. And if that person lets you down, don't give up. Find someone else to listen. Persevere. And if YOU happen to be the one approached by a depressed person, just LISTEN. Just try. You might make a world of difference.
9) It's not depression; it's just anger. WRONG. Depression can manifest itself in anger, bitterness, and frustration. And sometimes, boyyyy is it overwhelming. Bad. We almost turn into a completely different person. Think: "Hulk SMASH!!" It's something like that. If you have an anger problem, you need to seek help and find out why before you hurt yourself or someone else.
10) We let ourselves imagine that if we wait a little while, give it more time, it will go away on its own. That's not exactly the case. Sometimes, it gets buried, and then it rots and festers and begins to eat away at your insides. It's only a matter of time before it bubbles up again, and this time, it's a nasty, snarling, human-eating beast. That's never a good scenario. It's good to seek help BEFORE the inner beast gets too big to tackle.
Writing helps. Total self-evaluation helps. At least for me. I know part of my problem is failure to rely fully on Jehovah. So I don't need to hear about how I should work on that. Thanks, but I'm aware. Even still, I probably need therapy to deal with some of these seemingly insurmountable issues. (Yeah, probably is pushing it. I DO - no ifs, ands, or butts. See? Still have problems admitting to it.)
My best advice, and my conclusion?
To the depressed, Just. Seek. Help. That's all you have to do. Get the ball rolling. It'll all fall together from there. Just stick with it and be persistent.
To those dealing with the depressed, I beg you, Have. Patience. Try to understand. Keep your judgments and harsh comments to yourself. They DO. NOT. HELP. And they will only make that person NEVER want to come to you again. Do you really want that? Before you quickly say yes, think about it.
Sigh. What a piece of work. That took a lot out of me. Zombie mom is now off to do something that requires considerably less effort.
Til next time, cyberspace.