"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore, trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility." - Khalil Gibran
Throughout the brightest days and the darkest nights we have all, at one point in our lives, felt some form of depression. Whether it is a result of a lost loved one, or even failure on an exam, we sometimes find ourselves unable to stand up to the dark shadows which enshroud our everyday lives. Sadness and sorrow are no strangers to the human condition. For some, depression is a concept which lies just beyond our understanding. But for others, depression is an anchor; dragging their limp bodies across the bottom of the cold, dark ocean. But how exactly does one define depression? How does one attempt to understand and relate to someone suffering from a major depressive disorder? These questions I will attempt to answer here today.
So first off, what exactly is depression? “A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her.”
As someone, who for a long time has been dealing with depressive issues, I can say that of all the different psychological ailments one can suffer from, depression is one of the most psychologically and physically demanding. Living with untreated depression is like living at the bottom of the ocean. The pressure, the inability to breathe. The burning sting of depression weighs on an individual like the world weighs on Atlas’ shoulders. Everyday growing larger, heavier, and more difficult to carry. I once heard someone describe living with depression to be like living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die.
It’s like being the last one alive on the entire planet. The people you see every day are emotionless shadows going about their lives in chaos, and randomness. And yet they can smile, they can laugh, or at the very least pretend. But for someone who suffers from depression, every smile is a muscle too weak to move. Every laugh, a hollow and empty sound made from a dying man unable to let others see his deep and intimate pain.
Another common question in regards to depression is “How do you help someone suffering from extreme depression?” A major problem helping someone deal with depression, is that every person copes with depression differently. Where talking and spending time with someone could greatly help one person, others need time and space to think. The greatest advice I could give to someone who has a friend or family member suffering from depression is to just be there for them. Let them know that whatever they are feeling isn’t irrelevant or useless. That whatever they are going through is okay. That it’s okay to cry and to break down. That pain and sorrow is natural and okay. I have heard many people say that it’s never okay to let depression define you. But for me, my depression has made me stronger, and more resilient. It has made me more sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others because I can relate. I can make someone feel just a little less lonely in the world.
And to those of you who are dealing with depression. There is nothing wrong with what you are feeling! The emotions and anxieties you are feeling do not make you weak, if anything it shows the strength you have by simply being able to get up in the morning.
You are NOT weird, you are NOT stupid, and you are NOT weak. You ARE unique, you ARE intelligent, and you ARE strong! And no matter how deep into the rabbit hole you may fall, there is always hope. And one day you can and will beat depression!
Thank you for reading my article today, I hope that by writing this I have been able to give you a new outlook on depression and those suffering from it. That being said if anyone needs advice on dealing with depression, or even just needs someone to talk to, my email is always open!