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"depression isn't real"


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I came out to a co-worker (stupidly) and was just discussing why I don't and can't work full-time. Her response was that "depression isn't real" and that it's all in my head and if I surround myself with people and keep busy the depression will go away if I try harder.

 

So I have learned now to keep my mouth shut and to never share my business with anyone ever again. I didn't even argue with her because it's pointless to argue that sort of thing with someone who has that mindset about MI.

 

*sigh*

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"The toad beneath the harrow knows

Where every single point it goes.

The butterfly upon the road

Preaches contentment to the toad."  Rudyard Kipling.

 

I like Kipling.  I Kipple a lot.

 

 

So many people are happier with their simplistic partial and even massively erroneous  mental images of a whole range of conditions, illness and situations.

To the point that many will cling to such a mental picture *and operate by it* even when it's clearly a very poor fit.

If I tell someone who's known me for a while that I have Asperger's syndrome, there is a fair chance they will start treating me according to their (usually clichéd or worse) mental image of that condition, rather than continuing to relate to, and interact with, the (unchanged) individual actually in front of them.

 

Chris.

(and they'd like me to be more "normal".  Have they seen what I'd have to buy into?)

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Yeah, I instinctively never talk about depression with other people. Heck, even the one time I spoke at a support group, I had a bad experience. There were parents* of depressed people and others who didn't seem to ever experience clinical depression. (The narrator from fight club would call them tourists.) I spoke briefly about my depression and anxiety, and was essentially told to "get over it" from multiple people. And I was like, WTF? Isn't this supposed to be a safe place? :o  I wasn't asking for advice or feedback, I just wanted to vent in a physical realm.  :wall:  I will note that the people whom I felt actually had or had experience with severe depression/anxiety weren't the ones that busted my chops.

 

 

*I noticed most MI support groups allow and encourage this, I now think that's fucking stupid. 

Edited by arr
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I had that happen with a life long friend. Needless to say, it's tarnished the friendship.

 

I suspect that some people find it too frightening to accept the thought that the brain could be sick in a way that affects "free will" or "personality". Losing control of their minds including their ability to control emotion is scary stuff. I think many people fear this more than death. So, it's just easier for them to stick their heads in the sand, pretending the possibility doesn't exist, unless of course, someone sticks and ax in your hear or a tumor starts growing. Confronting fear is difficult stuff. Invalidating others is much easier.

Edited by AnneMarie
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*I noticed most MI support groups allow and encourage this, I now think that's fucking stupid.

 

If you mean that the groups encourage people who know people with MI can come, I totally agree it is stupid.  Let them have their own group.  IMO it isn't really productive to mix everyone together.

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*I noticed most MI support groups allow and encourage this, I now think that's fucking stupid.

 

If you mean that the groups encourage people who know people with MI can come, I totally agree it is stupid.  Let them have their own group.  IMO it isn't really productive to mix everyone together.

 

 

Yeah, that's what I meant. I didn't really think much of that policy until I experienced the awkwardness firsthand. In addition to giving horrible feedback or advice about issues they hardly comprehend, you essentially have people taking the piss out of others in their lives for the same issues that the rest of the attendees have, and likely already feel bad or worthless about. 

Edited by arr
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Here is how I often respond to the assertion that "It's all in your head."  

 

"Hey, you seem to understand, because it really is all in my head and that's the point.  This is just the way I was sent here, the wiring in my brain is different that others, I don't even need a reason to be depressed, it just happens.  I'm not trying to say the my experiences are objectively worse than others, this isn't about that kind of suffering.  The suffering I endure is from within, it isn't because my hand is broken and I feel pain.  It isn't because my wife left me and ran off with my pickup and the dog.  My brain is structured differently than other people's.  Would you tell a person who was born with a leg that had developmental problems that he wasn't really limping because nothing had "happened" to him?  No, he didn't have his leg broken in a POW camp, but it still effects him everyday and as far as walking goes, it has the same objective result.  I'm glad you realize that it is a physical condition that I suffer, that is literally inside my head."  

 

The question here is, were you looking for support and validation or were you trying to explain to another what was going on?  

 

If you really want someone to understand and change their point of view, you will need to off them understanding and validation, not expect to receive it.

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I came out to a co-worker (stupidly) and was just discussing why I don't and can't work full-time. Her response was that "depression isn't real" and that it's all in my head and if I surround myself with people and keep busy the depression will go away if I try harder.

 

So I have learned now to keep my mouth shut and to never share my business with anyone ever again. I didn't even argue with her because it's pointless to argue that sort of thing with someone who has that mindset about MI.

 

*sigh*

 

I'm sorry. what a drag.

 

Most people think feeling sad is the same thing as being depressed. The word depression, like bipolar, has lost all real meaning.

 

I tell them it is an illness, just like cancer, and not something anyone would ever choose to have in their life.

It is treated like all illnesses with doctors, meds, love and support.

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I'm merely suggesting that we turn the phrase "in your head" around, so that others may see what it is to live with depression.  "Why are you so sad, things are going okay for you?"  See, the thing is, I don't need an external issue to be depressed.  I can depressed simply because that is the way my brain works.  Sometimes, things that are to you, seemingly trivial, can be huge triggers to me.  Even though you can't see it doesn't make it real.

 

If you had your choice, would you rather make a witty, cutting remark to make the person feel like an ignorant ass, or would explain things so that he can see things as they are?

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If you had your choice, would you rather make a witty, cutting remark to make the person feel like an ignorant ass, or would explain things so that he can see things as they are?

 

For me it depends on the person.  Some people, no matter what you say, only hear what they want to hear and it is useless trying to explain things to them so they can try and understand it.

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I live in a part of the world that is considered by many, if not most, to be ignorant, backwards, and intolerant.  ANd to a certain degree, many of the people here are.  But I think that you would be surprised at the number of people I've been able to show something and then they came around to a different point of view.  Granted, it hasn't been painless.  It has cost me a lot, in terms of social acceptance, personal relationships, certain employment setbacks (no matter how illegal they may have been), housing (also illegal), and some outright scorn.  But you never know who will open their eyes and see things differently till you try.  

 

I know not everyone is up for this and even those that are may not be able all the time.  And it is a personal matter which can be no one else's business, but this stigma thing isn't going away by itself.  And more importantly, I'm not staying quiet or hiding simply because I've been conditioned to by what people have said to me, fuck that.

 

I hope no one here reads this and feels that I'm chiding those who don't take the route I have.  But at the very least, I implore you, if you stay quiet about MI, do so out of not wanting to get into it, not because someone made  you feel bad and more or less shamed you into silence.  Don't take that off of anyone.

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