Depression is a funny thing.

Haha, very funny.

My brother’s yearbook photo has his favorite expression: “Funny haha? or Funny peculiar?”

I’d say depression is funny peculiar.

First off, there are a lot of “shoulds” in the world about depression.

You “should” be grateful, you “shouldn’t” be sad, you have every reason in the world to be happy, just pull yourself up by the bootstraps, yada yada to the nth degree.

Obviously the people who say such things have never HAD depression.

Maybe they have BEEN depressed, but that is not the same thing.

Well, here is an example. I am wandering the internet trying to research this new novel I’m going to be working on, and somehow I land on a blog written by parents who lost their baby daughter at 4 months of age.

Now THAT is something to be depressed about, right?

And, I have no right to be depressed; I’ve never gone through anything like THAT!

So buck up, kiddo. SMILE.

Ugh, that was Dad’s pet peeve, he was always after me to SMILE.

Well, I don’t believe in being dishonest. I remember talking to a friend at church about it. If I am not happy, I’m not going to be standing around smiling like a blooming idiot.

For one thing, people who do that depress the heck out of me lol…

But seriously, when I’m at church, for example, depressed, looking around me, I think I’m the only one who is struggling here, “everyone” else is happy therefore there is something wrong with me.

But if people would tell the truth about how they were feeling, wouldn’t we be better able to help each other? I don’t understand… 😦

Mind you, I’m not depressed today. I am happily alone in my apartment (yay!) raided the candy machine downstairs, took a nap, working on my book, all is right in the world.

But on some days I could have identical conditions and feel entirely different. The best definition I found online: Depression is “a psychiatric disorder characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, loss of appetite, anhedonia, feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and thoughts of death. Also called clinical depression.” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/depression).

For me, it isn’t even a feeling of sadness. It is a feeling of nothingness: no joy, no energy, nothing. The word “anhedonia” above means “the absence of pleasure, or the inability to experience it,” and that pretty much sums it up.

“But what about the God thing?”

Yes, as a Christian, I am often told, I should be one of the happiest people on earth. I have salvation, I have Christ living in me, I have the Holy Spirit as my guide .. oh dear… another “should.”

And hearing that I “should” be one of the happiest people on earth makes me feel very sad. No, beyond sad. Ashamed.

And that is probably the more pervasive of anything I feel when I’m depressed. 😦

Elsewhere in the blog, I will talk about ways that scripture can help with depression, and specific actions you can take that will help.

But for now, I just want to say that if you want to “should” on me, that’s probably the best way to assure that I will 1. stay depressed, 2. feel ashamed, and 3. avoid your counsel altogether.

Just so’s you know.

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