To Those That Don’t Understand, It’s Spelt ‘DEPRESSION’


“Let it go.” “Get over it.” “Move on with life.” “I don’t like the change in you.” “Just think happy thoughts.”

I’ve heard my fair share of comments. The comments are fair and spoken from well-intended motives. The people are sincere and trying their best to nudge me along.

But they got it all wrong.

I often dismissed this form of positive-emphaty as being the inability of the commenter to understand the true nature of the condition that has gripped me. For in all fairness, only those who suffer would know how it truly feels.

It’s spelt DEPRESSION and here are some points a care-giver should know:

  1. Understand the condition and then the person. It is a condition the sufferer may not fully comprehend themselves (I sure did not) and in most cases, they do not know why they are in the condition they are in. So do your homework. Study the condition and use that knowledge as a platform for reaching out.
  2. Stress. Stress plays a key role in the on-set of a depressive spiral. We all face stress in some measure through out our lives. Unfortunately, the sufferer has lost or lack the mechanism to handle stress. DO NOT add to the stress they are already facing. Stress could come in the form of a simple question such as, “Why are you feeling this way?” Yes, finding the answer to why is stressful. DO NOT push them over-the-edge by unnecessary questions and fact-finding activities.
  3. Trauma. An overwhelming blast of stress causes trauma and this broke the brains natural ability to cope and thus begins the onset of depression. Studies have shown that exposure to a traumatic experience in early child-hood makes the brain hypersensitive to stress which contributes to the onset of depression in adults. Understanding the traumatic experience in the life of the sufferer will help. In some cases, it was a series of traumatic and stressfull incidences that hit the individual at the same time that caused the depressive spiral.
  4. Personality Change. Understand that once depression has set in, the person’s personality and character has change. They will not be the same person, you once knew. Why? The body compensates and adapts itself to the new condition. The body is trying its best to cope. These changes are in itself, confusing to the sufferer. Don’t stress them out by pointing out the change, instead accept it and allow the sufferer the space to reconfigure themselves to their new state. In some cases, the changes do not stick and the sufferer reverts back but in some, these changes are permanent.
  5. Walk with us. I cannot emphasis more on the importance of this point. Walk with the sufferer. Don’t merely say, “I understand.” but instead add, “We’ll walk through this together.” There is a deep sense of hopelessness and loneliness in the sufferer. Leaving them alone or on their own enforces this prevalent feelings. Most sufferers commit suicide, not because they are stupid or attention-seeking, but rather because they want the pain to end. If you are sincere and genuine, walk the talk. Don’t just say you want to help but be the help. If a care-giver does not owe up to what they say, it would merely push the sense of hopelessness and loneliness deeper into the sufferer’s psyche. Walk with us, show us that someone cares and trust me; change can happen.
  6. Antidepressants. I am NOT an advocate of this form of treatment. Why? To me, it merely mask the condition. It represses the condition into a dormant state and really doesn’t help the sufferer. In all the readings, I’ve read; I’ve come to the conclusion that antidepressants do not cure the condition. It merely brings it down to a manageable state. Problem with that is, without the antidepressants, the condition may return with a vengence.

Once broken, can this be fixed?

I am incline to say, NO.

The scars are buried deep in the psyche and mind. The brain has changed and this is not something that can be fixed that easily. Yet, there is hope. The brain is a wonderfully flexible organ and it can re-wire itself to work-round the handicap. A sufferer can start these processes along but they cannot do it on their own. They need care-givers around them to help them along, until the brain has rewired itself, well enough for the sufferer to manage on their own.

This is a plea for all to understand because only through understanding can one help to beat down this condition. For sufferers, I know it’s hard but we too need to understand as best as possible what we suffer from.

Sun Tzu wrote, ” It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

Understand this condition called DEPRESSION, understand yourself and we can win this battle.

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4 Responses to To Those That Don’t Understand, It’s Spelt ‘DEPRESSION’

  1. Pingback: Before You Buy Discus Fish – Read These Helpful Tips | Start a Fresh Water Aquarium Review

  2. Hm hm.. that’s amazing but to be honest i have a hard time understanding it… wonder how others think about this..

  3. When the doctor prescribed me anti-depressants I felt like he didn’t even really care. “Oh you’re sad, here’s some pills”. Talking always helped me and I threw out those anti-depressants. >.<

  4. femmestylo says:

    Things have been weird for a few years.. i just started seeing a counselor this past fall/winter, and i’ll probably continue to see her for quite a while.. she and i have just decided to 1] get me a new doctor – one that will be more involved, and 2] inform that doctor that i would like to begin taking anti-depressants.. im not a fan of taking any kind of medication just for slight needs. but when i know things are getting bad.. thats when i reach for help. it’s a lot like you said – it can be impossible to describe this.. one day its all right, and then the next its like im living in a cloud of numbness – too thick for me to see past my own nose, and the only way of getting anywhere is to just keep walking, and hope that im going in the right direction.
    thanks for putting this up. i’ve learned that tough way that its hard to get people to see that somethings wrong.

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