This post is extremely personal and something I’m doing for someone very important to me. I will not be naming names but they know who they are anyway: I just feel that this is a subject in need of discussing.
For reasons that no sane person can comprehend, the term ‘depression’ is seen as a taboo subject. Why? Nobody knows, but people just don’t like to talk about it. Whether it’s because they have been through it and are embarrassed, they have witnessed it happening to a loved one and they feel uncomfortable or sad talking about it or they simply just do not understand, people cannot bare to bring it up. In my opinion it is time this changed and people became more aware of it.
What is it?
Nobody knows what depression is and I do not think anybody ever will know for sure what it is that affects around 5 out of 100 adults each year. We all have shit days where we are down in the dumps and just want a cuddle but for someone who is depressed it is far worse. I have never suffered from any form of depression but what I have seen of it and how it has affected that person’s life gives me a small idea of how drastically effecting it is upon the sufferer. For a person with depression, everything that seems like nothing to another person will feel like the end of the world to them. Whether it is a change of plan, the tea burning or not getting the payslip you originally thought you would, one second everything can be fine and the next, that person is on the floor crying and confused.
Seeing this first hand is horrific but not something the person suffering should ever feel embarrassed about. I am not a person who deals well with unknown situations and when one of these ‘attacks’ hits my friend, I have no fucking idea what to do. It’s so scary and so upsetting so imagine how the person suffering feels? I can imagine that it is 100000000% worse and then some.
Why do people not like to talk about it?
This is something I will never understand and something I feel is extremely ignorant and old-fashioned. It is as though people do not trust the term and so look at it as a ‘taboo’ subject. When people say the word ‘depressed’ have you noticed the reaction of people around them? Some roll their eyes, some change the subject and some just cannot believe the word has been uttered so bluntly. It is not as if it is Harry Potter and someone mentioned ‘Voldemort’. It is a serious situation because when someone says they’re depressed, how do you know that they aren’t? How do you know that they aren’t trying to reach out to you and are asking for your help? You don’t know that and unless you try to understand, you never will. At least that’s what I thought but after a conversation with another friend, the only person who should understand is the sufferer: but even they don’t grasp why they react and act the way that they do when confronted with certain situations. Why can’t people be open about such things? Maybe it is because they just don’t understand what the hell is going on.
As I have said I have never been affected personally other than by a close friend suffering with it. Her family are affected in ways I never realised could happen and it is devastating to see. But when my friend has someone who is there for her 24/7 and who keeps her up even when he feels like shit himself, it makes it that tiny little bit easier for her and that is something amazing. It is just proof that if things like this are spoke about more often, more can be done and people can go through it without feeling completely alone and overwhelmed.
I’ve been that shit friend where I’ve cancelled last minute and sometimes I feel as though I am walking on egg shells and I feel isolated and why? Because I have been ignorant and haven’t tried to understand what my friend is going though. It took me cancelling plans to realise just how shit it is for her and how if she doesn’t understand, nobody else will. But even though I feel like this, it doesn’t make her any less my friend and why would it? It just means that she’s a lot more emotional.
Things like this should not be kept quiet: if you are depressed or feel someone is then speak out. It will make things worse if you keep it to yourself.
The more people talk about it and the less people feel it is a taboo subject, the better chance there is of beating the most common ‘mental health problem’.
It took a lot to write this and I just hope that people do not get offended or upset: that is so not my intention. I just feel that such an important and life-changing subject should be discussed more. People talk so much about nights out, sex and EastEnders so why not talk about depression as much? Why not make more people aware of what affects many people around you?
Your comments would be so appreciated, as always.