Hello all, I've just joined this group. I don't know what sort of things generally get posted here or what the etiquette is, so forgive me if this isn't the right place for what I'm writing.
I'm suffering, and have suffered for most of my life, what would probably be considered 'depression'. I also have trouble with anxiety, and problems with mood regulation in general.
However, I'm going to stick my neck out here and say I don't believe in medical depression in the sense that it is an 'illness' with 'symptoms' that can be treated, and the patient brought back to good mental health. 'Good mental health' in this sense implies that the natural state of affairs for a human being is to be happy, balanced, satisfied and confident. And that any other frame of mind is a distortion.
I don't believe that. I don't believe happiness is our state of nature. I'm not implying that misery is, but that our moods and experiences are circumstantial and experiential. (Not sure if that last one is a real word.... if it isn't, it should be).
And here's the catch, and the factor that I believe makes depression and misery so common: is that the world is not a happy place. Our higher psychological and emotional needs, and those of others, are in a continual battle with our more base, animal instincts: greed, lust, desire for power, selfishness, etc. We experience the consequences of these in our every day lives far more than we experience the more 'enlightened' kinds of human behaviour. From our parents, our culture, our society.
That's how I see it, and my problem, with this in mind, is a pretty huge one. I have a problem with existing in this world. I have a problem with people. I am very sensitive and I find that the reality of the world, if we choose to face it without rose tinted glasses (of religion or any other delusion)- is one of untold suffering, lies, manipulation, greed, patriarchy, and general all-round evil. It is wearing me down. On some days, I stay inside my room and think of all the beautiful things in life. On others, it overwhelms me and there's nothing I can do. I sit and cry (yes) at the state of this planet and of the human condition. I don't think of suicide per se (my elder brother committed suicide and I witnessed the devastation it caused.) But I feel like I'm waiting for a horrible ride to end, just passing the time until it's time to get off. If anyone had informed me about the reality of the world prior to my birth and asked me whether I agree on going through with it, I wouldn't sign that contract. When it comes down to it, I don't want to die, but I really don't want to be here either. But since I'm here I have to find a way to deal with it until it's time to get off. Please, I'm having a really shitty day today. If there's anyone out there who 'gets' what I'm writing and is maybe a little older and/or wiser and has a few words of advice, I would really appreciate it.
Thanks for reading. x
As you may have noticed, Sarah, not many post on this discussion page on a regular basis - the last comment I see was dated quite some time ago, in a couple of cases, 2011, so I'm not sure just how much support you're going to get.
I'm not sure just how "wise" I am, but my oldest daughter suffered from bipolar disorder, and I may be of some assistance. If you would like to talk further, click on my icon, which will take you to a place where you can click on "add as friend" - I would be happy to accept your invitation, at which time, we can send Private Messages back and forth and discuss anything we like.
The bad news is that you're right about everything you said in your post. The good news is that you're also one of the few people who're smart enough to figure it out. I found that in the world we live in it's easier to just focus and be concerned with yourself, to try and make yourself happy at whatever cost. It might sound sociopathic, but then again, it's just another frame of mind labeled as "distorted" by society. If you want to talk about it with somebody, I'm available any time to try and help you add arch and talk to him. Or you can message me too I guess.
"It might sound sociopathic"
HI - I understand, agree with, & empathize with everything you have said. I had a rotten childhood & by age 21 I seriously tried to commit suicide. Being so young, I wasn't experienced enough, & they found me before I could get the job done. I was tired of struggling with life, didn't believe in Religion or afterlife, & just wanted out. I was so mad when the hospital saved my life. I have always been angry that I didn't have a choice to be born - & have since found out that it is pretty hard to die without much pain. So believe it or not I somehow made it thru one decade & then another, until I am now 71 yrs. old & still waiting for the time I finally get to leave. Time does speed by even if your not having so much fun. Yes, life is hard. Do I have any words of advice? Not really except I understand --- & if you can just look at it from a curiosity standpoint (as I do now), I find myself very curious about what will happen in the world next year, what will be invented, what type of politics will be the most powerful, & what religious notion will be blown away, what cure of disease will be discovered, etc. Always knowing, that if things or my life gets too "bad" - I can always end it then. I am female, atheist, democrat, age 71, with no family to speak of. Live alone with my little dog.
First Hugs because it sounds like you need them. To be blunt depression isn't completely curable. Meds can help so can therapy. It doesn't go away. You learn slowly how to handle living with it.You find something to let emotions out in my case I paint, other people write ,dance or act. yes the world is a dark place. I look for glimmers of hope. They are not always easy to find but they are there. I try to find little things i can do to change world around me. Sometimes its talking and sharing a cup of coffee with someone hurting, i bake things give them to neighbors who are elderly and don't get out. I'm going to start volunteering at a wildlife refuge center. I won't make a big change anywhere but sometimes little ones cause ripples. It's okay to be sensitive. Not many i think would chose the world as it is now to live in. We are here though so i figure make the best it out of what I can.
Excellent advice, Angela! And good for you, for using your time here to help others less fortunate - it may sound like a platitude, but it really helps, both them and you.
A wise man once wrote, "The shortest path to finding one's self, lies in losing one's self in the service of others."
Sarah, remember that anything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
I find that when I speak to the people I most respect, they come from a place of hardship and struggle. They have seen ugliness and shameful actions, but have dealt with them, occasionally conquered them, and generally survived them. When they come out the other side, they are more informed, and often have the ability to help overcome other challenges.
These are some of the things I have done to deal with my difficult situations.
People consider me an optimist these days, but in reality, it is only because I have seen some of the darker sides of the human condition up close and in my face.
As the others have mentioned, feel free to contact me outside of the discussion thread.
The reason I said that, Mel - and I can't speak for anyone else who might have - is not that I have any great "secret of life" to impart, but rather, there are some things that a person might say to one listener, that they might not want to announce on a public forum. I just wanted to leave all avenues of communication open, and I'm sure it's much the same with your own offer.
I don't think anyone has that secret, but some things are better spoken about offline. Specifics can get nasty and quite personal, especially when dealing with hard subject matter.
I am pretty open on this forum, this is a welcoming place for me and many others. Not all problems fit in the format of an open discussion with 40 posting entities and potentially thousands of views. Or maybe I'm wrong and everything should be out there--I'd have to think about that a bit though.
I am grateful that the forum exists though, and the insightful comments from folks like yourself, Strega, Unseen, kOrsan and many others truly help me sort out how to remove or deal with the complications of religious implications of real life situations. Like Sarah's here. This is a good "place".
Some things are best not made public unless the speaker wishes to make them so.
When I think of all of the things I have faced down and conquered in my life, and then look at that beautiful, young, teenaged face and ask, what could possibly be so unbearable as to want life to end? I don't condemn, but at the same time, I don't profess to understand.
WOW - That IS one powerful piece lady - I wish I could write about my feelings like that. Everything you said there represents me and people like me need people like you to help articulate these things.
Too many people now are beginning to notice that, once the rose glasses have been removed or smashed - they can never be replaced ... ever. Because as soon as you know what the world looks like without them - you can never un-know it - Its 'experiential' - and yes its a real word.
Depression can make you feel like you go through life faking it in order to appease those who wear the glasses. We dont like being fakes. But we are forced into it because those who wear the glasses out number us and they force us or expect us to conform and put the glasses back on and play lets pretend. But we cant, the glasses are irreplaceable and we dont want them back anyway.
I have really, really bad days that can spill into weeks and months - I dissociate and lose time. I feel completely insane but I feel saner than most and I dont think I would give this up because somewhere within it is magic.
I have to advocate this stuff for myself now and I am finding that there are a lot of people in certain fields who are very interested in hearing stories like yours because not a lot of them get 'INSIDER' information like this.
Maybe you could consider speaking about this on a public level some day ... Why Not?
We need you to keep putting this out there - You are inspiring and you have value because there's a wave coming - this is it and you need to get on it .....
"We dont like being fakes." We also can understand what's wrong with the world. This is a valuable thing.