Well, now that we’ve done our obligatory “R U OK” to those around us, posting the question on Facebook and other social media sites, we can go back to getting on with our lives.
We’ve done our duty, spread the word and … oh, buggery, wait a minute! Now it’s Mental Health Week!
I am a huge advocate for mental health, particularly in the form of Depression, having been there and paddled about in this little black pool, barely able to keep my head high enough to survive on some occasions.
Depression is such a fun, fickle little creature to be playing with. It sneaks up on you, sometimes pretending to be your Conscience, and sometimes masking itself as the Negative Voice; the voice we all have that tells us we’re no good, or ‘you can’t do that’ … you know all those normal things.
It is, however, as those who have hosted this Black Beast will know, a being that invades your mind and soul, beating you, kicking you whilst you’re down, sometimes to a point where you can no longer endure the pain. And it is painful.
It is illogical, senseless and very, very real.
I recently came across a great webpage, which I think explains Depression in a way that I can’t possibly do. It is called 21 Comics that Capture the Frustrations of Depression.
(I’ve used some of those comics in this post, to highlight my ramblings.)
In the context of the week that this is – i.e. Mental Health Week, remember? – and one of the comics on that link, I do wonder if people realised what they were saying if they did substitute Depression with some other form of physical illness, disorder or injury?
These are some things that have been said to me when I was at some of my lower points; only I’ve removed the work “Depression” and replaced it with a more … tangible illness or issue:
You really just need to think more positively, and you’ll stop feeling so “cancerous”.
(Yeah, with the use of quotation makes to indicate it is ‘all in our heads’.)
Cerebral Palsy? Pfft. Just put your Big Girl Knickers on and get on with it!
Look. It’s not a brain tumour. You’re just out of alignment with your true purpose.
(I wish I were kidding)
I just don’t understand why people have heart attacks. It’s just so selfish.
Having three boys, and knowing the rates of teen suicides in boys, compared with girls and with most other age brackets, depression and mental health issues in kids is up there in my mind.
Imagine these things being said about these kids?
Oh, don’t be so ridiculous. He doesn’t have leukemia, he’s just wanting attention. Don’t give in to him.
All children go through congenital heart disease. He’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.
Scary when you put it like that, huh?
Getting on with it, thinking positive and, if you’re that way inclined, ‘being aligned with your true purpose’, all make perfect sense.
They would also relatively easy if not for this big, horrible, black beast that can find the most logical and sensible responses to your ‘positive thinking’ and beat you even further.
If it weren’t in the way of you seeing anything positive.
If you had the energy to get out of bed, much less wander to the drawer, find the strength to pull it open, the the brain capacity to pull any sort of knickers on.
Depression does all that to you. It just does.
Whilst is it Mental Health Week – from today until the 12th of October – mental health issues don’t finish up then.
They hang around, sometimes lurking behind the eyes of those you love, sometimes portraying itself as something it isn’t, and sometimes taking the life and soul of someone.
Please don’t be aware of Depression now … be aware of it every day.