Saturday, June 03, 2006

Depression as a mental illness

I bet you know somebody that whenever her name comes up in conversation, someone will undoubtedly say, "She's off in her own little world." Since being off in "your own little world" implies not being in this one, the "real" one, does that not suggest being out of touch with reality? Isn't being out of touch with reality the definition of psychosis?

I am at a point now where I can look back at when I was severely depressed and see how flawed my thinking was at the time. My world was black and white. More black than white. My view of the world was very dark. Everybody was against me. Nobody believed a word I said. Nothing I did would ever improve things. The world would be better off without me in it. I had to have driven my therapist nuts! His attempts at logic hardly made a dent in my thinking.

I got better. How I am not sure. Psychosis was never mentioned to me. I never took an anti-psychotic medication. I stayed on my antidepressants and kept going to therapy. Now, instead of laying in bed at home watching CourtTV, I am working on building a solid income through internet promotions.

I guess I am writing this because one of my pet peeves is people believing that depression is not a mental illness, but rather a character flaw. Depression means low mood, and everybody has moods. Not everybody gets psychiatric treatment. Not everybody needs psychiatric treatment. When you feel bad, yes you can do things to feel better. But when doing those things to make you feel better don't work anymore, it's time to think about seeking some help.

3 comments:

Sally said...

I agree with you. My pet peeve about depression? Is when people throws around the term and use it for every and anything that goes wrong. Often it is incorrect and it keeps depression stigmatized and people do not get help when they need to

I am not saying all depression is rooted in chemical inbalances in the brain. Everyone gets blue and down...not everyone stays blue or down for days or weeks on end. That is serious, yet people use that term so loosely like when there is a difference of opinion or if there is a personality conflict.

fin said...

exactly

Eva J. Mah said...

Once I was having a conversation with one of my sisters and she made the comment, "There's no history of mental illness in the family." She full well knows that I am in therapy and on antidepressants. I answered, "Yes, there is." She asked me, "Who?" When I said me, she asked me, and I kid you not, "Oh, does that count?"

Strange how people who are not clinically depressed have no problem with saying that they are depressed, yet people who ought to seek help fervently deny it.