In my social media, there are some who still insist that depression is a matter of overcoming the self. That it is a matter of faith over oneself and the greater being. That to be able to NOT overcome this, is definitely a sign of obstinate attachment to the condition, or that one has romanticized it to the virtues of being “a tortured soul”.
If I at one point, had been insensitive to anyone’s melancholy or depression, I truly ask for forgiveness. I ask pardon for my ignorance. I understand it is difficult to be of help to someone suffering this condition and not all are equipped. There is the fear, perhaps brought about by self-preservation, that in attempting to save one from ‘drowning’, the weight of their burdens may pull one down and drown them too in the process. But at the very least, we could just let them ‘be’. Compassion can often eclipse even the basest of ignorance.
If you haven’t experienced depression yourself, avoid comparing it to times when you’ve felt down. Comparing what you’re experiencing to normal, temporary feelings of sadness can make them feel guilty for struggling.
Should one find themselves even with an infinitesimal amount of fortitude to venture to talk to someone about depression — be it their own or someone else’s, please do. In our society which still considers depression as an affliction of the rich, a form of escapism, or a mark of willful weakness, doing so helps others to at least seek help.
Even just talking about depression openly can help…. Open conversations about mental illness can help erode the stigma.
Information is an antidote to ignorance-driven iniquities. Hence, this primer on depression. The more we know, the less we fear it and perhaps refine our approach towards it — be it to our own or others.
I would like to believe that there is a limit, an edge just waiting to be stumbled upon. And even with the little light there is on depression, sharing its illumination could help others grope their way out of the seemingly infinite sadness.