You’re Not Crazy, You’re Just Depressed, Pt. 2

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I’m sure there are people who think if someone is depressed, or claims to have a mental illness, they can just snap out of it or it will pass or they’re faking it. While sometimes this might be the case, most of the time nothing could be farther from the truth. Those who are dealing with any type of mental illness desperately wish they could just snap out of it.

Sometimes mental illness is situational. Sometimes it seems temporary but all too often it’s a lifelong condition. Sometimes there’s a biological or genetic component. However it arises, it can take a lot of effort & support to survive.

I’m not a psychiatrist nor am I a trained psychologist. I am simply someone who is in the trenches of depression. I’ve heard, “Snap out of it!”, “It’s not that bad.”, & many other responses when people find out I have depression. Like I said, you can’t judge a book by its cover. You can’t tell by looking who is or who isn’t depressed or otherwise mentally ill. I look “normal”, whatever that means.

Most of the time w/ medication & talk therapy, I & others like me do pretty well. Some days are better than others, just like they are for anyone. Like other humans, appreciate & enjoy understanding & support. We find it in groups, w/ friends, & through help from those in the medical profession.

You can’t tell by looking if someone is depressed or experiencing a mental illness. You don’t know their journey just as they don’t know yours. As I said before, not everyone who living w/ mental illness is psychotic or dangerous to others. For the most part, they’re just trying to get through, & get along, in their lives w/ some enjoyment & hard-won positivity. And w/ mutual acceptance, support & understanding from those around them, this is & will be possible.

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“Feed The Right Wolf”

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I heard a line in the movie “Tomorrow land” that really resonated with me. I guess it comes from a Cherokee legend. Basically there are two wolves inside us. One is positive joy, peace, kindness, etc. The other is evil, anger, greed, etc. They are battling for supremacy and the winner is the one a person “feeds”.

Someone going through depression and anxiety is battling a wolf of a different sort – that Wolf is self loathing, sadness, fear, vulnerability and weakness. Sometimes it feels like a whole pack of wolves is on the opposing side. You’ve got to find a way to control and corral them. Medicine helps. Talking helps. Prayer helps. Writing or journaling helps. Exercise helps. And other people’s acceptance and support definitely helps.

I am working to keep my negative wolves caged and feed and nurture the positive wolves within. Day by day, thought by thought, wolf by wolf.