Change a Mind About Mental Illness


There are lots of things people don’t understand about depression. 

 It debilitates to the point of becoming unable to perform the most menial of tasks.  In fact, the most menial tasks become insurmountable. Emptying the dishwasher.  What’s the point?  The thought of it is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.  Why even do it?  That’s how depression works.

My body weighs a thousand pounds.  Everything is heavy.  The weight of the world is on my shoulders.

Sometimes…some days…something happens.  It can be an unexpected phone call from a friend…a check in the mail…an image of large, fluffy snowflakes outside my window.  Suddenly, if only temporarily, I get a burst of energy.  I can clean out the dishwasher.  I can do the laundry.  I can do some writing.  The depression might return soon enough, so I try to get enough accomplished in that tiny spark of motivation to make it worthwhile.

You won’t understand unless you’ve had depression.  You just won’t. You won’t understand what it feels like to be bipolar unless you are.  That’s not your fault.  I won’t know what it feels like to have diabetes or fibromyalgia.  All we can do is try to educate ourselves.  The more empathy we can provide for one another in life, the better everyone’s life will be.  It’s not that hard.  We need to try harder.  We need to read, to research, to talk, to listen.
To try to understand.

We live in a very self-centered, me, me, me culture.  I think that can change.  But we all have to be willing to work together.  To hear each other out.  It doesn’t solve a problem by ignoring it.  It doesn’t go away.  I have a dream that one day mental illness will carry no stigma.  I think it can happen.  It can happen if we work at it together.