1. Your Story of Your Depression is Making Your Friends and Family Sick of You.
It is true that Depression is an illness. It is true that most people including friends and family want to help someone out of depression, especially when that person is you, someone who they knew in former times as a happy go lucky kid or teenager.
You know what it is like, you capture an audience for a few minutes, it might be your sister, it might be a guy giving you a shoe shine at grand central, but you finally have your captive audience where you can tell over your story again.
They do not want to hear it, got it? You think that they do not have their own problems that they have to spend more precious minutes, hours, days, even years of their life listening to the perceived injustices of your life? Yes, your story is killing you, but how about not bringing down everyone else around you when your ship sinks?
So not only does your depression ruin your life, but when you repeat your story often enough, it is going to crap all over their lives too, even the ones that you claim that you love and therefore they should be most interested in hearing your sad story.
2. They are Not Only Sick of Your Story but Can Get Sick From Your Story
You know that depression makes you physically sick. It is not just all in your head. Your hair can fall out or turn gray, your body can get fat from too much Chunky Monkey or too skinny from not eating, your lack of sleep because of nightmares or worry can give your eyes dark circles that look like they were driven over by a pair of goodyear tires.
You know the havoc that your depression can wreak on your own body, did you think about the effect on your mom who spends most of her life already worrying about you? Oh, you don't give a sh*t about your mom? What about your dad then? Him too? Alright, how about your brothers or sisters, friends or even better, how about your husband or wife?
You do care about your marriage don't you? No? Last but not least, how about your kids? Do you ever think about the impact that your depression has on your kids? Remember the other weekend when you were sulking and moping around the house because of your depression? Did you see your children, did they look happy, ready to go out and play ball?
Or did they look frightened, withdrawn and disappointed? Did you ever think of the stress that your moping, whining, complaining, bitching, sulking and endless dissatisfaction might be causing to the people around you? Start thinking about it cause they might not be around you much longer if they make the painful decision that in order to save themselves they will have to separate from you.
3. Stop Repeating the Same Old Story Now or Regret Later
You think that no one cares about you if they do not listen to the same old story? What do they have to do? Sit while you hold court and repeat the exact story that you told him or her 5, 10 or 15 years ago? When does it end? Of course we are not talking about a story that just happened, today or even a month ago.
Sometimes there are events that will remain etched in our minds for longer than a small grievance or annoyance, but you have to think about the consequences of regurgitating the same grievances over and over again. Now I know that your depression is not something that you can easily control, but you must do something about what you say and how you appear in order not to ruin everyone else's life.
Depression is not only about you, start thinking about the people around you and find a way to get help. If I was there right now I would tell you to stop talking and get moving, get walking, start lifting weights to help lift your mood. Here is the general rule: If you have told the same story of woe is me to another human being more than 10 times, that is your limit, you do not get an eleventh, after 10 times that they have to listen, they are off the hook.
By the way, dont look around to tell the same story to someone else, twenty is the max for you yourself to tell the same tale to other people. I know that you are going to tell it to yourself ad nauseum, but right now I am saving your relationship with the people around you, so do not screw up more than you already have done, even though it is unintentional.
Yea, don't get more depressed now cause I am scolding you, suck it up and know that it is in your own best interest, okay?
4. Stop Thinking That You Own Your Body and Can Abuse It As Much As You Want
You really better cut that one out. So I cut you off from repeating your own story more than ten times to the people around you. You are going to go crazy without having someone available to dialog with and that is understandable. So who are you going to sit with now? Ben, Jerry, Aunt Jemimah? You think you can starve or overfeed your body and get away with it?
No, you cannot, so from this point forward, no matter the story and no matter the depression, no matter the side effects if you are on med, it is time to stop abusing your body. Make peace now with your body, stop the self injury, the cutting, the picking and pulling and the stuffing. Start taking care of yourself, simple things, we are not talking rocket science here.
Get to sleep at a reasonable hour, get up, take a shower, get dressed, eat real food, get moving and start asking people how they are feeling, how is that for a change? It is not all about you and it never was and it never can be, the day you figure that out is the day that you will start to see new people come into your life, that is the day that you can start to build a new life on top of the pit of depression where you have been living for x number of days, months or years.
5. If You are Stubborn, You Think that You Will Only Lose Your Friends?
Till now, maybe you just think that if you have to lose your friends, so be it, maybe you will meet some new ones who care about you more. Maybe you think that when it comes to you though, your family will never ever abandon you, they will always have your back, they will never become estranged. Is that what you are thinking? Well, think again.
You might not only lose your partner in life, you might even lose your children and if that is not enough, you might even lose your parents. You dont think that is possible, even Jeffery Dahmer's mother came to visit him in prison, why would your own family drop you if you cannot control your depression and how it impacts people around you?
You know what, I have an answer to that question, I have been asked the same question many times by people whose family's have become estranged from them, they cannot understand how Dahmer's mom could still support a murderer cannibal and their parents could not stick by them. I want to see your answer though in the comments, you tell me, what do you think? This is an important conversation so I need your input.
6. Depression will Kill Your Career When Your Depression Becomes Your Number One Love.
Health is your priority. You have to stay healthy and clearly depression is not healthy, you have to address your depression. So what do you do when you are depressed and you still happen to have a job? You do what Clinton did, do you understand? I did not have sex with that woman. I do not have sex with that woman, my depression. Sex with Depression, what does that mean?
Adultery is betrayal to your significant other. When you lie with one, you have betrayed the other. If you keep lying with your depression to the point that you cannot think of anything besides your depression, then you are going to betray your job because you cannot focus on your job. If you lose your job, you will see how wrong you were.
I get it, you are depressed, you might even need medications and/or hospitalization, but whatever it is, do not lose your job, you need that job for more than the paycheck, you need to maintain some self respect which you will lose if you end up without your career. So am I telling you to pretend, to lie, to decieve? Yes, if you want to call it that.
I prefer to call it social or career obligation, similar to the obligation you have to your friends and family as well as to yourself. How dare I call depression your number one love? I know you hate your depression, but start acting like that if that is the case. If you hate your depression so much, stop looking at it, stop talking about it, stick it in a basement room of your virtual home, lock the door, throw away the key and focus on something else like your family and your career, how is that?
7. You will Enter Catatonic Depression if You Do Not Get Up and Start moving.
You want to sit around like a zombie and not only lose your family and career, but now you cannot even make an egg? Stand the #@$# up and move, walk, swim, something. Stop falling into the quicksand of your own depression stories, no one else wants to see the movie and they certainly will not pay for it with money or time and neither should you.
8. So Now You Would Rather Die than Live in Depression?
I can understand that. Anyone who has major depression can understand how much relief you might have if you did not have to face the images and words that your own mind feeds you non stop, that narrative that keeps you in your depression. If you did not take my advice before, at this stage you might have already lost your family and career.
By now you are more steeped in your depression than a wild alaskan salmon that has been marinating in Soy Vey teriyaki sauce. There comes a point when you yourself might not be able to handle living in total solitude, no family, no job, few to speak to, even the doormen will stop listening to that story of woe is me that you have told before. So what are you going to do?
You have no one left to share your story with and you might even be tired of telling the same story to your shrink of the last 10, 20 or 30 years. Couple this incredible isolation of depression with the potential side effects of medications and you have a recipe for suicidal ideation and catastrophic consequences. So what do you do?
Take the film out of the projector, your film of depression, your story of depression and change the @#$ narrative. Do you understand? Stop beating yourself up already, you think you are perfect and cannot make mistakes? Well you did, you made some mistakes, some small, some bigger, grow some couliones and admit that you are just human. Change the narrative, start telling yourself the new story of who you are and what you want to be when you grow up out of your depression.
9. You are Not Going to Get an Oscar for Most Dramatic Performance.
You think that the people who surround you want to watch the Oscars more than once a year. Even that they might be sick of. Of course you are not pretending to be depressed, but that is exactly the point, you have to pretend that you are not depressed, otherwise you will be setting yourself up to be awarded the most dramatic perfromance, the only problem being that no one that knows you wants to see your epic film. No one is interested, get it? They are all interested in their own stories and not the ones that you will tell as rationales as why you feel the way you do and why you can no longer function like they do.
10. You are Guilty? Cut it Out Now!
You are guilty? Did you murder someone? You did not work hard enough? You ate too many oreo cookies, come on, what is your crime? You know that even in prisons real criminals have visitors. You have put yourself in your own prison and you do not even want to give yourself some slack, nothing.
You know that you did not live up to the high standards that you set for yourself and maybe others as well so you are just going to torture yourself and anyone around you? I say take the Guilt and drown the guilt and do not drown yourself.
The guilt is there to tell you not to commit your dastardly act again, if it was too much food or alcohol, you know you need more control, if you have not been an attentive parent or child or sibling, you know what to do, the Guilt is a guide to better behavior, not a guillotine by which to kill yourself.
11. Is Your Mirror Speaking to You, It Might Be Time To Stop Your Meds.
I remember the days when I was a regular user of Effexor, Risperadal and Neurontin among many other modern attempts to control depression. Are you waking up in pools of water? Sweating alot at night? Can you find your keys but you don't know where you parked your car? Have you lost any feeling in any of your body parts or shall we say important extremities?
Do you wonder who is Duane Reade or any other Department Store brand Names? I will tell you this, by the time your mirror starts talking to you, questioning where you are going whenever you walk by, I think it is time to accept that you have treatment resistant depression and you must get off of your medications.
Talk it over with your doctor. Seeing your reflection in the mirror speaking to you whenever you walk by and look is NOT cool.
12. For Everything You are Sure About, Ask If It Is Accurate
You say that you are a monster – is that accurate? You say that you are the worst person who ever lived – is that accurate? You say that you are the fattest, ugliest, dumbest, most moronic @#$ up on the planet – is that accurate? You say that you do not deserve to live a good life or even to live itself – is that accurate?
Start to challenge yourself every time you assume that you know the truth. You do not. I am more sure that you are not accurate than you are. You know that out of 7 billion people on the planet, there is a good chance that you are at least not as bad as some other real @#$ ups out there.
Stop lying to yourself and others, get accurate!
13. You Think That Depression Will Attract People Towards You, to Help You, to Comfort You?
I told you that you are not thinking accurately. Is that what you want to do with your time? You want to sit and listen to someone who has nothing positive to say about anything? You want to mourn before someone really dead is in front of you? You rather talk about the miserable past than go to the beach or think about an exciting future?
You think or are afraid that you will be alone? Well, you are right, there you go, in that case, you are so accurate. You will be alone. You will sit alone in your room and languish. Maybe you will spend some time on the internet, maybe you will watch tv, maybe you will take yourself to a game, but you will surely be alone.
True, there are literally millions of people out there who are living in depression, but why would you want to be like them? Yes, I understand that you cannot control the depression, that is why I gave you these 18 ways that Depression will Destroy Your Life and Anyone Else in Your Path and how to save yourself and them from the carnage.
I wish someone sat me down over a decade ago and chewed me out enough that I could start thinking straight. I know how difficult it is to think clearly when you are medicated on antidepressants that affect your @#$ brain. If you know someone, you or someone else that needs to hear 18 ways that you can save yourself or them, then share it, but do not share it with someone that you think cannot handle it.
There are no kid gloves here, there is nothing to softsoap here, depression is dangerous, depression kills, depression will ruin everything in your life or their life, it is a nightmarish pit which is hard to escape once you slip into it, there is no water there to drink, no way to get refreshed, so this is no time to be pulling punches, just be as accurate and real as possible.
In case you did not figure it out already, I am not a medical professional, just hoping that maybe my words might pierce the shell of depression which currently envelops even one person out there and help them to reclaim their life now and not later, rebuild their life now and not later, do the right things now and not later.
I was inspired to write this post because of what Alexis Nedd of wrote about depression in her post:
If you need information on depression or want to talk about your depression, you can call the Crisis Call Center at any time of the day. Their national number is 1-800-273-8255 and all calls are free of charge.
If you don’t like talking on the phone but still want to be heard, forums like the Reddit boards r/depression and r/anxiety have strong communities of people who may be working through an illness similar to yours.
For more information on your depression, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has up-to-date research in the field of psychology as well as articles and fact sheets on mental illness.
Thanks for reading, please add your voice to the conversation, all the best.