Imagine there is energizer bunny with 10% charge left. Would you compare it to the one with a full charge? That wouldn’t be fair would it? Yet, for some reason we seem to compare people suffering from depression to the rest of us.
Depression is a voltage drop. Normal things that people enjoy become inaccessible. We can’t just say to a depressed person to go and relax or enjoy a movie or something. The movie theater is closed, tickets sold out, and the car won’t start.
When I was suffering from depression, only thing there was like a feeling after receiving a phone call “your mother has died”. That became the only feeling; a kind of terrible sadness. World was beautiful but painfully lonely. Some people said things like this to me; “life can be more for you”, or that “you have a bright future ahead of you”. But I felt very unsure of myself and any hope of actually being able to do anything.
I took Zoloft, and it eventually kept me from falling into the bottom, but it had it’s side effects, mainly I lost ability to make love and orgasm, so my only pleasure of masturbating to a porn movie was strangely taken away from me. I have tried other SSRI’s in my later years when the depression has partially returned, but I do not feel that the medicines work for me.
So what can I say to a person who has a depression? Well, we can’t compare suffering. It doesn’t feel right to strongly pressure someone to try out drugs or go to a counselor. I feel that everyone should have freedom to choose their own way to deal with this condition and a thing that works for one will not work for another.
In my case, I was saved by art and friends. Art allowed me to process the most painful emotions in a safe buffer in my mind. My friends in Finland always answered my call. My friends in Japan sent me letters and pictures of cherry blossoms and their smiling families and friends and their letter always said “welcome”.
I try not to forget that the most valuable things in my life are not my own achievements, but a kind of mercy gifts from others.
Then I wish I could return this gift of life I received to the world.