Depression is not a disease
It’s that time again. Some celebrity is dead. And not just dead; suicide. Who gets the blame? Depression. It’s mental illness. Then the mental health awareness thing begins again. Seen lots of stuffs on twitter and I had to respond. Hopefully my response will be met with more grace here.
I do not in any way mean to disrespect people going through sorrow at this time for the people who died. But I’m going to be practical and you should open your mind to see the point here. Just open your mind.
First, death. What is death? And why do we cry about it? Do we feel pain for those who died or are we just being selfish? Here is what I believe; man has a physical body but is not a physical body. There is an expressional part of the human person which is the soul. The soul is the character that you know as your friend, neighbor, co-worker, etc. The body they live in is different (from who they are) and theirs to keep (and maintain). I can go deeper, but let’s stop there.
Death, with this simple explanation, is when the soul is separated from the body. Without the body, the soul has no place in the realm that we see and live in. Every soul requires a body to function on the earth. Outside the body, the soul is awakened into another realm (that we obviously cannot see or connect with physically). The soul cannot really die (as we know it). Therefore, death is simply a separation.
Understanding that, when people die and we sorrow, who do we really weep for? Those who died? Remember we don’t “know” where they are. We only know we won’t see them again in this world. We sorrow because we miss a friend not because we care about the friend. The sorrow emotion for death is selfish. I mean, some people even tell those around them that they are ready to die and the people still mourn! They are not even looking at things from the person’s perspective! All they care about is that they won’t see the fellow again. SMH
Second, depression. I don’t understand why people allow themselves to be “depressed”. But before we go there, is depression a disease? The right question is, what is a disease? If it is an anomaly on (or in) your body, then it is a disease. People started to change that definition because they want to encompass more things into the “disease” narrative. Depression doesn’t affect your body. It is a thing of the soul; a thing of the mind. And often times, it affects the body from there. But when it affects the body, there is a medical diagnosis for what is wrong. Medical doctors don’t treat depression. Some other kind of “doctors” address it though. This is so clear that depression is not a disease. It could create a disease but it is not a disease in itself.
Some months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who has some financial (and work) issues to deal with and she said the situation was beginning to sink her into depression. I was stunned. Like, this thing is making you depressed?? I am never depressed! I could never be! You know why? It’s because I never look at what other people have or what society says is correct to live my life! I don’t fricking care!! You need to run your life down in your own eyes to be depressed! I never do that! My life is great! I have a lot in front of me, but I have a number behind me also! You know what’s killing people via depression; comparison.
Oh, could comparison kill big shot celebrities? I feel for them the most, because they are in the firing line! They have a public image to uphold every time. Even when they are real, they are still faking something. They have to look like themselves. It’s sad! I feel for a lot of them. You see most of them looking ever charming on camera, but they see the other side that you do not see. They see the ugly face that stares back at them when they look in the mirror (when they are alone). The makeup is gone, the camera is gone, the fangirls and fanboys gone, only silence and the mirror. You need to know that the more you try to be perfect, the more you see your flaws. And small flaws on a big stage is a big flaw (even if nobody saw it). But “I don’t care” is the attitude most have! To say it is easy, not to think about it is hard. Pushing the thought away doesn’t help either, because it only goes deeper. Maybe they should have really cared! Obsession with earthly perfection is another source of depression.
And then the parties, the flair, the flirting, drinking, sexing to drown thoughts only push them deeper. The society teaches to drown, forget or ignore problems. “It will fix itself”, they said. Nah, it won’t. Life doesn’t work that way. Doing everything else but to address the problems looming in your face. And the situation deteriorates gradually till it get to a point of no return. Then the question surfaces, do you want to live with this thing or you’d rather die? Listen here; both options are horrible. There is no win. Living through the situation is just as horrible. Only that many people don’t get to see how broken you are on the inside. But some choose death. And yes, it is a choice. Nobody really cares about the celebrity unless they are in some kind of obvious trouble or dead. This is what I think caused the two deaths we heard of recently.
Now, I hear someone saying, “we all battle our own demons”. Well, the fellow may be speaking for herself and a couple of others but she is definitely not talking about everybody. That “we” doesn’t include me and I’m certain it doesn’t include a handful of people too. This problem was your making remember? The Instagram ‘my life is better than yours' posts, etc. The fake and false expectation of life. The fake hope that people are given in the smooth, deceptive words by people with control. I don’t battle any demon. I never get depressed, because I face my problems; I don’t drown it. If it bothers me one bit, I look for how to solve it. That’s because if I don’t, it’ll only grow larger and bigger into something too difficult to handle.
There is nothing wrong in sitting to yourself (like the picture above) to think and reflect. If that scares you, it means you are living a horrible life. I love silence; I love to be on my own to reflect. It’s then I weigh my recent choices, ruminate over my purpose in life and set myself up for better choices. The problem is that the modern world loves the noise and believe they can silence that little voice calling their attention to actual reality. There are things you can’t push away. Many cannot imagine themselves to be sincere to the world around them. Faking it, “wearing” a smile, etc., how we have hurt ourselves in trying to help ourselves. A friend once gave me that “red carpet” smile. I warned her sternly never to repeat it to me. If you want to frown, frown! But let it come from your heart. There is nothing as beautiful and healthy as real.
There’s another notion that came alive from the recent incident. And that is to call your “strong” friend and ask how they are doing. My friends know me more than to try and call because a guy died of depression and they are now trying to care. Here is what I do; I have friends I call and discuss with and chat with just for fun when I feel I need to vent out. I don’t wait for somebody to think about me and call me, I make the call. And often come out clean from the start like, ‘hey, I wanna disturb you. You’ve got the time?’ And then we go about all kinds of random stuffs. I do that with different people depends on who I’m in the mood to play with. If they are not available, I find someone who is. And I’ve kept contact of people like that over the years. For some, we may not speak one word to each other for months but then we can just dig in one night and talk at length. And it is beneficial for the two of us!
If you call your friend to ask if they’re okay mentally and your call was absolutely wrongly timed, what would you do? Many times people do this because they feel the other person should reciprocate the gesture at a later time. Which if that doesn’t happen is another cause of downward spiral thoughts. Even if you call and the other person pours out their problems to you, what do you want to do about it? Yes, it will make the other person FEEL better but it won’t change the underlying facts.
Talking about the “bigness” your problem won’t solve the problem, but can make you feel better. Talking about options, solutions and what to do about the problem, will create a pathway to an answer which makes you really better
Lastly, I personally don’t buy the mental health thing. Why can’t the world for just one second recognize that there is a soul. As long as we keep ignoring the reality of the definitions, people will continually get depressed and end up dead. It’s not a mental thing, it’s a soul searching for meaning in a dark hole. When life is seen to be meaningless, lots of thoughts and ideas creep in from the dark. Let me ask you; what is the meaning of life? This is because whether you like it or not, you will ask yourself that question one day and if you can’t find a good enough answer, death may not be faraway.
Confront life’s questions early. Live to be fulfilled. Live a true life in sincerity and honesty, looking at no one as a yardstick. And when you want to leave this world, live with dignity. Cheers!