This week, I’m getting even more “serious” than usual with a topic that has, unfortunately, been all too prevalent in the news lately. The combined suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have left a lot of us speechless, unsure of how to respond or even how to deal with it. The “positive” side to all of this (if we can all it that) is that it has brought about a much-needed discussion on the subject. And it’s something that probably impacts more people than you may know.
Depression is an odd beast. It can creep up on you out of nowhere and become a dominant force over you for weeks or even months at a time. In the past, I’ve occasionally opened up about my own dealings with it, as it’s something I’ve dealt with on and off since 2005. Yet my concern every time I speak about it is that it will then in some way have a negative impact on how others view me. It’s much easier to be seen as the forum member with a Pinkie Pie icon who makes silly jokes all the time than it is to be seen as someone who is sadder a lot more often than he might like to admit.
Too often in our culture, we have a tendency to, intentionally or not, shame those who deal with depression, or call those who have ultimately taken their own lives “selfish.” This perception may be why so many people don’t talk about this stuff when they should. “How dare you want to kill yourself! Do you not know what all you have to be grateful for?” No one wants to to deal with suicidal emotions, no one has the desire to want to end their own life, and no one craves having depression.
So, here are a few things that might be helpful, whether you’re dealing with depression on a regular or extreme level…
1. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. If you feel sad, regardless of how your life is going, you shouldn’t hate yourself for it.
2. People who deal with depression are not sad 100% of the time. Depression is something you gradually recover from when you have it. Sometimes it takes longer than you might like, but there are bright spots on your road to getting better.
3. If you want to kill yourself, that doesn’t make you a horrible person. Nor does it make you a selfish one. What it does mean is that your pain has reached a level where you should talk to someone about it. Find a friend you trust online if you can’t talk with anyone else about it. But do talk about it. Dealing with this level of anguish by yourself won’t do anyone any favors.
4. Don’t hesitate to take emergency action if your suicidal urges become so extreme you think you’re going to do something. There are people in the world who love you (even if you don’t know it). If things get so bad that you feel you can’t take it anymore, a hospital is a much better place to go than a casket.
5. Things get better. This is probably the most important thing to tell yourself. I know it may feel very dark sometimes, and you may think you’re never going to be happy ever again. But you will be. It may take a while, and you may not feel perfect all the time or anything like that. But the sun always ultimately rises. I promise.
6. There is beauty that can be found even in sadness. Depression can be used constructively. No one is happy all the time. And that’s okay. You are okay. If people get on to you for being “sad all day” or for being a “killjoy,” screw them. You are dealing with your own battles. If someone asks you “Why can’t you just be happy?”, tell them that you will be happy in time.
A lot of this advice, as odd as it may sound, is reiterated in a YouTube vlog…done by Barbie. Yes, you read that correctly, but this is seriously one of the best, most non-threatening videos I’ve ever seen about being sad and how it is something that everyone deals with. The stuff said here is equally helpful to children and adults, so feel free to give it a watch…
If you’ve never been here until now, this is a place for “serious” discussions. And they don’t have to be “sad” things either. Sexuality, masturbation, concern of relatives and friends, other issues–all are fair game here.
So, without further ado, here are the (current) guidelines:
1. Be respectful. That goes without saying.
2. Keep discussions “serious.” We have plenty of other places to joke around around here, but sometimes people are in a place when they’re in a need for a hug instead of a yuk.
3. Try your best not to make anyone feel worse. In other words, if someone says “I’m worried Trump is going to start a war overseas,” don’t respond by saying, “Yeah, he’s definitely going to.”
4. If politics and/or religion are brought up, do not try to turn the conversation into an argument. We have other threads for that. This is a safe space and should please be treated as such.
5. I’m not a leader bean, so tend to the mods if there are any issues, but I’m pretty confident that everyone will be nice here.
6. If you bring up something controversial and don’t wish to have it turn into a debate, please say “I’m not looking for a debate here.” If someone says this in their post, everyone please respect that.
Well, that’s it. Have a lovely afternoon, everyone!
And you are loved.