Depression Isn’t Sadness and Suicide Isn’t a Cry For Help… by Steve Safran

I talk about personas and characters that chitter away in my head, critiquing how I’m doing things, often saying I’m doing things wrong. Depression takes that to levels that cripple and can destroy. I appreciate this blog and how it talks about it.  A close friend of mine committed suicide. I have periods where I see life through grey-colored glasses. When that happens, I experience life very differently; darkly. And I know that having someone tell me, “chin up,” not only doesn’t help, it generally makes me feel worse. Better understanding is a good step.

“Depression is exhausting. And it’s cruel. It tells you terrible things about yourself. That’s why Ms. Spade and Mr. Bourdain died. I can’t speak for their experiences, but I can speak for my own and what I know to be true from many other patients with depression: our minds become ruthless bullies. They tell us the meanest things about ourselves. They stockpile ammunition and open fire. And we have to sit there and take it because, well, it’s coming from our own brains.”

Blooms and Bubbles

Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Two gut-punching suicides that have people asking “Why them? They had it all!” Sure, Bourdain lived a hard life, but Kate Spade, the queen of whimsy? She was wealthy, adored and…

Depressed.

We need better words. One of the biggest disservices to the field of mental health is to call the diagnosis of “depression” by the name “depression.” Everyone “gets depressed.” It’s a commonplace word: “I’m so depressed the meeting I planned fell through.” “The ending of that show was too depressing.” “He’s too depressing to be around.”

None of these examples has anything to do with the psychological definition of Depression.

People who live with depression are wired differently. Our brains perceive life differently than those who do not have depression. Let me put it another way.

Suppose you were born left-handed in this predominantly right-handed world. Suppose that was considered OK from time to…

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One thought on “Depression Isn’t Sadness and Suicide Isn’t a Cry For Help… by Steve Safran

  1. Marie Schrader

    Thank you for this! It deepened my understanding of this horrible condition. I also forwarded it to a friend who suffers. I wish I had more information as to how to really help people who have depression and anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

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