After Aubrey So’s death (a fellow Guhit Pinas artist), I became more sensitive to posts about depression in the group. My instinct to reach out to them got stronger because I noticed that the victims are getting younger. And with a little regret that I was just ignoring these posts before.
But I got more sensitive to people who keep mocking those who suffer from it. How they try to force down on other’s throats that all you need to do is be positive and pray to God—I am a theist. I have no doubt that all things are possible with Him. But surely, you wouldn’t tell a cancer patient to just pray, would you?
This is what most people should understand. It’s actually already becoming a cliché that people might start rolling their eyes but depression is not something that the sufferer just made up. It’s a clinical diagnosis that needs medical treatment but mostly, support from loved ones. Most of the time, the medications prescribed are not even to completely cure it but just to prevent longer episodes, more intense panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts. In other countries, it’s even included as a disability where it can affect your work. And while other illnesses have a specific medical cause, depression doesn’t have as it most of the time depends on the sufferer’s psychological and social issues.
Until now, debate whether depression is curable or not is everywhere. But one thing’s for sure, it’s something to be taken seriously. When sufferers cry for help, it’s not because they’re attention seekers. They cry for help because that’s exactly what they need. It’s just hard to understand what they want sometimes because of the many fear controlling them and their difficulty to socialize as depression is usually paired with anxiety issues too. Their situation is not just drama—it may sound such to you but it’s serious for them.
Seriously, how hard it is for people to give them support? Is it really a must to compare our troubles with theirs? Do some of these insensitive people even suffer the same condition to act mighty and superior just because they can cope up more easily? Don’t rich people have the right to be depressed just because they have a pompous life? Can’t we all give support without putting ourselves in the limelight?
You don’t have to say a lot to show you’re helping. Unsolicited advice only triggers depression more. “You’ll be okay”, “I’m here”, and “I understand” are just few of the simple things depressed people actually want to hear. I don’t know about the others, but when I look for someone to share my troubles with when I am having an episode, it’s because I need to hear reassurance that I am still able to do it. Not so someone can judge and remind me how weak I am. Pull them closer to God but don’t make it sound as if they’re Godless hence why they’re suffering. Depressed people are lost, not evil.
Most of all, sadness is not the same as depression. Sadness is short-term while depression is always there just waiting to be triggered. Sadness in depression is entirely different because there’s no reason for it usually.
This is how complicated depression is. It’s hell for those who suffer from it. Words can do a lot of damage. So if you don’t know anything about it and you’re not legit concern, just don’t say anything at all.