Depression is more than sadness

Two posts, one day blah blah but I have my ranty pants on and the 140 characters of twitter meant that I would be kicked off for spam after posting 50 tweets in the space of 5 minutes.

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What’s got my goat you ask? A little old show called Offspring.  Unless you are living under a rock, then you will know that they killed off one of the main characters of the show last night.  Social media had a meltdown (at least the people on mine did) and cries of noooooo were heard through the night.  I’m not here to begrudge a persons reaction to a beloved character dying, hell I cried like a big skirt when Dumbledore died (if you don’t know who I am talking about then you are dead to me).  What I have an issue is the outcries of ‘I’m so depressed because Patrick died’.

I see red every time the word depression is thrown around so flippantly.  Depression is not ‘feeling a bit sad’.  Sadness is a normal reaction to something that upsets you, sadness doesn’t linger for weeks, months, years at a time.  Fleeting sadness in reaction to things in your environment doesn’t stop you from living, sleeping and coping.

Imagine walking through quicksand, in the middle of a sandstorm in the pitch black, every single day, for months on end and you might have a little bit of an idea what depression feels like.  Depression rips you from the inside, tearing everything that means something to you away.

Depression doesn’t care about rhyme or reason.  It doesn’t care if you are black, white or pink with purple polka dots.  It doesn’t care if you have a lot going on at the moment.  It doesn’t care that you don’t have time to be sick right now.

Depression lies.  It spreads hate through every vein in your body.  It leaks out your pores.  It darkens your eyes.  It breaks down your resolve.  It turns strong people into nothing more than an empty shell.

Depression is darkness when the world is light.  Rain clouds when the world is sunshine.  Silence when the world is singing.  Loneliness when the whole world is full of friendships.  Tired when the world is awake.

Depression is more than sadness

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23 thoughts on “Depression is more than sadness

    1. Tegan Post author

      Thanks Dorothy, it’s so true. I felt it was better to air my grievances here or I was going to lose my shit on one of the many pages still talking about it.

      Reply
  1. Vanessa

    I think in general there are so many words in the English language that are over used or misused. People love to exaggerate.

    Depression is not the only term that is over used. What about love? I see the word “love” used way too much all over the place.

    I totally relate to how you describe what depression is, which you have written beautifully, but I think jumping on the social networks’ misuse of it might just cause you more angst than necessary.

    I can feel you are passionately upset about this but I think the healthy way to deal with it would be to take a deep breath and let it wash off you.

    V.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      If we don’t talk about though then people will continue to go about their merry way using it. I hope that through this post I can give at least one person reason to stop and think about it before they use a word flippantly.

      Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      That was my intention with this post, to give at least once person reason to pause and think about how their words affect someone. Thank you for commenting.

      Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      Yep it’s so true. I wouldn’t ever wish depression on anyone, so to see people using it so carelessly annoys me.

      Reply
  2. Kathy

    Hi Tegan – great point, well made. There are so many words that we over-use and lessen their meaning like hero. Depression is a term we need to understand the real meaning of an translate that into support for people who are suffering.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      Support is already so hard to seek because of stigma, and people using the word to describe a completely normal reaction to something sad really doesn’t help. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
  3. Bec | Mumma Tells

    Having never suffered from depression myself, I doubt I can ever truly fathom the intensity of it. However, watching loved ones around me succumb to the beast, I can most definitely hear you. And it is a point well made. X

    Reply
  4. Mumabytes

    Good on you for writing this post. Depression is such an incredibly serious illness and when the ignorant flaunt their lack of understanding they are hurting the people that do understand. Cheers, Katie at Mumabytes 🙂

    Reply
  5. Alison

    I’ve never seen Offspring and had never heard of this person but it is true I do live under a deliberate rock when it comes to popular media 🙂 And I could not agree more. I have angrily tweeted things about this before, as you probably know 🙂 I nearly think we need a new name for it to remove it from the general population. I am SO sick of people telling me if i eat right, get enough exercise and soldier on it will all be fine. Or hey, isn’t there medication for that – just get that quick fix they keep telling us about.

    Being really positive about your broken leg won’t miraculously unbreak it, any more than cheering up will fix depression, because it’s a fucking illness. No, comparing myself to others worse off doesn’t help either, thanks. And diet, sunshine etc can minimise it if we are at the milder end of it, but at some point the mere act of getting out of bed becomes a struggle and these things are no longer even an option.

    I genuinely and truly wish for anybody who makes these sorts of remarks that they undergo a full year of devastating, crippling and severe depression – don’t give a toss if that offends or upsets anybody, it is what I wish with all my heart.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      I saw a great quote the other day about comparing sadness. It sad something along the lines of saying that a person cannot be depressed because other people have it worse than them is like saying a person cannot be happy because there are people who have it better. I think it really hit the nail on the head.

      Reply

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