BATTLING DEPRESSION: LET'S TALK ABOUT IT

by - August 22, 2018

Taken from healthyplace 

Since accepting and admitting I have depression, I have done research and found Twitter accounts to follow in order to try and understand my thoughts better. It has helped me see I'm not the only one dealing with this issue and it's provided ideas for dealing with the times when a wave of depression hits.  There is one point I keep seeing though that while I understand and agree with, is something that isn't as easy as it sounds. 

I've seen a lot of people posting on Facebook or retweeting on Twitter the phones numbers for the suicide hotline. Obviously this is an important asset and I don't want to trivialize it. Something that people without depression should keep in mind is that it's not easy for people suffering from depression to talk about what's going on inside their heads. It's not that they don't want to talk about it. It's more that they can't. 

In last week's Depression Blog, I talked about an anxiety attack suffered at a concert.  The day after the concert I was talking with my friend who has been by my side ever since the beginning of my depression adventure. I know I can talk to them about anything without fear of judgement. However, when I would think about how to explain the situation from the night before, in my mind it sounded idiotic. Did I really want to talk about having an anxiety attack over a situation that never happened? Did I want to admit I had to walk out of a concert because my mind had concocted a scene that was pure fiction? How pathetic is that? 

 My favorite movie, and one of the inspirations for the Positive Cynicism podcast, is Pump Up the Volume. If you haven't seen the movie, Christian Slater plays  high school student, Mark, who has a pirate radio station. Late in the film, female student, Nora has discovered the DJ's real life identity and comes to his house after a school board meeting. Finding Mark burning letters written from listeners and not planning to go back on the air, Nora tries to get Mark to explain what's going on. When Mark won't talk to her, she screams at him to "say anything! Say get the hell out of here bitch!" To which Mark replies, "I can't. I can't talk to you." before going on the air to "talk" to Nora by talking to no one and everyone at once. 

I don't know what it's like for anyone else but this is perfect example of how I feel a lot of the time. It's not that I don't have things to say. It's more of not being able to say what I'm thinking.  There are several reasons dependent on the situation in play. The biggest factor is not wanting to say anything stupid and feeling like whatever I say is going to be stupid.  

In addition to saying something stupid, talking about anxiety or any other issue means you have to be willing to make yourself vulnerable.  If you're already feeling insecure or embarrassed about your thoughts, opening up to someone else isn't an easy thing to do. Keep this in mind if you know someone who seems depressed or just says they're fine when you ask. 

I don't have any answer as to how to get someone to talk.  For me, I know it takes time. When I have something I want to say but don't feel comfortable talking about, the longer I stay in a conversation the more likely I am to eventually say what's on my mind. 

Talking is very important. If you know someone is battling depression, or suspect they are, letting them know you're available if they need to talk is a good first step. Keep in mind though that talking may not come easy and be willing to sit in silence if that is what is needed. 
  

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