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Re: I think that's only part of the story... Racer

Posted by laima on July 20, 2006, at 19:12:34

In reply to I think that's only part of the story... curtm, posted by Racer on July 20, 2006, at 18:30:34

If you are talking about me (laima), I obviously have a problem communicating clearly. I originally wanted to express that I feel awful that some people in my life seem to be accusing or suggesting I have caused my own disfunction/mental illness issues, that I am faking, lazy, looking for attention, and so on. Some of these people have just plain shunned me or keep themselves distant or are judgemental, as if a "pep talk" can end a serious depression. I think some people toss around terms like "depressed" casually, and I think that practice does many of us who genuinely struggle with depression or other mood disorder a great injustice by confusing what "depression" is. Yes, every human suffers, but not everyone has their life disintigrate into a persistent disfunction as a result. I have experienced that some people out there who have never experienced persistent, severe depression don't even seem to believe in it and actually trivialize this sort of suffering and blame the sufferer. They get frustrated if one doesn't "snap out of it" after a period of time. I have experienced that some blame the sufferer. I apologize enourmously if it didn't sound that way, and for offending any of you. I am very sorry for my clutzy communication. English isn't even my native language and I don't have a great way with words always anyway. I obviously will be more cautious going forward-and would have said nothing at all had I guessed it could be misconstrued. I don't know what else to say.

> > I think what she was implying is that people with disroderd thinking/mental illness did it to themselves, but actually they are born with an imbalance on chemical neurotransmitter function (speaking specifically of mood disorders and addiction.)

As for the above comment, I couldn't disagree more. Whatever the reason, some people really persistently suffer, while some others, lucky them, process grief or stress effectively and move on to live functional and fulfilling lives. I've met them, and I wish I was one of them. It seems clear that everyone suffers at some point, but not everyone developes a genuine, baffeling, persistent and debilitating mood disorder.

> See, I think most depression -- endogenous or exogenous -- is an interplay between biology and environment. You may be born with the short form of the gene, but it still takes an environmental stressor to bring on the d/o.

Environmental factors are something that certainly exasperate my own depression...but while no expert, I don't think there are any easy answers and I am not interested in judging anyone suffering..I just wish people who were not genuinely depressed didn't trivialize, judge, or over-simplify the suffering of severe clinical depression. It's not like one can easily be "talked out of it" or something. I do think that by tossing the word "depression" about casually, they do us a dis-service. Again, while no expert, I don't believe that "grief" and "depression" are the same thing--even if they are both awful.

> So, while we don't "bring it on ourselves," there is a part that environment plays, and our behavior does play a contributing role -- for good, as well as for ill; that's why therapy is good for what ails us.
> Yes, biology counts. But if I took an infant born with the gene coding for depression, and I reared him/her in a perfect for him/her environment, and there were no traumatic experiences, etc, that kid wouldn't necessarily develop depression.

I agree enthusiastically.

> Now, after I've said all that, let me also say that I get cross-eyed by some of the things people say about depression. My own aunt, when I told her I was suffering from depression, asked, "About what? You have to be depressed *about* something." (Implication I got: "therefore, you're not depressed..." Dang, wish it were that easy, huh?)

That's exactly what I struggle with...I've experienced similar. And some people, such a my aunt, seem to get irked if their pep-talk doesn't result in sudden, fresh mental wellness. As if one needs something to be "depressed about". That is EXACTLY what I meant to express that the casual and ill-informed use of the term "depressed" encourages.

>There is a lot of ignorance about it, and it does both contribute >to the stigma against mental illness, and make that much more >difficult the lives of those of us with mental illness.
> Hope someone agrees with something I said there...

Perhaps this is a futile discussion of semantics?




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