With another GOP congressperson saying another insulting and idiotic thing about rape (and a second one saying stupid stuff about the dangers of pregnancy), and Paul Ryan dedicating his and Mitt Romney’s term in office to fighting to remove rights for gay people, you’d think I could talk about a ton of stuff tonight.
And I could. Really, there’s quite a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, this is yet another night where I haven’t exactly given myself much time to do any of that chit chatting or yelling about sexist, heterocentric, backwards policies from a political party that needs a swift kick in the head and a hard reboot on understanding what should matter in this country.
Instead, I’m going to briefly talk about something else that should matter to people: Depression. It is, in fact, a serious medical condition. I’m not talking about feeling sad because someone broke up with you or something, though I suppose that could trigger it, but actual, medically labeled depression.
It’s possible that I have it in a unipolar sense. I’m not sure. I don’t drink, which helps me stave off my worst bouts, and so far the most self-destructive thing I’ve let myself physically do is eat poorly and perhaps refuse to socialize. …actually, thinking about it, I might be socializing more, so scratch that. Anyway, while I’ve had a long, two year period of down days, very rarely uplifted by anything good, I’ve been fortunate enough to never suffer severe bouts of depression. Maybe I could benefit from medicine, but I’m just not going to bother with that. I, personally, want to solve this on my own because I don’t think I have a chemical imbalance, just a psychological dislike for myself and my life as it stands.
That said, I repeat that depression is serious business. And it’s something friends should look out for. Truly. If you have a friend that you think is depressed, and I mean depressed and not just temporarily mopey, you need to reach out to them. Don’t turn them away. Don’t dismiss their feelings, even if you’ve heard it a billion times before. That won’t help. Encourage them to see a doctor, but also just encourage them. Be there for them in good times and bad, because that’s what a true friend does. And when a friend is depressed, they could really use someone, something to help stave off the imagery of suicide that envelopes many of their idle hours.
I’m going to leave you with a link to a Tumblr post written by comedian Rob Delaney, a man who has actually suffered through alcoholism and depression. You can read about his struggles with depression here. It’s worth the read.
Depression can be life threatening. But it can be survived. And, personally, I think friends are a great first step.