It’s been radio silence around here lately which, for anyone who knows me, means that I’m in a slump. Or I’m super busy. In this case it’s been both. I told you about my plans to revamp the downstairs and that was a total success. I’m not a good DIY blogger so I’ve got some before and during pics, but I was too busy trying not to end up covered in paint. I’ll post those soon.
Yesterday, at the “peak of the slump” I was browsing Amazon for books to read. It was recommended to read “Mad in America” for a brief history of the treatments of mental illness/psychiatry. As I got lost down the Amazon rabbit hole, I found this title (which I won’t even link because it’s crap and I don’t care that it has almost all 5 star reviews):
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness
Seriously?! What the eff. It talks about life events as triggers for depression. Yeah well, I didn’t suffer from depression when my mom died and I was only 25 years old. So figure that one out, guys.
I’m pretty sure that I never “chose” to be depressed.
I don’t “choose” to be chronically unhappy or feel so exhausted and unmotivated that I don’t want to do anything, not even pin on Pinterest.
If it was that easy to “free myself” from being so “unhappy” I’m pretty sure I would have done that by now seeing as how I have a great husband, two beautiful girls and a job I actually like.
Granted, I’m a little more edgy at times like this but this title infuriated me. I read the synopsis today and basically it’s about using meditation instead of “our usual attempts to “think” our way out of a bad mood or just “snap out of it” lead us deeper into the downward spiral.” Um, what?
I get it. I’m actually reading (or should be) a book called “Open Heart, Open Mind” a book on contemplative prayer to help deal with anxiety and refocus when you feel overwhelmed. I have an open mind when it comes to these things and I don’t immediately discount ideas that involve Eastern ideas in a very modernized and medically focused Western World.
I think you do what you have to do to make yourself well using whatever resources work for YOU, whether it be books, therapy, meds, exercise, whatever.
The reason this book got me so angry is because it fuels the idea that depression is just being sad and it’s nothing more than a state of mind. It feeds the stigma that depression (and other mental illness) isn’t a real disease and can be easily fixed–if you want it to be.
I’m lucky. I’ve had great resources (friends) to bounce ideas off of and read their journeys on their blogs. I used to be very wary about writing about this because I was embarrassed; not for myself, necessarily but for those I love. But if my friends never shared their stories, how would I be where I am today? Eight years ago when Ava was born, the idea of postpartum depression was foreign. It just wasn’t talked about. But it should have been.
Just be compassionate. Depression and mental illness are hard things to understand. They’re often hushed and people don’t talk about them. I get that, but I also know that way more people are dealing or know someone who is than not. As someone on the inside looking out, I can’t imagine how those around me feel in trying to “help” me feel better. It must be frustrating. But every little bit of understanding and patience means the world. Promise.
FYI, I don’t use Amazon sponsored links because 1) I don’t know what that means, and 2) I just link to Amazon because it’s easy. So basically the point is whether you buy something or not from Amazon is up to you–I don’t make money off it.