Depression isn’t Just “Chronic Unhappiness”

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.

Reach Out

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.


5 thoughts on “Depression isn’t Just “Chronic Unhappiness”

  1. That book sounds like a bunch of bunk, but I did want to respond to one comment you made that seemed to disparage the idea that life events can be triggers for depression. I have had two bouts of depression in my life, both triggered by things going on around me. My therapist calls is “situational depression.” Even though what triggered my brain into a free-fall spiral was external, the depression and anxiety it caused were very real…and required therapy and medication. So, I’m not posting to be critical, but more to shed light on the fact that depression can come in all shapes and sizes, and what is a trigger for one person may not be a trigger for another. I hope you feel better soon!

    • Oh I completely agree with the idea of situational depression because stuff can heap on you without you even really realizing it. I guess the idea is that I just don’t like the title. Whatever works for each person, more power to them. I just didn’t like the title.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. That makes me so angry, especially since you know what I’ve been dealing with here. You know what you need. You are doing a good job of helping yourself. 🙂 xoxo

  3. You do have to be really careful of what you read. Some can make you feel incredibly worse and even downplay what you’re feeling.
    Have you read Dooce’s book, It sucked and then I cried. She puts a fun spin on it…I know…it’s not funny…but sometimes we have to make fun of what is hellish or we’d really go bananas.
    I find that the best books are the ones that are written by people who have experienced depression. they’re real. That’s why I love reading blogs.
    perhaps ask your doctor or therapist for suggestions. Searching for self help books is very overwhelming.

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