Depression, somehow, is much more in line with society’s notions of what women are all about: passive, sensitive, hopeless, helpless, stricken, dependent, confused, rather tiresome, and with limited aspirations. Manic states, on the other hand, seem to be more the provenance of men: restless, fiery, aggressive, volatile, energetic, risk taking, grandiose and visionary, and impatient with the status quo. Anger or irritability in men, under such circumstances, is more tolerated and understandable; leaders or takers of voyages are permitted a wider latitude for being temperamental. Journalists and other writers, quite understandably, have tended to focus on women and depression, rather than women and mania. This is not surprising: depression is twice as common in women as men.
About 264 million people with depression cases are reported yearly according to World Health Organization which is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
Depression is awful beyond words or sounds or images; I would not go through an extended one again. It bleeds relationships through suspicion, lack of confidence and self-respect, the inability to enjoy life, to walk or talk or think normally, the exhaustion, the night terrors, the day terrors. There is nothing good to be said for it except that it gives you the experience of how it must be to be old, to be old and sick, to be dying; to be slow of mind; to be lacking in grace, polish, and coordination; to be ugly; to have no belief in the possibilities of life, the pleasures of sex, the exquisiteness of music, or the ability to make yourself and others laugh.
Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you’re irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You’re frightened, and you’re frightening, and you’re “not at all like yourself but will be soon,” but you know you won’t.
I honestly believe that as a result of my insanity I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and been more loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters; worn death “as close as dungarees,” appreciated it—and life—more; seen the finest and the most terrible in people, and slowly learned the values of caring, loyalty, and seeing things through. I have seen the breadth and depth and width of my mind and heart and seen how frail they both are, and how ultimately unknowable they both are. Depressed, I have crawled on my hands and knees in order to get across a room and have done it for month after month. But, normal or manic, I have run faster, thought faster, and loved faster than most I know. And I think much of this is related to my illness—the intensity it gives to things and the perspective it forces on me. I think it has made me test the limits of my mind (which, while wanting, is holding) and the limits of my upbringing, family, education, and friends.
The countless hypomanias, and mania itself, all have brought into my life a different level of sensing and feeling and thinking. Even when I have been most psychotic delusional, hallucinating, frenzied. I have been aware of finding new corners in my mind and heart. Some of those corners were incredible and beautiful and took my breath away and made me feel as though I could die right then and the images would sustain me. Some of them were grotesque and ugly and I neverwanted to know they were there or to see them again. But, always, there were those new corners and—when feeling my normal self, beholden for that self to medicine and love. I cannot imagine becoming jaded to life, because I know of those limitless corners, with their limitless views.
People with depression are encouraged to make it public so they can get the help they need. But in most cases, people who openly say they have depression are seen as attention seekers who can become shunned for such an act so this people keep it to themselves until they can’t no more which finally ends with suicide and some pretend to be fine.
The thing about depression is you think you’re over it, but it’s 3PM and you’re surrounded by your friends laughing about something stupid and you feel it, you feel the loneliness creeping in. You feel the sadness even though you’re laughing. You’re depressed and you don’t even know how to fix it.
The solution to not be depressed is not so simple as they say but i guess there’s more to live for than dying. Don’t isolate yourself, be happy for who you are, ask for help if you need it and don’t live in the pit of the past nomore. Find ways to let out what’s hurting and what’s stressing you by trying new hobbies. It’s very necessary to visit qualified mental health personnels for help.
Depression can kill you if you let it.
We all need to live, the future needs you.
BY: CLIFFORD ADU KYERE DIABOUR
A Software engineering student
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