November 2017
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depression is not a cramp, it's a broken bone: a 'mild' situation has intense effects when depressed


icon: "hissing (a photo of a snow leopard hissing with mouth open, whiskers back and ears flattened)"


I don't have chronic depression, but I have spent enough years of my life depressed to know about various effects. One of them is that seemingly 'little' things become huge and horrendous. Someone says something and (probably accidentally) implies something negative about you, and it hurts incredibly deeply. People will then respond with "oh it's not that big a deal" or "don't let it bother you" which is fucking ridiculous. It's not just perception; when you are already injured, small further injuries will have greater impact than they would if you were fine!

It's like depression is having a hand with broken bones in it, when the worst hand damage most people have experienced is a paper cut. And someone is like "why can't you high-five me, it's not that hard!" and sure, it's not much effort to lift your arm and aim your hand at the other person's hand. But you KNOW that it is going to hurt, it is going to cause you damage, and so you say "I just can't do high fives right now." And they get miffed that you're not willing to suffer a little to bring them some joy, because they high-fived you when they had a paper cut. Or someone shakes your hand and you cry out, and people are like "psh, that doesn't hurt, I do it all the time!" Or they tell you "oh it's probably just a hand cramp, I had one before and just needed to massage it out" and they grab your broken hand and start rubbing it! It sounds really obvious in metaphor but people really will try to apply their own diagnoses and then give you their 'cure' when it is absolutely going to make everything far worse.

Depression doesn't just sit in one spot, like disappointment or sadness, because it is not a fucking emotion. It is an illness, and it gets in every single part of your being. It's not something you can compartmentalize. It's not something you can ignore. It's something that has to be managed, and anyone who has been depressed for a length of time is far more of an expert on how to manage it than you are, if you haven't lived it.

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Comments
stray_infinity ══╣╠══

I'm with you here. During my time of depression, I felt that everything bruised my emotions so easily to the point where I had to stay away from people who didn't push me to do things and didn't give me crap about not wanting to. Your metaphor describes that very well!

belenen ══╣gentle╠══
*nods* I feel you!
gobbolina ══╣Buffy staked Edward╠══
I've been suffering from depressions for almost 20 years and still going. You describe it very weel, and I really like your metaphor.
There's a video which describes depressions as a big black dog you carry along with you all the time. It was good, too, but I never really related to it. I love dogs, but I don't love depressions.
belenen ══╣pensive╠══
*nods* I have seen that one, but it didn't resonate for me either. I just experience it as so inside me that I can't relate to it being external.
gobbolina ══╣Shell╠══
I wouldn't say my mental disorder is a friend, but it isn't a foe either. It's what made me the person I am. It causes a lot of problems as well (I have problems interacting with "normal" people). But on the other hand I'd say I'm more empathetic. My therapies made me able to understand people much better. and I evolved much more than many people do in their life.
I've gone a long way, and I'm proud of it. I'm proud of what I was able to achieve to become a better person. Sometimes I'm still the shy, under-confident girl I used to be. But I learned to fight for my rights and not to be dominated the way I used to.

I've learned to deal with my disease. Nor do I fight it, neither deny. Least is a problem a lot of persons with mental diseases have, as far as I've experienced. If I act like an asshole I don't put it on my disease. That's something you shouldn't do. Sometimes it may be true, but YOU are responsible for your actions, not your disease. You can decide to work on your character and actions, as I did. Or you just give in, which is the easiest way.
melodiousmelon ══╣╠══
I love this.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks :)
song_of_copper ══╣pensées mauves╠══
Absolutely. Depression means that doing even pleasant things or 'routine things that everybody does every day' (getting out of bed, showering, making light conversation) requires as much effort as a non-depressed person might need in doing something definitely daunting or challenging (climbing a mountain, deep-cleaning the whole house, formal public speaking). It's like you're starting from further away, somehow.

Something else about 'little' things: experiencing a minor annoyance once is a 'little' thing, but having it happen over and over and over can turn it into a REALLY BIG thing that is tough to endure. This seems strangely difficult for some people to grasp. I've often found that a 'big' thing that happens just the once can be easier to deal with than a 'little' thing that just won't quit. 'Big' things are easier for others to empathise/sympathise with, and often have cultural procedures and traditions around them, but with 'little' things you are supposed to just suck it up already. >.<
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
yesssss, exactly. effort is exponentially larger for everything.

And oh, I 100% agree about the 'little' billion things being worse than the 'big' single thing. Plus, if it's just one thing, it's way easier to wall it off and get some rest from thinking about it. That can be impossible with a bunch of little things.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.