Major depression ruins everything. Whoever first thought that MDD was the perfect way to get attention clearly did not understand the implications of such a disease. Yes. A disease. Just like having diabetes or cancer or even a broken leg, MDD is a disease. Unfortunately, the lack of immediate tangible evidence makes it difficult for people to grasp what it really does.
In those fancy commercials about MDD and general anxiety disorders, they always show that lonely person with the furrowed brow, looking out the window with increasing trepidation. In movies and TV shows, they’re depicted as the quiet odd one, or the ones that are holed up inside. They’re slightly disheveled, blank, shy, timid. And then… *BAM* “Take this medication and you’ll be this happy person running through the fields of wildflowers, chasing after your dog or children or spouse or WHO CARES?!? YOU’LL BE SO HAPPY.”
But seriously. Who decided MDD was a good way to get attention? Didn’t that fool realize that he or she would be stigmatized forever? Or that people would just think he or she was crazy and weird?
Take it from me, you don’t want people to know you have MDD. Not because it wouldn’t help explain a lot. MDD usually comes with some kind of anxiety, so it might explain why you have no motivation to see people or go out, and when you did, you’re not only battling the hermit feeling, you’re also agonizing over looking rude.
The problem is that normal people – even most people – don’t get it. You can tell someone about your MDD and it kind of doesn’t do anything. If anything, it sort of backfires.
When I told one of my exes that I had MDD, he literally attributed every negative mood I had to it, regardless of the cause.
I’m mad that he left me crying by myself?
“Are you having another episode?”
He screws around all day and then when he finally sees me at 9PM, he tells me 15 minutes later that he has to go to study?
“Are you depressed again?”
No, you donkeyhat, I’m mad that you’re an inconsiderate piece of shell that clearly does not give a poop about me.
And then there’s the other ex who knew and understood that I have MDD, but took everything VERY personally.
I’m so depressed, I don’t want to see anyone?
“I can’t tell if you care about me.”
I’m quiet at a party?
“You’re being kind of rude.”
Or, if you’re in the lucky group that’s not really experienced with this,
“She’s just using this as an excuse/for attention.”
No, no, trust me. There are much better and favorable ways to get attention. Easier, too. Like really, I could run for mayor of my city. Or post a video of myself singing and dancing (pretty horrendously).
Which is why this is so difficult to share and I’m sharing this anonymously.
My last ex, bless his heart, asked me why I didn’t share my blog with more people or his friends. I don’t think he understands the stigma and the whispers and condescending “I know better” looks that people give when they hear someone has depression.
And honestly, if he couldn’t understand it and he was going through it with me, how could I possibly share it with others and expect them to understand?
You’re asking for a lot there, buddy. I’d need a miracle for that, and I don’t think even a miracle could cure me.