Just clap your hands hard! No, no, I’m not being frivolous here. Not at all.
I know what it’s like to be that way and though one would expect a lot of physical signs, depression usually doesn’t throw up anything until you’re actually depressed. And that’s when people will come to know. Not before. Not after.
It’s a strange thing…this depression. It can strike you out of the blue, strike you in the middle of a meeting, while having a nice cuppa with a friend, in the middle of a wild raucous party — anywhere. But know this, the signs have been there for long, you just didn’t see it.
A lot of us live in denial about our lives. Some people believe they have more than they bargained for, more than they ever expected in life, so they kind of feel happy that they got so far. For some people, having it all is not everything. You have it all and still, you’re depressed. It’s all in the mind.
And then there are those for whom an outward tragedy exists in their lives, something that everybody around you is aware of, a sick parent, a sick child, a sick spouse and I don’t mean just physically, it could be that someone’s behaviour or mental health is driving you around that bend.
Whatever it is, it all depends on individual resources or that particular grade of survivors skill we are born with, to be able to thrash it out. I hear people saying, oh but only you can manage this great misfortune that has befallen you, I couldn’t do it.
Well, a lot of people haven’t truly evolved from being monkeys even now, so sensitivity is the least of their concerns. A sock in the face would help, but then not everyone is still a monkey. So you avoid such people and get by with the tragedy in your life. Some get depressed, some give up and some survive.
So, whatever, what I meant about clapping when you know you are depressed is to give yourself that wake-up call. To physically clap and tell yourself– I know I’m down there and I’m sinking and I need to get up. How do I do it?
Some go to doctors, take their prescribed meds and some are helped by family and friends and some, well, just get out, all by Gods grace.
It’s not easy being depressed. I know the feeling where you can sink deeper and deeper into regions so low that you cannot get out and it’s up there and it’s all in your head. No, that movie, that shopping, that catching up with friends, that holiday, nothing will make that sad voice in your head go away. It will exist and continue to mutter until you are someplace like the deep end of a valley and not managing to climb up.
What do you do? I’ll tell you first hand. A first- it’s inevitable, you can just keep sinking and feeling awful. Everybody around tries to help, especially your immediate family for whom your existence is important. But I know and say this from experience…you still are smart enough to know you’re sinking further and only negative things will come your way. You don’t really feel like doing frivolous things anymore.
But you know what…these frivolous things and materialistic pursuits are the only things that will actually help you! Because they will get you involved and busy till you reach the point where you are no longer thinking about your absolute lows because you are busy trying to be frivolous or materialistic and you’re getting caught up in that.
Play the mind as the mind plays you.
And sometimes gruelling physical work can help. I would say…if you’re gardening, keep at it. Getting your hands dirty and deep in the mud every day will help you come out of depression. If you do a lot of physical household chores around the house, it will help you.
Do not give your body rest and the mind shall be controlled. It’s difficult, no doubt when you can’t even gather that ounce of strength to get up from that bed and comb your hair.
But, you got to do it and if you have a spouse, partner, friend, a parent who will force you to do the daily gardening, hard physical chores like scrubbing, cleaning and washing, you will cry at first but get around to doing it. And if you involve yourself in frivolities like whether that choker you were gifted, needs a matching earring, rings or even a bracelet and spend hours trying to find them, it will actually help you.Everybody does not need medication. It’s just common sense.
And yes, it can come back. So don’t forget the gardening. It really helps. For some depression is linked to a lot of causes, for some, it just happens.
What really made me write this post is the recent death of a girl I knew a long time ago, a quiet, impersonal girl with whom I’d share a few hellos as we worked in the same office together. Somebody who I never knew too well, who succumbed to depression and thereafter death.
It’s a battle we all need to fight. A battle that we can’t see. Nobody deserves to not know how they can be helped. If somebody is low, they need family and friends to help them, even a complete stranger can sometimes help. It could prevent a death.
And in the end, the words of this American writer come back to me always: ‘Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.