Imagine you are treading water, just managing to keep your head above the surface. The longer you do this, the more difficult it becomes to stay afloat. Now imagine someone drops a weight in your arms. You can’t let go of the weight because it is glued to your hands. You no longer have the use of your arms to help you stay up, and your legs are tired so you begin to sink. That weight could be any number of difficult emotional situations. It will take you a while to shake it off. You might think the difference between ordinary sadness and Depression is how heavy the weight is, or how strong your legs are. You would be wrong.
If you do not suffer from clinical depression, then you will eventually realize that the weight of that situation doesn’t really matter, because all you have to do is stretch out your legs and your feet will touch the bottom. You might think that because it was easy for you to bring your head safely above water, it must be just as easy for everyone else. You might think if they are drowning, it’s their own fault because they should have just stood up. What you don’t understand is not everyone is in the shallow end of the pool. For some of us, the water is so deep that we can’t even see the bottom.
THAT is Depression.
Most people with clinical depression need help to stay afloat. There is no shame in that. If you have diabetes, you need to manage your diet and take insulin to keep yourself healthy. Would anyone ever think of telling a diabetic to “just get over it”? No, because nearly everyone knows that is ridiculous. Depression is a disease, and it does not go away just because you want it to. It does not disappear just because you ignore it.
Before you pass judgment on other people for managing depression in the best way possible for themselves, remember that what works for YOU may not necessarily be right for someone else. Every person has her own weight to bear, and his own unknown depths of water to tread.