I do not in any way claim to know all the ins and outs and sideways views of depression. However, I have known several people over the years who also did not know they were at least clinically despressed, so I think that the playing field is sufficiently evened out for me to say what I’m about to say.
There have been several losses of good people this past year, as there are every year. Death is a well-known fact of life, no matter how much we attempt to preserve our youth. One of the ways some people attempt to preserve their youth is to maintain an energetic, youthful persona, while others sometimes go in search of more permanent, more surgical methods. My point is this: it’s perfectly all right to have a bad day. It’s perfectly all right to have things in your life which upset you and cause you either physical or emotional pain. These also are facts of life, but in recent years have become far less well-known. My personal belief is that coping skills are becoming the least known of all the Facts of Life.
We pad our kids’ playgrounds, as an example, and sometimes their clothing to keep them from physical harm, and yet, growing up, skinning my knee once taught me not only that what I had foolishly attempted was not well-calculated, and it made me second-guess my next foolish undertaking in order to avoid other skinned body parts. On the flipside, I was taught the kindness of my parents in their treatment of that skinned knee and in the process, I learned empathy from their example. Not such a bad bargain, all things considered.
But if we continue to protect our children from what’s out there, they will eventually grow up into adults at least in the physical sense, but their coping skills for life’s hiccups and u-turns will be greatly retarded if not altogether non-existent. I see “adults” now who cannot cope with, for instance, the coffee machine being out of order for a day, and they waste the rest of their day from that tiny little upset that morning going around complaining to anyone who’ll sympathise that they were deprived of their daily jolt of caffeine. This breeds problems down the road on an exponential level. If a malfunctioning appliance is all it takes to stop your processes for that day, what will you do when you get blindsided by something more severe on some idle Tuesday? You’ll reach for something, but maybe not what you really need. Ironically, the anti-depressants many reach for will, in fact, cause further depression and suicidal thoughts, among some other unpleasant side effects like cancer and heart stoppages, along with restriction of airways. Either way, you’re going down the rabbit hole.
Many of these adults reach for pills like anti-depressants and what can only be described as snake oil nerve tonics, rather than get right to the heart of the matter and deal with their issue at hand, on their own and without any pharmaceutical assistance whatsoever. Certainly, no one enjoys dealing with the unpleasant aspects of life, but these are still aspects of life and by dealing with them head-on, and not shying away into bottles of pills or booze, we can learn and grow from those experiences, painful though they may be, and our future decisions can be based on what was learned and gained through not only the upsetting experience, but also from the process it took to get past and hopefully resolve the problem, thereby ensuring that we are better equipped for the next round of obstacles life brings.
’cause you know what? Life is full of obstacles. Shocking, I know.