Is depression just whining self indulgent attention seeking by greedy people who just want more–or a real illness? An experiment

Do I need anything to be sad about to be sad?

Depressed? Snap Out Of It! Now why didn’t I think of that? The Cure for Depression, At Last!

I have read a lot of posts on social media that advise depressed people to snap out of it with happy thoughts I totally identified with the contemptuous tone the writers had for troubled people. I had felt the same way about those whiners who had nothing to be upset about. Here I was all alone, after the people who adopted me grew quite vocal about how “people are getting sick of [me]” and they regretted taking me in. What’s more, I was far from popular in school, and I imagined that if I had someone who cared enough to initiate contact with me, just one person…no, I could not even imagine someone seeking me out for the reward of contacting me. How dare these people with all of their so-called “loved ones,” complain? These people had parents–2! Siblings, significant others, children, and friends. I know, because I have read articles giving advice about how to support your “loved one” who is battling depression. I felt such rage at people who had more than I even dared wish for, and yet, they suffered within. Surely, my life with all of this isolation would annihilate the beloved depressed. Was depression even a real illness or was this term applied to a spoiled person’s self indulgent gluttony for sympathy? I hated those “families dealing with depression.” Walk a mile in my shoes. Unless the definition of depression is:

Depression: the feeling of emptiness, lack of the will to participate in life and anhedonia, independent of life circumstances and thoughts.

I tried an experiment. If I, as an ordinary human, have the absolute power over my consciousness that effecting these remedies requires, then I should be able to put myself into any state of mind I choose. If I should be able to snap out of depression then I can snap in to depression. Right? But try as I might, I could not produce feelings of grief and loss. I remembered the mourning I suffered through after the loss of my friend three years ago this month. I could not summon those feelings to the forefront of my heart and mind. And not for lack of trying. I was not being self indulgent.

We are all unique except when it comes to illness. When we are afflicted, physically, mentally, we experience the same suffering, albeit in our own way. And there’s no thinking one’s way out.

I can’t snap out of feelings, not good ones, not bad ones. I suspect you can’t either. And that is the crux of the difficulty with mental illness a person knows she has, and wants to overcome. She simply cannot get over it. Just because something is simple doesn’t make it easy.

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