facetious but sort of true
I actually miss the days when depression was my only problem. Like jesus what I wouldn’t give to feel just plain worthless instead of both worthless and terrified.
Mental ilness is kind of like having the flu every day for the rest of your life
I have been having a lot of panic attacks lately, and so have been thinking more about mental illness. I have never been diagnosed, but I think I present pretty typically with mild to moderate panic disorder (anxiety) and depression. I think the term “mental illness” is both useful and not useful for various reasons, but at the moment I am thinking about one sense in which it is particularly apt.
I got home today after having a panic attack that lasted a good twenty minutes or so while I was on the bus. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was lie down. I was exhausted. (Most people are after twenty minutes of high-stress, high-adrenaline activity, as far as I can tell). I should have been tackling various tasks to be done, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just wanted sleep, and maybe a glass of water. All I had done all day was ride the bus and make a few phone calls, and yet there I was at a complete loss for energy. It reminded me of having the flu.
No one expects you to get a professional diagnosis of the flu, but you know when you have it. And while it can knock you off your feet, it is generally considered a fairly minor illness. The discomfort of having the flu is discernible, and real, but it is not itself the major problem. Have you ever tried to get things done when you have the flu? It is fucking hard. Everything feels twice as strenuous as normal and it takes forever. You have to keep resting. You fall asleep in the middle of a task.
That is what living with a “minor” or “mild” mental illness can be like. Trying to get through every day of your life while beset by the flu. What do you do when you have the flu? Stay home, if you’re lucky. If not, you go about your day but nothing gets done as quickly as you or anyone else expects and you go home afterward feeling like you have nothing left.
Reading a webcomic that is describing the last couple years of my life way too accurately. On trying to “cope” with depression:
"The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don’t like can be overwhelming."
That is exactly my life right now.
J.K. Rowling (via laurabarton)
So do the Dementors basically have no effect on depressed people or what?
It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged. —