Saturday, 28 January 2012

My thoughts: The positive side of depression?

Something that is very debatable, the question of if there is the positive side of depression.

Personally I am conflicted about any positive effect of me having depression, quite simply I hate it, I hate the fact it has blighted the majority of my life, I hate seeing the truly awful effects of it in other people, I hate the fact it exists.

That said the last two years I have thought about who I am, the experiences I’ve had and the type of person I will be in the future and have reluctantly questioned whether depression has been a solely negative presence in my life thus far.

Resilience, anyone who survives depression (especially those who survive alone, for whatever reason) needs plenty of this trait, I believe I have a lot of this and is in small part due to suffering from this illness for over a decade, it is difficult to do the 'normal' routines of life and takes a huge effort to do so especially when the depression is severe you struggle to simply get out of bed let alone do anything else like going to work or doing the shopping or the chores around the place.

Over time I slowly developed the resilience to do things I needed/wanted to do without realising it, although resilience alone isn't enough as (if nothing changes in your life for the better) you will reach the point when it all becomes too much to endure.

Empathy, although this is not apply to everyone, depression is unfortunately common I would say I have at times in my life been surrounded by people who also had depression, where I lived, where I worked and what few friends I had. So I learned I could often gauge through my own experience who was struggling, who was subdued, who had things on their minds, etc. a lot of these people did end up talking to me about how they felt, what was bothering them as I said to them I knew it was like to feel or think in a certain way (not for the same reasons usually) and they were relieved and/or shocked that someone else could relate to them and actually cared enough to do so.

My desire to be a mental health professional stems from my experiences of mental health, so the constant theme in my head is without depression I would not be who I am now and who I will be in the future, so maybe having depression can be a positive in some aspects although i would say the cost is very steep.

I haven't fully accepted it though, one of my fears is being defined by my mental health issues and what I have put above adds more weight to the definition, then again if it is the case what have I to fear exactly? Stigmatization? That has happened to me anyway and will probably happen again, perhaps I should simply dismiss the notion of definition whether it is from myself or others.

Saturday 28th January the journey continues. 

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