Words of wisdom from heyoka.

If you think that depression looks glamorous in others, then you may be making the worst kind of invidious comparison: comparing your insides to other people's outsides.

This is a subject I tackled under the node Beauty and Misery: a sick trend.

Why the hell does society bask in the misery of others? Sylvia Plath, who was a miserable, suicidal soul is worshipped for her sadness. Kurt Cobain blew his fucking brains out, and people bask in that. These people created some cool things, appreciate that.. but to strive to be like them turns their pain into a mockery.

If you feel that depression is glamourous, maybe you are lacking real pain, or depth in your own life. I understand suffering is a part of experiencing life, but find your own passions instead of trivializing the pain of others.

Damn this pisses me off!

This has got to be a joke, right? Y'mean people actually do this? There are people out there who are using depression because it's trendy? I'd like to find women who find depression sexy and fun. I could use some fun sex. And though us manic depressive types do often move to the beat of a different drummer, this ain't rock n roll. There's no such thing as good depression. It's not sexy. It's not fun. It's not the new rock n roll. I'm shocked to discover there are people out there who believe this. More than just shocked. I'm outraged.

I was diagnosed as suffering from classic depresson by a shrink about two years ago, after my father passed away, but to be honest I've been depressed all my life. I have mood swings, insomnia, memory loss and problems with concentration and focus, difficulty conveying to others what I mean to say because something gets lost in the translation, increasing difficulty getting and keeping friends and those I have I sometimes go months or years before talking to them again, periods of social withdrawal, a tendency to keep people at arm's length,

I'm delusional. Though I'm not quite as mad as a hatter, it wouldn't take more than a fall down a nearby rabbit hole to get me there. I used to swing between a manic state of unbridled energy and creativity and depression in my youth. As I have gotten older, I've cut a lot of sugar from my diet, and have dramatically changed what and when I eat. So the moodswings aren't as strong as they used to be. I've gone months in a perpetual state of sadness. They say it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. I think my face it built backwards. It sometimes hurts to smile. I suffer from intense apathy. What interests me and what I have to accomplish in order to remain in the rat race are rarely ever synonymous. I often wish I could just give up fighting and turn myself into a psych ward, but I can't afford it. I lose and gain weight at the drop of a hat. I'm contemplating researching bulemia. Sounds like fun. Fatigue? Sleeplessness? Sleepiness perpetually hitting me when I don't want it and not hitting me when I do want it? Happens all the time. Erratic behavior? Those closest to me able to tell when I've had a candy bar? "Your leg's shaking again." At least I haven't developed a nervous eye twitch yet. Give me time. My sex drive has all but deteriorated. I'm indecisive, and the only reason why I'm still here is because years ago a good friend convinced me that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This temporary problem just seems to be existing all my life so far. I'm getting tired of waiting for it to go away.

So you'll forgive me please if I find it offensive that trendy bastards pretend to be depressed because they think it's cool. Forgive me if I take that just a little personally. Forgive me if I get just a little upset about that. It's not trendy. It's not good. It's not sexy. It don't get me the chicks. Damn I wish it did get me the chicks, maybe then I wouldn't be so depressed. It's miserable pretty much all the time. I mean that's why they call it depression, right? If it was fun being depressed they wouldn't fucking call it depression. It's not a fashion trend. People using it as such are deluding themselves and belittling people like me.

This isn't cool. It's annoying. It's like being an alcoholic but not being able to blame it on the booze, or anything other than the fact it's just who I am. And I've had to learn the hard way if someone can't accept me for who I am, I just gotta write them off, even if I'd like to be with that person more than I'd like to be stuck with me. This is the first I've heard of this loony concept! People talking the talk and pretending to walk the walk? Pretending to be miserable? For what? Attention? You don't get attention with this. Truly depressed people are slack vampires who take the fun out of life for everybody around them.

Back in the late sixties, trendy types noticed people who were hippies and were turning on, tuning in and dropping out. Looked like a good idea from an outsider's perspective. They talked the talk and dressed like hippies but had no damn clue what it really meant to be one. That's why those who were real hippies had a funeral for it and put it to bed. See haight ashbury. Similar things have happened over the years with other 'movements'. Punk. New Wave. New Age. Goth. Hip Hop. Rap. SubGenius. There's two generations of people in these movements. The people who started it, and the people who killed it.

The ones who kill it are the hangers on. The trendy types. The sheep who follow. They have no imagination and are looking for something but they don't know what it is. And now these thrillseekers -- these rebels without a clue -- are taking a neurological disorder which has all but crippled me and they're using it to be trendy? Fuck them. I hope they all die of sexually transmitted diseases. I should hunt down every damn T-shirt of a smiley face with a gunshot through its head and shove them all down these bastards throats. I don't take Zoloft. I don't take Remeron any more. I can't afford to be a damn trendy depressed person. I just am depressed. There's no izods about this. Damn this pisses me off! Fuck you trendy sheep! If I could NOT be depressed I'd be.. well shit I'd be happy. I've noticed a remarkable improvement so long as I regularly take St. John's Wart. It does actually help to curb the edge, but to have to take something named after a sain't warts to feel better, that in itself is rather depressing. I can't afford to keep up with the shrinks and the medications they had me on, and their solutions weren't helping me anyway. They were just making me sleep all the time. I mean if you compare insomnia with being in a coma, I'll take insomnia. At least then I can get shit done.

I don't buy that depression is a disease that must be cured. That there's something wrong with my head. We don't all have to think and feel the same way. It's not something to be pitied. It's not something to praise. It's just life, and shit happens. I can't ever remember not being depressed. I was miserable when I was a kid and I'll be miserable when I grow old and die. It's something one either fights all their life or learns to accept about themselves. Please tell me this is a joke so I don't start hunting down fake depressed people with frowns painted on their faces. Damn this makes me wish I hadn't taken a vow of pacifism. It's not like wearing black clothes or drinking coffee or taking illegal drugs. It's not a choice. I don't fucking choose to be this way. You think I'd CHOOSE this? What idiot chooses this? To be fashionable? It's there on the foot of my bed waiting for me when I wake up in the morning and it follows me into my dreams at night, and the hell with any trendy sheep who belittles what I have quietly tolerated every day of my life.

I don't want you feeling my pain. It's not pain. It's just a cold numb throbbing of uselessness and complete total lack of control over my own life. This is not unnatural. We are all on a spinning blue dot in space. If I imagined for a nanosecond that my existence actually mattered in the big scheme of things then I REALLY would be delusional. Don't walk in my shoes. Don't feel my pain. Either buy me a damn beer or get outta my face.

Added August 25th, 2002:
Woah! I just freaked myself out. Coming in here over a year later and reading my own words above. ..woah. Really. I'm okay. I mean all the above is still TRUE of course but that must have been a particularly bad day for me. Whew! ...Depression is a condition that can be handled with medication and cleaner living, but it never really goes away. The physical trappings as well described by The Lady elsewhere in this node are fashionably linked to depression, but the actual state of depression is a largely misunderstood condition that some of us just live with. We deal. I guess sometimes we deal by being upset but it's better to get it out of your system pacifistically here with a keyboard than in more destructive ways.

As one who lost ten years of her life to depression, I can certainly sympathise with what Zach has to say. However, I think there's a degree of confusion here.

I don't think it's depression itself which has become fashionable, but the trappings of depression - the paleness, the sunken eyes, the mournful gaze, the lanky hair, the cadaverous thinness (although anyone who knows anything about depression will tell you that none of the above are necessary or even common symptoms).

It stared in the early '80's with Goth fashion, which still survives today, and was added onto in the '90's with what the fashion mags termed "heroin chic". A lot of clubland fashions also contribute, and of course the waif requirement is universal.

Personally I think that if people want to look like they're sick, bully for them. I like to look and feel like I'm healthy - rosy cheeks an' all. But I can't say I'm somehow offended by these juvenile theatrics, could you?

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