Featured Writer - A Really Basic Way of Understanding Depression
Let’s say there’s a lovely person called Fred, Fred is a great guy. He’s funny, smart, caring, he’s never let a cactus die and he has a great sense of retro fashion, everyone loves Fred! Fred spends his time hanging out with friends, watching movies and thinking about what he’s going to have for dinner, deep down inside, we’re all a bit like Fred.
When Fred was young, he found a bug in the garden while he was planting his cacti. The bug stared right into Fred’s soul, and Fred stared right back. It was the most intense starring competition Fred has ever had. And weirdly, from that moment on, whenever he saw a bug he would feel bad things.
It’s not that he wants to feel this way, he definitely doesn’t. In fact, he really wished that the bugs would just leave him alone, but these bugs seemed to have had bad past relationships, and they were all very clingy. The bugs didn’t leave Fred alone, as much as he wanted them to. Fred was also an environmentalist and didn’t believe in pesticides, so the bugs stuck to him.
Sometimes Fred laughs a lot, and sometimes he doesn’t. Fred, like all of us, sometimes doesn’t feel like laughing. One time Fred was hanging with some friends, and he was having a great time! They were all laughing, joking and talking about Fred’s postage sticker collection, when suddenly, he saw a sicker of a bug. Fred felt sad, he didn’t want to feel sad, but he did. Some people think Fred should just cheer up, some people don’t really get it.
Sometimes Fred talks a lot, and sometimes he doesn’t. Fred, like all of us, sometimes just wants to be alone. Today at work, Fred had to speak to someone he didn’t like for way too long, and now he feels a little drained. His friends say “Let’s go out!” and just before Fred says yes, a bug flies into his eyes, and he feels really sad. He says he would rather stay at home. Some people think Fred is a party pooper, they sometimes think that he’s being rude or that he’s a bad friend for not always hanging out with them. Some people are pretty shit and don’t understand that Fred is trying really hard.
Sometimes Fred is really happy, and sometimes he isn’t. Sometimes he cries a lot too. Fred, like all of us, has working tear ducts (Yay!) and sometimes he likes to use them while listening to Adele on the bus in the rain. One day, he was just hanging with a friend having cauliflower soup, when a fucking bug flew right into it. Fred cried, he didn’t want to cry, but he just did. Some people think Fred’s oversensitive, they tell him ‘Don’t worry about it!’ clearly they don’t understand that Fred can’t help it.
Sometimes Fred can’t wait to go out, and sometimes he doesn’t want to leave his bed. One week there was a huge swarm of bugs outside Fred’s house, in fact, they were everywhere. Fred didn’t want to leave the house for a few days, he knew that he should, but he just couldn’t face all those bugs. Some people think Fred wants to be sad, they say “Stop being sad! Have you tried yoga? That really helps me!” Fred thinks this is stupid, because why would yoga help get rid of bugs?
Sometimes Fred doesn’t really feel anything, and sometimes he feels too much. Fred, like all of us, sometimes can’t choose how he feels, and sometimes he feels sad, or tired, or sometimes, he feels nothing. One time, he went on a date and his date took him to a bug museum, Fred bloody lost it. Fred cried, then screamed, then wanted to be alone, then just stood alone in the chocolate section at Coles. Fred’s date says that he was ‘crazy,’ and said that he should just ‘chill out.’ Fred’s date is a bit of a dick.
Fred really wished people would stop telling him to get over it, to cheer up, or to chill out. For this is not Fred’s decision, it’s the bugs, and he can’t control it. Fred, like millions of other Australians, has a weird reaction to seeing bugs, he also has depression. Fred can’t control either of these things, and hopefully now, you can understand that too.
Any information on this blog is not a substitute for professional advice. It is written from personal experience and research only. If you are in crisis, go to your nearest emergency room, call lifeline on 13 11 14 or dial 000. If you live outside Australia, link to worldwide crisis numbers can be found in the sidebar.