The Dumbest Things to Tell a Person with Depression

I’m, so far, a depression survivor. It’s a mixture of depressing and hilarious. I’ve started to collect the weirdest, dumbest and most illogical things people tell me when I mention that I have depression. I usually mention it as a disclaimer—and for comic relief because depressed people tend to love black humour. It somehow fits the dark mood.

While I’m risking that I will come across as a smartass (probably because I am that), I’ll share a selection of the most hilarious responses I’ve collected over the years. Sometimes it looks like people have no clue what they’re actually saying. It appears that some people have no sense to see what pearls of nonsense they are dispensing.

Let’s start with the usual:

Get over it.

Think: would you tell this to someone with cancer? I hope not. Let’s establish that there is a difference between manageable and curable. And guess what! Depression is the former, but not the latter. Who would have thought? (That’s not a real question, that’s the tricky rhetorical kind of a question, which is really a statement. Whew!)

My personal favourite:

Cheer up!

OMG, how come it didn’t occur to me before? I’m cured! Kidding. This is too ludicrous to deserve further commentary.

Another of my favourite exchanges:

Look at the bright side!

“Such as?”—”Well, you’re alive…”—”You realise I’m suicidal?”—”Uhuh?”—”That means that being alive isn’t the bright side for me!” Duh.

An inspirational story:

Look at [insert a famous actor’s name]! He functioned just fine with it, he’d just get on the stage and when his act was over, they’d take him straight to the hospital!

I’m not sure how being taken straight to the hospital could mean that someone is fine. Maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe you’re missing something. (Not you as the specific you, but you as the generic you, like someone.)

A piece of undeniable logic:

But you smile in photos!

Of course I smile in photos. I’m not a moron. (Okay, I am a moron, but not in this respect.) Please be aware that I didn’t have a stroke, hence my ability to lift the corners of my mouth remains unaffected. My exercising this ability doesn’t necessarily reflect the state of my mind.

A case of stating the obvious:

It’s just in your head.

I wholeheartedly agree that mental afflictions affect the mind, which resides in the brain, which resides in the head, so it is indeed all in my head. But, uh, how is this piece of information helpful? *shrug*

The list goes on, but I think you got the idea. The point is: let’s all mind what we’re saying and whether what we’re saying even makes any sense. Here’s an inspiration for a new year’s resolution!

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Toning Down the False Cheer

I went out shooting for a bit today. There’s chronically nothing to shoot around. So I made do with the seasonal enhancements to the village square. I deliberately toned down the bright colours and cheeky glitter in some parts of the photos. To me, this is a more appropriate representation of the season than the false cheer that one is force-fed.

I perceive Christmas as the epitome of falsitude. Whether we view it as an originally pagan or as a Christian celebration, people who are neither ancient pagans nor Christians celebrate it nowadays. I find this extremely puzzling. What I associate most with the season, besides false cheer, is obligation and duty misrepresented as affection and love.

Also, there is seasonal anxiety, pressure, vague disappointment, gnawing aimlessness, deeply felt loneliness, fear of the new year, regrets about the old year, unfulfilment and all that is crap. Along these lines, here are my crappy photos.

If You Must…

Whatever. Here’s my painstakingly hand-crafted happy holiday card.

Dark Violet Snow Flakes Christmas Thank You Card

Weekly Photo Challenge: Meaningful?

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Meaningful.

This year’s last photo challenge is supposed to be meaningful. I actually read the instructions in the post, because that’s what I do, and the idea is to post a photo that is meaningful.

That is an impossible task because nothing is inherently meaningful. Things are only endowed with such meanings as we ascribe them. On the same subversive note, here’s a crappy photo which I subjected to filter torture. It was crappy before and it’s still crappy.

What’s meaningful about it is that it’s the first photo I took this year with my DSLR. It was on my birthday, coincidentally. Which might add an extra layer of meaning for some, though I consider birthdays a threatening occasion which only serves to remind us of our mortality.

My argument is, is there meaning to anything when we’re going to die anyway? Sorry, I digressed into meaninglessness. I think it’s called nihilism in philosophy and depression in psychiatry.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Ascend

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Ascend.

17-12-13-ascend

Zombies’ Night Out

People swarm and swell
And form a dumb mass
Of bodies to fill the train

Their vital signs are sound
Except—they are dead
And there are too many of them
In this hell hole of a train

Don’t they have somewhere else
To be—or un-be—these undead?

Like, I don’t know—
Home, for instance?

I’m open to
Tolerate
Respect
Embrace
And all this crap

It’s just that
I’d rather for zombies
To have their night out
In elsewhere.

Intimacy with Strangers

Elbow to elbow | Thigh to thigh
The guy on a packed bus | Sitting next to me
No | On top of me

He’s in my personal space | I’m in his
Hardly humans, more pigs | In slaughterhouse no. five

Thrown together by chance | Forced to intimacy
With strangers | We are

He’s on the phone | So am I
He doesn’t know | I’m watching
With a keen eye | and writing about
Him and me being here | now

Remembering Autumn (R.I.P.)

Autumn is dead. Here are mugshots for its tombstone. It was back in October when one could still go out without risking death of exposure. Oh well. One more reason not to go out.

Tenement Rules

I was on community service this week. I call it community service but it’s in fact a chore wheel where the six flats in the tenement take turns in cleaning the common areas. I hate doing it more than I reasonably should.

There’s no logic in my thinking, still, I can’t help telling myself, as I swing the mop, Damn, I have a PhD degree and here I am, cleaning after other people. Not so much after myself, as I’m not the one who drops chewing gums and corn at the stairs.

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The doctor as a charwoman

As I was scraping the flattened chewing gum stuck on one of the stone steps, I composed a poem in my head. After all, I’m still a doctor of English Literature. I’m also the concierge, which gives me the privilege to stick signs on the board. Like this.

WIPE YOUR BOOTS
KEEP THE COMMON AREAS CLEAN
KEEP THE DOOR LOCKED AFTER 8 PM

NO SHOUTING
NO SMOKING
NO LITTERING
NO LOITERING

NO CHILDREN
NO PETS

DON’T BE A PIG, BE A PERSON
OR JUST KEEP OUT

That’s it, that’s my poem. I’m proud of myself, how well I’ve cleaned everything. You could eat from the floor (if you don’t much mind getting hepatitis). If I catch anyone dropping food or fags on the stairs, I’ll beat them up with my mop.

I’ve Been Actively Anti-OCD Today

It’s not often that I try to go against my OCD. After all, I have more urgent issues to struggle with. But when I do go anti-OCD, it’s in the weirdest ways. You’d never believe what one can OCD about. For example, a computer game.

The only game I ever purchased is Age of Empires. Yes, the 1990s game. The idea of the game is that you build a town and defeat your enemy. I don’t care about the fight (see above, I have enough to fight with) but I care about my virtual city immensely.

So my idea of this game is that I set the difficulty to the easiest level and spend the game time carefully aligning my town buildings, producing a predetermined number of villagers and distributing them equally among various tasks.

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OCD style

Mind you, there must be an equal proportion of male and female villagers. The total number of each gender and the total number of villagers respectively must be divisible by two. Female villagers must not be assigned strenuous tasks, like ore mining or wood gathering. Male villagers must not be farmers, fishermen or gatherers.

Also, soldiers must come in even numbers. The army must consist of only one type of soldier, though extra siege weapons are allowed. Should anything go wrong at the first attempt—a building is misaligned or villagers aren’t divided into two equally sizeable groups by gender—the unit must be deleted and replaced as applicable.

Today I ended up with one extra female villager. That was a bugger. The villager insisted that she feels to be a woman, hence I couldn’t pretend they were transgender. That pissed me off and, against all idiosyncratic rules I created for the game, I assigned the poor woman to gold digging, along with three males.

I didn’t enjoy the game and resigned it after a few minutes. This might or might not have to do with my OCD. I’m pleased with myself because I’ve been actively anti-OCD; but I’m somewhat upset that nothing holds my interest these days. I used to play this game often and with pleasure, and now I can’t find anything that I’d marginally enjoy. So please excuse me, I’ll try my hand at reading for a change.