And the first question that comes up is this: “Why?”
Depression doesn’t need a reason. It is an emotion that doesn’t necessarily have any tangible relationship to an event or a time or a person. When Ann Frank was hiding, every morning she had a reason to be depressed, and she chose to be happy. Nobody Chooses to be depressed. We search, in vain, for a reason why we’re depressed and think, might be SAD–Seasonal Affective Disorder. We could believe that we miss our relatives and friends that have passed away. We could be discouraged that we couldn’t find presents for everyone, or that we didn’t get the presents we wanted (or thought we deserved.) But when you really look at it, depression comes; it stays; it messes you up; and then it leaves.
Well-meaning people try to distract us from this feeling by asking you, “Why are you depressed? You have everything to live for!” Then they list all the things you should be thankful for. Now you’re GUILTY and depressed. Or they get out the Dad jokes to try and lift your spirits. Now you feel ungrateful and your brain hurts because of the bad puns. They try to take you out on the town, but you don’t feel like putting on pants. You can’t get up the enthusiasm to do anything. You can’t even get into your favorite book. The worst is when they put on some sappy Hallmark movie so you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mocking is the first thing that comes to mind.
Why is “Die Hard” considered a Christmas Movie? Why do people consider Hans Gruber’s drop from the top of the building the beginning of the Christmas Season? Was Hans’ great, great grandfather Franz Gruber–the man who wrote Silent Night? No? It’s because the only cure for depression is murder and mayhem and/or music by the Blues Brothers.
If you know someone that is depressed, do NOT tell them how they’re supposed to feel. It’s an emotion that is not easily directed. It’s like love. You cannot direct love in a way that you end up with the prom queen who happens to be a millionaire or toward the Stunt double for Dwayne Johnson. Telling a depressed person how to feel adds to the depression. Don’t force them into jolly devil-may-care activities because they Don’t Care. They don’t want to get out of bed or go through the effort of Going Someplace to Do Something. Don’t make them explain themselves. Do you think that depression has a cause and can be “cured” by getting rid of the cause? Depressed people don’t know why they’re depressed. You wake up with a malaise like you wake up with a stuffy nose. You can’t go back to the instant where you breathed in that virus. You have no idea where or when it was. Same with depression.
Watch some murder and mayhem and mock the characters or the action or the continuity. Listen to some rock and roll or jazz or blues or classical music. Be there with the person. They’ll be all right.