I have never in my life spoken to a person who woke up one day and decided to have depression. I have never come across an individual at the gas station, grocery store or at a concert who woke up on a Monday morning, a Wednesday morning or any morning and decided they wanted to be depressed. It simply hasn't happened.
People can say what they want about depression. They can make the claim that it's passed down through generations—that sons and daughters will get depression if one or both of their parents has it. But until someone walks in the shoes of a person with depression, they don't know a damn thing.
All the research in the world isn't going to guarantee that a certain individual will have depression. All the studies in the world can't pinpoint who will be the next person to get depression and battle it their entire life. People don't realize that you cannot turn depression off like a light switch. A person can be having a great day and then without warning, depression hits them and they feel like they've been hit by a train.
Trust me, I speak from experience. I've lived with depression my entire life. I've struggled with it on good days and I've fought it on bad days. I've hidden it from people throughout my entire life. I don't openly talk about it. I don't want to admit it. If you read a magazine and see someone with an eating disorder, they get all the attention in the world. If you see a story with someone who battles depression, you want to run the other way.
Don't you know that everyone with depression is crazy, they want to kill people or they want to kill themselves? That is the stereotype that people with depression battle. They are put into a category with others who are characterized as insane, nuts or listed as a whack job. And it's simply not true. People with depression have regular jobs. They work full-time positions. They are parents. They are grandparents. They are neighbors, friends, relatives and co-workers.
What you don't realize is that people with depression don't wake up one day and decide to have it. They don't decide that on Tuesday morning they are going from a happy life with a full-time job, a cute wife and two adorable kids to battling depression, not wanting to get out of bed on a certain day, not knowing what day it is at times and on other occasions hating the world. They don't wake up one day and decide to give it all up, have depression and want to quit life. It simply doesn't happen that way.
Research shows people are born with it. Studies say people inherit it from a parent. People who don't have depression will tell you that it's all a joke and it's in someone's head. People without depression will say it's a crutch that others use to get disability, a free ride, a ticket to stay home and not have a job or to get sympathy from people. And I'm here to tell you it's all a lie.
Nobody wakes up one day and decides to give up their happy life and battle depression. They don't want to risk losing their family. They don't want to struggle at their job. They don't want to struggle to make the right financial decisions. They don't want to go through a funk that makes them feel like they are hopeless, worthless and the lowest nobody on the planet. Nobody in their right mind would want that. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, not even people I don't like.
Someone without depression can say that it's in someone's head. They can say it's genetic. They can say whatever they want for all I care. Unless they walk in someone's shoes who has depression, they don't know what it's like. They don't experience it. They can give every excuse in the world and they can make up all the lies they want, but if they don't live it, deal with it, wake up with it or go to sleep with it, they don't know about it.
If you'd like depression, I'd gladly wake up tomorrow and hand it to you. I'd gladly let you keep it from tomorrow until the end of your life. I'd gladly let you experience the highs and lows. I'd gladly let you have the feeling that nobody likes you. I'd gladly let you find out what it's like to think the world hates you. And I'd gladly let you experience the struggles that happens on a good day, a bad day and an ugly day. You are more than welcome to it.
I'm here to tell you that nobody just wakes up on a particular day and decides to have depression. I'm here to tell you that (a) it's not a crutch, (b) it's not fake, (c) it's a real deal that millions of people struggle with and (d) if you think it's anything but the above? You are full of shit.