“You are not depressed,” the motivational speaker Prince Ea starts.
Instantly I think how could you possibly know what I am feeling and who are you to tell me otherwise? I don’t know how depression affects every individual, but I do know that there are different types that range from a few months, to a few years, to an entire lifetime; I do know some are caused by specific events, and others are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain; and I do know how it has affected me, manifesting at the most inopportune times, knowing when I’m at my weakest and rejoicing as it tries to pull me down further. So again I ask who are you to say I am not depressed?
“Don’t be so quick to protect that which causes you suffering,” he is one step ahead.
What he says sinks in as I pause the video. I step back and I think. Why was my initial reaction to defend a monster that I have been trying to so vehemently tried to suppress since its onset?
“You may be experiencing a depression, but you are not depressed.”
He goes on to analogize the viewer as the sky and depression and its characteristics as passing clouds. The clouds may stay for a long time, they may cover the entire sky, but we always stay right where we are, observing them go by, and if you're reading this right now, you have a "100 percent success rate" when it comes to surviving your storms.
“This too shall pass,” he repeats.
A peek into the comments section and the defense in the name of depression still held true with some. They argued about how Prince Ea was misleading and offensive, saying that he was just talking about sadness, and his methods of thinking positively and knowing that the hard times would pass did not apply to real depression, implying that the people who got anything out of this video did not have real depression. So perhaps “depression” isn’t the right word to some, but it is a label we should trying to fight, rather than defend anyway.
Regardless of how depression may manifest, the time of its onset, its severity, or even its diagnosis, we all can relate when it comes to feeling lonely, angry, worthless and lost, and it is unfair to claim that one is more true or serious than another because we all know how real and debilitating these feelings can be.
The speaker was not trying to downplay anyone’s diagnoses or feelings, but instead convey the message that a person with depression is not depressed, because they are not defined by depression. Someone may have it, but it isn’t what makes up whom they are. Steps should be taken to make it better, and not defend it or use it as an excuse or crutch, because that is not what helps anyone.
It is easy to get trapped in the vicious cycle that is depression, but it is important to remind ourselves that in these dark periods, you are not crazy, you are not broken, and you are not incapable of running your life on your terms. It just may take a little longer and a little more effort than other people, but you are not alone, and this too shall pass.
Watch the video below: