Not something I like to admit but in my family there is some serious alterations from reality, that’s simply a nice way to say there is the crazy bug living large and fine within my genetic gene pool, swimming laps, enjoying the warmth of my inner Jacuzzi and just having a grand time at my expense and for those who came before.
Many mental illnesses are passed down but unlike those lauded skills from father to son these crazy talents are very difficult to define as helpful. We all have that crazy uncle or grandmother who Aunt who is just not right, wearing the weird cloths and speaking in strange ways that only and alien from some far away planet would understand.
The question of mental illness crosses all walks of life and can be seen exposing its silly head in almost one out of ten individuals. Most families simply have to deal with the weirdness or strange behavior except for those with the proper resources or a private basement or attic apartment those affected will continue to walk among us, letting us witness the imaginary voices, the unseen bugs or microscopic beings that crawl over their skin.
Most mental illness is manageable and most who suffer seem to function from day to day without too much curiosity from those who think their normal. The word normal then has little if any impact on the general population if one in ten are thus affected, bringing the abnormal to a level of normality by the sheer numbers of those that suffer from the preconceived societal notions of what is normal and what is not.
Depression is a multibillion dollar industry an industry that relies on the continuation of that depression and the subsequent drugs that try to treat or at least mask the symptoms of despair, abject loneliness, Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood, Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex, Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying, Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism, Sleeping too much or too little, early-morning waking, Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain, Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling "slowed down" Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts, Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions, Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain….ok, ok I think you get the point. It reminds me in a reverse way of those wagon wheel hucksters who sold miracle cures and listed every malady under the sun.
Depression seems to cover the entire gambit of what is not considered normal behavior and any possibility of a miracle cure falls within the same shotgun strategy sold by those ancient salesmen.
I know depression is real, I know it has serious effects on how many of us think, perceive and function but when the statistics mention one out of ten you start to wonder if it’s a problem with the people or a problem with the system. Are we trying to deal with too much, trying to accomplish too much or are we expecting too much from others?
Do our employers expect and demand beyond what is humanly possible for a good portion of the populous and is our educational system too demanding in its attempts to prod and push each and every student toward Harvard or MIT?
Depression is real, those symptoms are real but the incidents and diagnosis have increased exponentially creating the false premise of a pandemic condition when in reality it’s the conditions that create the malady. I did not find the associated statistics to support this claim but it seems to me that in the years past, 70 or 100 years ago, depression might have existed but it was in a much less percentage of the population. One reason perhaps, no one had time to be depressed there was simply too much work to do.
Men and women were more concerned with survival than we are today and the pressures of that survivability left little room for self-evaluation and the subsequent malaise and selfishness that may be one of the underlying causes of depression, it may be one of them, not the only one.
There are serious mental issues that stem from brain chemistry, environmental concerns that alter that chemistry, diet, pressures of everyday life beyond what man was designed to endure and many, many other causes that create the negative environment that is the cause of depression.
As one who suffers from depression but also one who is unable to medicate I am forced to deal daily with the ups and downs, the negative lows and the positives highs with only my mental capacity to see me through. Trust me if I could take something I would but the medications make it so much worse that I’m actually glad I can still function.
Most days I function pretty well, some days I still function but from autonomic manner, going through the motions and doing my best to push the negatives aside.
Thank goodness, no voices yet, at least ones I can recognize and for now I have not turned into a certain relative and with faith and hope all will continue toward normalcy, except when being normal is boring, at least I’m not alone, I have my family and my friends and on occasion crawly little leggy things that scream into my ear…ooh what a comfort it is.