The Honest Truth About Depression? What People Don't Seem To Understand

Figure your mind as a hill covered in snow and your thoughts are like sleds going down the hill…and after a while, after a lot of thoughts have gone down that hill, there’ll be grooves, and they’re going to get deeper and deeper… and at a certain point, you can’t go down the hill without slipping into those grooves… What psychedelics do is they flatten that snow. Lots of fresh powder.
— Michael Pollan on "The Joe Rogan Experience"


That isn't a joke, and it's not flippant. The flippant, uncaring reaction to depression and suicide is that the person could have fixed it themselves if they had just exercised more, eaten a little better, or read some self-help bestseller at Barnes and Noble. 

There is a difference between "feeling depressed" and "having depression." It's a shame our vocabulary isn't extensive enough to cover this difference. 

Your personality and your emotions and your thoughts ARE your brain, and your brain is a physical object, every bit as capable of breakdown and malfunction as your ankle.

You don't tell people with a torn Achilles to 'walk it off' because everyone knows that's cruel, not to mention moronic. 

You can loathe 'big pharma' and still understand that antidepressants save lives. 

You wanna know what doesn't save lives? Telling people with long term clinical depression to eat more kale or be more grateful. 

Your ignorance has a human cost.

What about our society is causing these feelings of despair to spread like some emotional contagion? There is something dark happening.

In our culture, the solutions to this problem aren't immediate, nor are they specific to just one individual. 

One person's depression may mirror society's depression, but it IS NOT society's depression. 

The grand theories about what has infected society are meaningless to the individual at or near the end of the line. Those people need solutions now. Not your pseudo-philosophical bullshit. 

Here’s the truth:

  • Medical understanding of mental health is incomplete.
  • Drugs can be and are overprescribed.
  • Drug companies make money and need to make money.
  • Drug research is incredibly expensive as is getting those drugs to market. The profit motive is a necessity.
  • There are wrong ways to take drugs and plenty of ways to abuse them
  • Drugs are prescribed to children, and parents aren't always diligent about whether they should be.
  • Doctors are generally good and generally care about your wellbeing, but people are fallible and corruptible.

If you think that means that the medical industry at large is trying to make you worse-off in the mental health arena, you should put your tinfoil hat on and exit society, you ignorant conspiracy-theorist. 

Just because the things I said are true, does NOT mean that the drugs can't and don't work. They can and they do, A LOT. 

I have never heard of or know ANYONE who starts experiencing depression and runs immediately to pills. In fact, they usually don't go there at all because of the stigma attached to them by the cruel and idiotic people making their conspiracy arguments, especially in a city as deranged as L.A. where everyone thinks a little yoga and some weird church will cure everything.

People usually wait, self-medicate in other ways to get through the day, and it gets worse. No one is saying you shouldn't try other things, or maybe even try EVERYTHING ELSE FIRST. FINE. 

The solution?

Try fixing your diet, your routine, exercising more, read books about how to cope with stress and your life. Try anything that helps.

But if those things don't help, do your research and go to a psychiatrist. Try to find one who people you know are comfortable with. Talk it out. If they agree you're having a chronic illness that's potentially treatable, take the prescription. Then use it PROPERLY.

If it doesn't help, come off the medication properly. Then try another one if you need to. Do all the healthy things AND this thing until you find what works for you. 

You don't have to suffer in silence and you shouldn't get discouraged or blame yourself or think it's hopeless if nothing seems to be working. 

There is literally nothing more important to YOU, than trying to heal in this moment. 

Chronic clinical depression is not constituted by mere negative thoughts. It isn't circumstantial, and it isn't something you can just turn off. 

What other people think doesn't matter. You owe it to yourself to TRY. 

But if that doesn't work, don't end your life because some dumbass conspiracy theorists tell you big pharma wants your money.

And for those who think the drugs are so bad, go ahead and refuse pharmaceuticals and western medicine for everything and convince your loved ones to do the same. 

Cancer? Infection? Whatever. “They just want your money. Don't listen to doctors.”

In fact, don't involve yourself in anything that someone might profit off of. They're just trying to exploit you, right?