I keep seeing more and more celebrities coming out with depression and anxiety. Are they all genuine, or is it the latest way for them to get publicity? Does it matter as long as it reduces the stigma? It does a bit, and here's why. People who don't understand the totally overwhelming and immersive experience will dilute the message.
It's the same as people who equate headache with migraine. Yes, a headache sucks (or so I've heard because I get migraines not headaches), but a migraine is a whole neurological clusterfuck. People who feel blue because their favorite character was killed off on a TV show are not the same as someone who can't leave the house or interact with people because of their issues.
Depression is a gradual graying out of life. It's as if a matte veil slowly and inconspicuously blots out all happiness. I don't always notice when it hits, I just stop feeling motivated. I lose my vitality and joy. And I don't think mine is even that bad as compared to others. Not that it's a good idea to compare. Ever. Especially for men standing at urinals, which was another thing that was reinforced on my trip, over fucked up meal conversations. But I digress.
Here's where emotional hygiene comes into play again. I can either succumb (fuck that) or force myself to find and think about what brings me contentment. To choose to embrace living, which as I mentioned previously is much tricksier than dying quickly. I listened to the new Adele album and had to consciously stop so I wouldn't spiral into a depressive slipstream. She has an unbelievably beautiful voice, but the emotion was too raw for me to handle yesterday. I'm sure I'll try again at some point.
Tolerating and managing depression builds resilience. And resiliency and happiness are closely connected. Resiliency isn't an inherent trait, although I suspect some of us are better or worse at it than others. But with practice, I can make myself better and train my brain to react differently. To react better. In the meantime, I hope I have as good of friends as Eeyore does.