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Cheryl's Room

There is a secret society that many people do not know exists.  The society is so secret that although its membership is vast, few of its members even know other members.  Those who are not members may not know about the society and if they do, they may not take it seriously.  The society is very inclusive.  Its members are from all genders, races, nations, religions, sexual orientations, and political parties.

What is this huge secret society?  It is the society of those suffering, yes, suffering, from the illness, yes, illness, of depression.

Yesterday someone on facebook posted a link to a list of 20 guidelines for a productive life.  One of them stated harshly “Don’t be a sissy.”  It went on to say that this was especially important for women.  If you were anxious, afraid, or feeling hopeless, you needed to change your life.  Anxiety.  Feelings of hopelessness.   Symptoms of depression.  Having these feelings does not mean that you are weak, or a “sissy.” You may not be able to just change your life.  You may need professional medical assistance and you should not be ashamed to seek it.

But seeking treatment is often regarded as a frivolous luxury.  There are countless pictures of breathtaking mountain views, cute kittens and adorable babies, suggestions of hiking, recommendations of  wonderful movies, all posted with the caption “Cheaper than therapy.”  These posts are well-meaning suggestions for finding joy, but the message also is, you don’t need to spend money on therapy.  There are free pleasures that are just as effective.  Except they aren’t.

Seeking treatment also results in your having to answer yes to questions of whether you have ever been treated for depression on life insurance applications.  It means that because of atrocious acts committed by an extremely small percentage of the society, many will find you suspicious and want you to be registered like sex offenders on a list to be used for background checks for applications for some professions. It means bearing the label of crazy, instead of survivor.  So the society remains secret.  After all, it’s just all in our heads.

 

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Quote of the Moment:

“Write me at the Hotel Quintana, Pamplona, Spain. Or don't you like to write letters. I do because it's such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you've done something.”
by Ernest Hemingway Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald