July 8, 2009

Depression Perception

Dear Insensitive Lady in the Doctor's Waiting Room,

My name is Mariah and I live with depression. But I am not telling you this because it defines me. I define myself; I'm not a definition of a clinical illness.

This depression, although a part of me, is not my most obvious feature under most circumstances. Most people do not accurately label me as depressed, just emo or angsty. Do I prefer this? Not really. But as mental illness has such a negative concoction to it in today's society, it's safer.

I wish I could tell everyone the truth about my struggles. If that were within the scope of logic, though, writings like these would not be necessary. The mentally ill, in many cases, are one of the last groups it's acceptable to ridicule in polite society. Someone you are close to probably lives with a mental illness and have not told you in fear. And so I do my best to hide the depression the best I can.

So what actually do I let define me? I am seventeen years old and female, to begin the list. I love listening to almost all genres of music, and I hate playing sports. I identify as atheist. My favorite books are usually science-fiction, although I'm typically not so thrilled about sci-fi movies. I do a lot of personal writing. I spend a lot of time on the Internet, but not on social-networking sites. Though few, I treasure the friends I have. Of course there's plenty vague and undefined about me as well- over the last few years my identity has constantly been shifting.

Should I define you as a mother, because you are pregnant? Being a mother is only part (quite literally at the moment) of who you are, and mothers come in all shapes and forms. Should I only see you as a mother and not a football fan or chemical engineer in addition? No, that would be very silly of me, in much the same way that it was very silly of you to think that depression is what rules me. It is not, in the slightest.

Hopefully I have led you to realize the fault in this definition thinking.



1 comment:

  1. Hey it's Hannah from Portrait of a Dreamer, this is the new blog address.

    Can I ask what happened in the doctor's waiting room? Whatever happened, I like what you wrote above. I hate being defined in certain ways and I know that the minute someone finds out I have depression, they see me differently, they think I am my illness - hopefully that makes sense!

    Hope you're ok x