15 thoughts on “Depression: It’s Not a Chemical Imbalance. It’s a Lack of Discipline. NOT

  • September 16, 2011 at 11:24 am

    You know what really annoys the hell out of me? When someone says to me “But you’re functioning!” WTF? As if you can’t be that bad off if you are functioning. Functioning when you are severely depressed – now that’s discipline. Putting one foot in front of the other when they feel like concrete blocks, putting on a normal face for the world to see when you would rather stay in bed – that’s also discipline. Not giving that guy a smack – that’s real discipline.
    And yes – the hardest words, the most humbling words are “Please, help me.”

    • March 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Well said! I used to feel I had to deliberately stop functioning (albeit on auto) just to convince such people. People respond well to drama I notice. Otherwise TV & theatre & media would be out of business. They like obvious ‘clues’ and even when told the truth, still struggle to understand. Who feels it knows it is the WI saying my mum always says.

      • July 27, 2016 at 1:29 am

        This post reeks of someone trying to convince themselves of something that they know deep down to be false. You need to take responsibility for your life and stop looking to blame others for your problems.

        I’ll repeat it because its important that you stop hiding from it: Take responsibility.

  • September 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    interesting. when i told one of my friends i had schizophrenia they denied i had it and believed it didnt exist. when people say those things it makes me feel bad because it seems they are implying that all my symptoms were my fault. from what i understand, mental illness compromises a person’s freewill so its not the persons fault they become delusional or have other symptoms of mental illness. now im hesistant to tell my other friends about my problems because i dont know how they will react/think. unfortunately its likely they will think less of me. people have the habit of wanting to feel superior to others. they make assumptions about a person because they have a mental illness. either they may think the illness is the person’s fault or that they dont have an illness at all.

  • September 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Depression is a sometimes deadly illness. It has taken a new hold on me, one I have not experienced before, I want only to stay in bed, not eat, not move, not open my eyes if I do not have to. And I am observing this. Intellectually my mind has not stopped, it watches everything I no longer do.

    Most of the day and night I am in bed, I sip a drink of this or that, but generally have no life left in me.

    I am still able to write, respond to articles over the net, I have no ideation of suicide, just a total absence of life.

    Harold A. Maio

  • September 21, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Harold, have you talked to your doctor about this?

  • September 22, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Since I’m permanently out of the job-market, I’m fairly open about having bipolar disorder. It seems the older I get the less I care about others’ opinions of me. I also consider myself as sort of a one-woman stigma-busting team.

    My personal favorite is when someone says “but you seem ok now.” Often I reply with a line similar to something I read in one of Kate Jamison’s books when someone said the same thing to her: “I’m medicated.”

    I once saw a T-shirt with with the saying “Medicated for your protection.” I figure I’ll be brave enough for that one in a year or so.


    P.S. Of course, I’m feeling very brave today. Check back in a couple of weeks!

  • September 23, 2011 at 10:55 am

    “medicated for your protection” t-shirt is kinda… scary. Having been born to a state where political opponents of the regime have been occassionally locked up and doped up (now, I am considering if this is better than uranium mines, and I guess I’d rather take the uranium. Uranium does not mess with mind as much). So it sends cold shivers down my spine. Ya know, those dissidents were put away for our protection too! And it seems kinda overexaggeration. How many of us get dangerous to others when not medicated? It sorta reinforces the stigma.

    And I have met pretty undisciplined people who were hiding behind depression.

    But I agree with the functioning. But as somebody who is *not* medicated (run! run! run! you are unprotected! :p), people downplay my inner struggle. Apparently, I cannot feel that bad if I don’t need to be on meds. I am faking, I am told. If I really felt bad… I guess I just have strong self-preservation and I know I cannot have everything I want (that includes those fancy shoes, or throwing myself of walls of Prague castle. Denying myself my wants is my strong suite… maybe sometimes too strong).

  • October 13, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Interesting points, i think the problem with these people is denial. as they say ‘the greatest trick the devil ever pulled off was to convince the world he didn’t exist” . In many ways people subscribe to the thought that there is nothing wrong with them. It is all to do with the stigma attached to mental illness. It would require a big change in attitude to understand. I have been noticing a huge increase in the occurence of depression amongst my friends. It is something that we would have to take seriously.

  • October 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

    As for the wife of the obnoxious man you wrote about–I would not iron his shirts–I’d stitch all the flies closed on his underwear. More house-slaves need to do this.

  • October 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I’ve been clinically depressed for 28 years..yup, I count each and every non-productive year that goes by. It makes my stomach sick and my head hurt. Pretty much all of the people my husband and I used to hang out with are aware of “youngjude’s problem”.
    I used to feel compelled to somehow answer their stupid questions, like, “Wow, I haven’t seen you in a long time, what have you been doing?” or “So, what are you doing now?” and the like. Now I just look them straight in the eye and reply, “Nothing.” It shuts them up in a hurry.

  • March 26, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Ugh. This is one of the things that annoys me most about dealing with mood issues. People tell me to either relax or just get up and do something. Someone once told me that I shouldn’t bother going to a therapist and that taking a walk around the block would help just as much. Another person told me that depressed people just need to go to the gym and work out for an hour.

    What none of these people understand is the depression precludes you from doing these very things. I don’t sit on my couch because I want to. I sit on my couch because I don’t know any other way. The depression is like glue.

    Luckily therapy did help and medication did help, but I still feel bitter about what people said during those rough times.

  • July 27, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    I know I commented on this earlier, but I just read it again and got P.O. ed all over again. In the last two years since I commented on this, I experienced one of the most hurtful comments to date. I happened to see a woman I used to be close friends with about 20 years ago. She said, “Ya still not feelin’ so good?” My first reaction was to just walk away from her, but stupidly, I responded with something like..’somedays are better than others’. Now, I haven’t seen this woman in at least 10 years (she moved away from the area and is back now) and she had the unmitigated and ignorance to say, “Maybe if you got a job and had to get up and be some place everyday, you’d feel better…I mean, what in the world do you DO all day?” “I think your problem might just be boredom.” I have never felt so close to physical violence in my life! I wanted to slap her across the face so badly I could taste it. My husband was nearby, not close enough to hear my exchange with this woman, but I must have drawn strength from his mere presence. I looked her right in the eyes and said, “I don’t remember asking you WTF you thought!” I walked over and told my husband we needed to leave NOW. He grabbed my arm and made a quick departure. When we got to the car and he saw how upset I was he asked me what happened?! I told him about ou conversation and the last thing I said to her when I walked away. He couldn’t believe I dropped the f-bomb on her…that word has just never found its place in my vocabulary. I told him I coudn’t believe how easily it just popped out of my mouth! I started to feel ashamed. He said, “Hey! Good for you! She deserved that just the way you said it!” I felt a little better seeing how he was so elated by how I spoke to her, but I didn’t feel any true relief about what had just transpired. After I thought a couple of days, I let myself off the hook and realized I have just grown completely and totally exhausted from ALL of the years of ignorant questions and receiving so much STUPID, uninformed and unasked for advice, I was destined to explode and she deserved every single word I said! I know there will be more comments and questions to come and I don’t intend to respond the way I did to her again, but my doctor and I are working on the perfect “put them in their place” response not so as to insult, but certainly make them real realize what stupidity just flew from their mouths! Okay…I’m good for another two years. Press On…

  • January 8, 2018 at 5:22 am

    I live with bipolar disorder pretty remarkably well considering the severity of my illness. In the past, prior to taking responsibility for the fact that I needed to manage my illness and make necessary changes, my life was a whole different story. I hear so much anger in this article. Which undealt with would aggravate anyone’s mental illness. It is possible to not be sad and to be extremely hopeful and still be in a depression. I am currently there. When this manifests, my concentration is shot, my mind is foggy, it just goes so slow. And physically, I feel cold all of the time, just can’t get warm, and am exhausted no matter how much sleep I get. The way I have managed to stay hopeful and joyous in the midst of my depressions is self discipline despite the physical and cognitive declines in depressive seasons. By making a gratitude list each morning along with writing down a schedule of goals for each day, including doing at least 1 thing for someone else in my daily planner and sticking to my list, I am managing well. This starts by forcing, yes, forcing myself to get out of bed every morning, fighting the urge and pull to just stay in bed. I am not suggesting this is easy. It is extremely difficult. But at the end of the night, I am able to give myself a high five that I thrived through another extraordinarily difficult day.


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