What To Say to a Depressed Person
Here’s a little cheat sheet for you just in case you find yourself face-to-face with a person suffering from depression. It’s always hard to know exactly what to say…
Are you okay? This should be said as soon as you lay eyes on the person, with incredible emotion, as though you just witnessed the person barely escape alive from a car accident, and her hair is on fire. Don’t worry; she won’t feel self-conscious at all about her appearance.
Exercise always makes me feel better. These are motivational words for anyone who is overwhelmed by the thought of getting out of bed to take a shower.
Whenever I’m sad, I always try to think about the good things in my life. Depressed people love to be reminded that we are too self-absorbed to realize that we should be grateful there isn’t a telethon named after us.
Maybe, you should stop drinking/eating so much Diet Coke/fill-in-the-blank. You are absolutely right. Depriving ourselves of the less destructive vices in life will definitely make us more cheerful.
Are you mad at me? Of course I’m mad at you. The fact that you feel the need to ask me this question proves that you are feeling guilty about some transgression against me. But, don’t worry, I’m more mad at myself. Partly for being mad at other people.
Do you really think medication is the best option? That’s a great question. I’m not sure. I mean, I haven’t tried anything else. As soon as I cried during my first ASPCA/Sarah McLachlan commercial, I said to myself, “I need to get a handle on this. I better start popping some pills.”
I looked everywhere on the internet, and on my new medication information, and nowhere does it say: Possible Side Effects – Increased Sarcasm. The FDA really needs to look into this…
You Look Insensitive
I am frazzled.
I know this because, in the last two weeks, at least three different people have commented to me, in passing, “You look frazzled.”
I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why I would appear this way to casual acquaintances. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that: my old anti-depressant recently became as useful as a Tic-Tac, my new anti-depressant has increased my desire to thrash anyone who does anything irritating, everyone but me does things that are irritating, and my inefficient colon has suddenly become overly efficient.
I am pretty sure it has everything to do with people telling me, “You look frazzled.”
Once someone tells you that you look frazzled, it’s pretty certain that, no matter how relaxed you were two seconds before that declaration, you will then feel frazzled. And, if you were already frazzled, then you are guaranteed to feel frazzled and somewhat inclined to hurt someone.
At least, this has been my experience.
So, could you please do the frazzled people in this world a favor, and maybe keep that delightful observation to yourself? If you must say something, perhaps you could try commenting, “You look amazingly hale and hearty today! When you have a moment, you must give me your secret for always looking so invigorated!”
Luckily, we frazzled people are too busy to analyze confusing compliments too closely.
This is Exactly Why I Hate to Get New Things
So, first of all, yes, I am in the process of switching medications. I know my last post caused
one person people in many countries to be concerned for my well-being. My doctor says that I can wait a whole month before I see him again, but made me repeat to him twice the proper dosage I should be self-administering. Which made me question his confidence in me. Which made me question my confidence in him.
It seems that, when my depression starts taking over, I begin to obsess about how horrible life is – and small obstacles suddenly become monumental examples of why I shouldn’t bother trying to even live.
I finally opened my iPhone. Then I was afraid to do anything with it because I was worried that I would ruin it. I made my husband take me to the store the very next day so I could get all kinds of bullet-proof equipment to protect it from my clumsy self.
I bought one of those “shields” that you put on the screen to keep it from getting scratched or fingerprinted.
If any of you have tried to put one of those darn films on a phone or tablet, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You have to be a friggin’ engineer with a medical degree to correctly affix it.
And, surprisingly, I am neither.
After 4 efforts, I finally arranged it so that there is only one air bubble under the film.
One air bubble that I have fixated on for the last 24 hours.
One air bubble that is seriously challenging my will to live.
Because, if I can’t do this right, what’s the point? What’s the point in trying to have nice things? Remember that new car I got – and the scratch I put on it the very next day? Remember the new concrete floors I got, and the scratch they got a couple of weeks later?
Okay, that was my husband’s fault.
Remember that new husband I got (12 years ago), and the way he got me a bulldog named Wonderbutt, and the way this bulldozing wonder of a dog completely re-decorated my house in a way that would not be considered acceptable by any of the hosts of an HGTV show?
Remember when seeing all of those new houses on HGTV totally caused the housing bubble?
ARGGGGGHHHH! Remember that BUBBLE ON MY IPHONE THAT WILL NEVER, EVER GO AWAY?!!!!!!!!!!!
…Remember that new medication I started, and the way it helped me blow everything way, way, way, out of proportion?
P.S. If you want to know how to install a Zagg Shield without having to resort to medicating yourself, John Chow’s video might help you. As long as you aren’t worried about dowsing your device with fluid…
I Have a Hard Time Getting Out of Bed
How You Know Your Anti-Depressant Medication is No Longer Working
You get your driver’s license in the mail and wonder if the photo will be used for your obituary.
You come home to an iPhone 5 package on your doorstep, you bring it inside – and go take a nap.
You realize that you are part of Mitt Romney’s 47%, and not part of the 1%, but also in the 99%. And your life is 60% over.
You realize that your hair will never look as good as Mitt Romney’s.
You are upset because Penny Marshall just published a book called, My Mother Was Nuts, which was totally what you planned to do – publish a book about Penny Marshall’s mother.
You look at this face wistfully and wish you could be even half that happy.
Disease of the Day
I’m pretty sure I have shingles. My father-in-law had shingles. Then he died. Not necessarily a cause and effect situation. Especially since it was 3 years later. But still.
You seem skeptical. I understand. I mean, we all know I have a history of hypochondriacal tendencies that are often exacerbated by Google and television commercials. Like the time I became convinced that I had mesothelioma merely because I dreamed that I had it, and logically deduced that I could never dream a disease that I hadn’t even heard of. So, in my estimation, I was a psychic with lung disease, probably contracted from working in the coal mines. Wondering why my psychic powers waited until after I was dying to kick in. And then I realized that a mesothelioma commercial plays on Robin & Friends on HLN every morning while I’m getting dressed. So, I wasn’t psychic and, oh yeah, I never worked in a coal mine. So, it was quite possible that I had not contracted mesothelioma and I could stop cuing my hacking cough every time my husband walked into the room so he would feel sorry for me. Or walk out of the room in disgust. (He being the disgusted one – not I.)
This time, I am well aware that shingles have been highly commercialized. They are scaring the you-know-what out of me. And when you have an inefficient colon, that’s a pretty big deal.
What makes me mad is that I thought I was safe.
You know, when you’re in your twenties, you hear about all of these adults who get chicken pox who never had it when they were kids, and it’s so much worse when you’re an adult?
And I thought, “Whew. Dodged that bullet. Missed a whole week of school and got to stay up late to watch The Wizard of Oz when my mom found a pock behind my ear. And she had totally forbidden me to stay up to watch it because I had school the next day. And that was WAY before DVR’s. No adult chicken pox for me, nosirree. I am immune.” Never mind that I was scarred for life by the Wicked Witch of the West and her untimely death by water, quite possibly the reason I refused to enter the lake for an entire season of swimming lessons the following summer.
But now, the Shingles Soothsayers are telling me, “Haha! You stupid fool! You had chicken pox when you were a kid. So now this deadly virus is just hiding out in your body waiting until your First Very Important Interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. And then Herpes Zoster, AKA Shingles, will swoop in and give you ‘small sores that begin to dry and form crusts’. But, don’t worry, the crusts ‘fall off in 2 to 3 weeks.’ And, ‘Scarring is rare.’
And it’s only possible, but not certain, that it will cause genital warts.”
And I just want to know how successfully triumphing over chicken pox when I am 8 throws me down the rocky path to contracting a venereal disease when I’m 60.
This is what I get for wishing a pox on myself just so I could watch two witches get exterminated by a girl with a dog in a basket.