Depression- Its not me, Its you
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not in fact surrounded by assholes”
A quote by the notorious psychologist Sigmund Freud.
This topic has been on my mind for a while now since the cancer days, because one of the most surprising things to happen to me during my cancer treatment and distributing #yougotthis wristbands was the amount of people telling me they had depression, low self esteem or social anxiety. I’m not kidding you when I first started treatment I had people telling me on a daily basis that they were suffering from depression, but my positivity was getting them through it.
This has continued on a less regular basis, but I still have people telling me weekly about their low moods and they want my positivity. That’s absolutely fine and if you are one of the 50+ people reading this then don’t be offended because this isn’t a moan at you. This is a moan at the people that are causing others to have low self esteem and depression.
People can cause other people to have depression? Of course they can! Just like Mr Sigmund Freud said. We could get into a discussion about is depression a natural thing or is it caused by the society we live in? Is it nature or nurture? Some people have told me they have a chemical imbalance in the brain to make them depressed and its scientifically proven. But what is causing that? Too much alcohol, too much diet coke, too much cocaine? Too much social media, too much living up to expectations from society, friends and family?
If that is the case then I’d like to know the levels of depression that young fathers in Afghanistan have because they are under stress from a bad boss at work, tell me how many children in Iraq are diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed a dosage of Ritalin, tell me how many mums in Syria don’t want to leave the house because of their social anxiety? Controversial I know, and it will rile people up but its worth a thought. Don’t get me wrong I believe depression is an illness but it is our society that is the cause of it.
Two of the main reasons people have given me about being depressed is 1) they hate their job and 2) they hate their relationship. Well get a new job then? But its not as easy as that. No it’s not but if something is easy then everyone would do it. Lets say you’re 30 years old now and you want to do something else in life but it will take 5 years to get there. You can get that job when you’re 35. If you were to retire at 60 then you will have worked that job happier for 25 years then you have worked the last job miserably for the last 12 years. Or just stay in the shit job its up to you but then only person that can change it is you.
You are in control of your own happiness
“My boyfriend treats me like shit” well get a new boyfriend, or get a new girlfriend that will really piss him off. “but I love him” How can you love someone that treats you like shit? It’s just the fear of being on your own for a time. There are 7 billion people on this planet and you’re trying to tell me that the one person out there for you is the one treating you like shit? I went to Wembley stadium the other week for a football match. The attendance was 80,000 people which was a monumentous amount of people in one place. If that stadium was filled with 80,000 women I reckon there would be at least 10 people in that crowd that I could marry and have a relationship with becuase they’d treat me right. And that’s just Wembley. Imagine filling Old Trafford, Wimbledon Center Court and the que for X Factor auditions line just with men/women. I’m sure you could find another boyfriend/girlfriend in there that will treat you kindly.
What I’m trying to say is if you have a boss who is a dick or a boyfriend or girlfriend who is an asshole then don’t diagnose yourself with depression because of them. I know it’s easier said than done and I have been there before where they grind you down to make you feel worthless but you have to remember ‘its them, not you.’ You’ll do anything to cling on because you think that person is the one, but when it’s time to move on it’s time to move on.
One of the best things that I developed since having Cancer was the ability to cut negative people out of my life. Sometimes its not so easy because it can be a best friend, family member and no matter where you work there will always be dicks that try to bring you down. But I have developed a good habit for minimalizing the impact these people have on my life.
You have to love yourself!
We are immediately knocked down for having self-confidence in our British culture. We love to see people fail and get enjoyment out of it. I know the good skills I have and I know the bad skills I have. If I am confident about something for example, making people laugh, I’ve had people say to me “you love yourself don’t you.” Yes! Yes I do love myself, why is that a negative trait? Would you rather I hated myself? Bring people up to your level rather than go down to theirs.
You have to love yourself in this society because otherwise you will end up hating yourself. Recently I got told I was ugly because I currently have a movember moustache, I was told I was clumsy, needy, that I wouldn’t get another job for months, that my slightly protruding belly doesn’t live up to the standards of Instagram models using filter apps. I started to have a low self esteem about my worth and then when I mentioned these negative comments I was told to ‘Man up’.
There is no surprise that the biggest killer in the UK for 18-40 year old males is suicide, because people are so negative towards each other. Mental health campaigns are constantly telling men to talk about their feelings and open up, but when we do, we’re told to man up. Manning up suggests we should have a stiff upper lip and bottle our emotions because we are men and we are brave.
Remember you are magic!
Recently I went to watch Roald Dahls Matilda in theatre and there is a famous scene from the show and movie where Matildas dad stands over her and says
“I’m smart and you’re dumb, I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it”
Well Matilda does do something about it and she finds the magic within her and moves away from her negative dad and gets her own back on the nasty Miss Trunchbull and lives happily ever after with the positive Miss Honey.
These are morals we are teaching young children from a book to not hang around with mean people and to be magic, happy and positive yet when we become adults we tend to focus on the negative and strive for the attention of mean people. Just like Miss Honey when she is afraid of Miss Trunchbull in Matilda.
It’s good that the story shows Matilda moving on to a positive life, because if there was no change and then we were to see a modern day sequel, I think the Matilda of today would have been trying to live up to expectations of a horrible boss, in a destructive relationship where she was told she was fat and trying to live up to the values that people portray on social media. Ultimately becoming depressed and developing a social anxiety to leave the house.
I much prefer the magic positive Matilda.
So Afs top tips from this blog
- Reduce the focus on negative people in your life
- Look around you, who is positive, who is negative
- Love yourself
- Compliment someone on their positives
- Don’t bring people down about their negatives
- Be magic
- Positivity breeds positivity
- The world is a reflection of yourself
- Smile and the world smiles with you
- Don’t hate on happy people
Now I know life isn’t always happy and positive and sometimes we have to grieve and are going through tough times but we need to be there for each other. (a simple hug can work). I have had people come into my life within the last year and suck all the positive energy out of me and grind me down and down. As soon as they have taken that energy they have moved on and said goodbye. If you want to download your problems onto people then at least be there to receive it back.
I started off with a quoute about diagnosing yourself with depression from Freud and I shall end with another great quote from a phisolopher.
“Be nice to each other you fucking twats” (Panjalizadeh 2017)
Have a great weekend!
You look and smell amazing