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A talk about Depression

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Some people walk around this world without hope, without the magic in their eyes, or the dream in their soul. Maybe it was other people that came around and beat the happiness out of their heart. Maybe they did it themselves when they came to be treated as a shadow.

I've been told by some that they are masters of suppressing their feelings, but that doesn't erase how they truly feel. It doesn't stop the words coming out of their mouths how alone they feel or how terrible they see themselves as. If you're reading this right now and you're unsure of yourself, I want you to know something.

You're beautiful to me. You're stronger than you really think, but you've believed otherwise for so long that even the hands being held out for you appear closed. Maybe you really don't believe my words right now, and if you don't, I'm sorry...but that doesn't mean you don't deserve the hope and love behind them. I don't know you, I don't know your life, your loves, your pains...all I know is that no matter who you are or where you've come from, you are worth every ounce of compassion and happiness this world can give. So stay safe, keep your heart safe..and if you could..now and again look in the mirror. If you can see the things I see in you..then it's a start.

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To the author:

The art looks bright and vivid, but I can't quite disentangle it from the message. Hear me out, please.

If you are able to say all of this in person face-to-face to someone you think is depressed and follow-up with support, compassion and listening, I applaud you. I certainly hope that in real life you can, you did and you will. That's because right at this precise moment I happen to not be in a depressive episode and I'm capable of believing that sometimes people can actually be good and mean it.

...having said that, I also want to point out that during depression, when the world seems to be drained of positive things, when it seems especially cruel, when it seems that all wrongs suffered are deserved, this type of cartoon would be somewhere between infuriating and a sick joke to those who share this type of experience. There's no shortage of happy pastel-colored platitudes that the world directs at someone who is depressed. The problem with all those is that they are impersonal. They come across as unsupported claims or cynical lies. The _words_ say nice things, but there is no real person in the world actually backing them up. Without real personal warmth, compassion and support such words only hurt, as they seem to carry the message "Damn! You're even doing depression WRONG, how pathetic is that? See, you COULD feel better, so why AREN'T you?". An image is not a person. Even with an invitation to talk. Even if it had contact email attached. The delay in response and the uncertainty of getting one is more than enough in this case to become a huge barrier.

If you ever feel that you want to reach out to those who are depressed, consider reaching out to the rest of the people instead. Call to action to those who currently have the energy for action. Ask them (possibly through your art) to say the things you put in this art directly to someone they care about. If all it took was some sweet message to help those of us who are depressed, then depression would not even be a thing. Of course, nothing beats just helping someone you know personally. All that I said here implies that you desire to help more than just those you know.

I appreciate that you've put an invitation to come and talk with you. I hope you don't mind this feedback. I do not mean to imply either disrespect or to dismiss the good intent. If this cartoon made someone with depression feel better, good (depression isn't experienced the same exact way by all). My comment was triggered because the art and message hit on a very real pain point.

callmedoc responds:

We all handle depression in different ways. There are no universal keys to unlocking the answers for tools that allow us to get on by. Some become bitter and angry, others reclusive and lost. I made this work in general when I was feeling depressed, because I feel alone. That there isn't a soul around who could even bother with breaking away from wherever it is they're going, and just talk to me. I feel that there is nothing for me and that I can fall and never stop falling in a surrounding ocean of indifference. No one deserves to feel all that.

Some will look upon this work and they will consider it an insult. I understand and recognize this. It's not about genius answers or proven methods. It's about hope being given to whoever can take it. It's about hope that maybe someone who reads it will take those words and shake what I feel I cannot shake. Make no mistake however that even in depression, we are not completely lost, and not every message sent our way is a repulsion to our mood. Sometimes..for some of us..we really need to hear something just to get through the day. Anything, anything to just..make the terrible thoughts stop.

I'm taking a chance on this being an insult and being misunderstood because there is that chance no matter how small, that someone will look upon it and walk away realizing there is more to them than they originally believed. I appreciate you having taken the time and providing very descriptive feedback. You have great insight and I always value the pains of going through trouble providing it! More than that, you shine a very real light on the reality that we all have vastly different needs, and action for some speaks far greater than words.

and this still looks like happy tree friends! >:L

Thanks, really thank you for this <3

<3

this.

to be clear
she wan't to bang

Credits & Info

callmedoc
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Score
4.60 / 5.00

Uploaded
Nov 3, 2016
5:34 PM EDT
Category
Illustration
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883 x 2403 px
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301.4 KB
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