1. Roos says

    Thank you for sharing, Caylee. Depression is, indeed, not about ‘just’ being sad. And, basing this on an assumption but: the news got to me, too <3 *Hugs*

  2. says

    Caylee dear, I thought about you so much yesterday. This news just broke my heart. Thank you for this, it explains so much.

  3. says

    I’ve been here twice in my life, once during my last pregnancy. This put into words exactly how it felt and exactly what I needed to hear from a friend. It’s impossible to relate until you experience it yourself, but this little gem goes a long way. Thanks for sharing, friend. xo

  4. says

    It’s just that’s it’s hard as shit to sit in that darkened room with the person you love for years and years and years. I don’t think it’s too selfish of the support person to ask that the depressed person work through a treatment plan that includes therapy and medication, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the support person eventually wanting to know how long or how profoundly they’re going to have to go without what they need. The way society treats depression is absolutely shitty, and the way it treats those who love someone with depression is almost as bad. I mean no cruelty or judgment of the depressed here. I’ve been on both sides of it. There’s a terrible heartlessness to those who are suffering from society at large, whether they are suffering from an illness (like depression) or suffering from someone they love being ill (caretakers). We’re all people, and sometimes I wonder if depression isn’t on the rise because society is not set up to cater to our basic humanity.

    OK, I hope this rant wasn’t harmful to anyone. I’m in a lot of pain over this news. :(

    • says

      In all honesty, I would rather have depression than watch a loved one go through it. Depression is really kak, but being on the other side is worse. My dad, nana, and sister all have it (yay genetics), and my life is far worse when they’re going through a dark period than when I am. You have the same hopelessness that you feel when you’re depressed, but on an elevated level. When you’re depressed, your brain knows that you’re hopeless. It’s natural. When you’re with someone else feeling this, that feeling doesn’t come to you with the same ease. (Words are failing me a bit here).

      I totally get what you’re saying. I think that there is definitely a strong movement towards understanding depression, but this movement is really leaving out the loved ones. Just as there are support groups for people left over once someone has died, there should be support groups for the people left over once someone’s light has died.

      Someone who is a depressed person’s Person is a saint. Truly. And I agree that at some point, the depressed person needs to do something about it. Because although there is a complete lack of caring for oneself, that doesn’t excuse not caring about someone else. Sometimes depression is completely chemical imbalances and then meds are 100% necessary. Therapy is almost always helpful. Just doing something about it is good. Whether it makes the depressed person feel better matters less than the fact that it makes the supporter feel like something is being done. Because something really should be done. So I’m totally with you about that.

      I don’t agree with your thoughts about the reason depression is on the rise, though. My opinion is that it’s a group of factors – more awareness (realising what you’re feeling is depression), the stigma is lessening, people really like sympathy (and therefore claim to be depressed). I think it’s got to do with humanity, but in the opposite way. That people actually care. We care more = we spread the word, we make it okay for people to open up about this… rather than we care less = people get depressed.

      Ask me another day and I might have a less optimistic reason, though.

      Thanks for your rant and your honesty.

  5. says

    Dear Caylee, first of all I like to say you have an impressive blog. Depression is hard, not only for the one who is depressed, but also for the people around the depressed person. The man on the video brings it in a very nice way. It makes you feel less awkward.

    I’m recovering from a depression and my boyfriend and family had quite a tough job to cope with me. And I’m so proud of them to stick with me ! When you’re depressed, you need your group of loving people around you. That’s what I like about the video. We are not alone !

    It is also hard to hear that people give up on themselfs.. Breaks my heart..

    Keep up the good work ! xo

    • says

      Hey Sanne

      Yep! I just typed out V’s reply above. I am so with you on depression being harder for the loved ones. I’ve been on both sides and while I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I’d far rather be depressed than watch someone I love go through that. I can’t even handle how much I love my husband for how he’s gone through this all with me.

      And yeah, depression is so awkward. But when you have someone who loves you enough to break through the awk and just sit with you, or close the curtains, or watch TV with you and say nothing? Well that’s just golden.

    • says

      Here’s a GREAT quote about suicide:

      “The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”

      ― David Foster Wallace

      • says

        this whole exchange has been an eye opener. I am glad to read all the comments here, especially the quote from Foster Wallace. Thanks Caylee.

        • says

          You know what? I have been close to there – I’ve thought about it, but I am thankful to never have been further than thinking about it. But even so, I have never understood suicide and never have been able to think it’s not selfish until that quote. It’s just such a great analogy that I can’t -not- get it. And now I feel guilt over my ignorance.

  6. says

    um, so i teared up watching that. so very moving.
    i’ve been there, caylee. I’ve gone through two depressed periods. it’s not easy, there are no easy fixes.
    i was thinking about you yesterday, too. i meant to text you as such, but i forgot. ugh.

    thanks for sharing this.

  7. says

    Caylee, I’ve been shaking in my shoes since posting my comment yesterday. I was sure someone (not you, of course) would holler at me for supposedly not being on “the depressed person’s side”. But for all I was afraid I had offended with my words, I’m glad I said them. I’ve had to clarify a lot of stuff to myself in the past couple of days, since one of my favorite actors took his life the day before my boyfriend started therapy for depression. I was gonna email you, but maybe it might help someone to see this.

    I grew up in the dark room. My mother had depression, was abusive, and never sought help. It eroded her character to the point of becoming sociopathic, where she remains today. I’ve danced with depression for twenty years because of the trauma I grew up in, and because of abuse from the people my upbringing primed me to let into my life.

    My current boyfriend is the love of my life, and when he developed depression this past year, it triggered a lot of unhealed crap in me. He started therapy yesterday, and I will be starting it myself soon, specifically for CPTSD. You say the depressed person’s Person is a saint — I’m no saint. Nobody’s a saint, nobody can be one. I warn my boyfriend not to think of me that way, because people can crack under that kind of pressure.

    You make an amazing point about the resources for someone whose loved one has died, vs. had their light die. Very well said. It’s also like the resources and social support we give someone helping a person battle cancer. We know they’re in it for the long haul, we know it’s horrifying, we know they need breaks. I would like to see that kind of support for people teaming up with their loved ones against depression. Because that’s what it needs to be, a team. Depressed person + loved ones + societal help, or depressed person + societal help, whatever. The more people have depression or have battled it, the more people statistically will be helping someone with depression while fighting it off themselves. To divide the world between “depressed” and “not depressed” is troublesome. More like “currently depressed” and “not currently depressed”, and it could change any day. There needs to be more social support, to stabilize the whole depression-fighting team, so healing can take place.

    I hear you about the reasons why depression is on the rise. I agree, and think it’s awesome, that awareness is raising, and stigma is evaporating. Even the people who claim it for sympathy are helping to lower the alienness of the illness, by making it seem more common and less weird. I do however think, indelibly, that any big-picture approach to depression needs to addresss both the individual (brain chemistry and thought procsses) and any malfunctions in the society in which they live, that might be making their life insupportably shitty. I don’t thin there needs to be a divide between psychology and activism. :)

    Thank you for hearing me out, and creating a safe space on your website for people to talk about this. You are one of the golden ones. Hugs!