Published October 21, 2017 20 Comments
Yaron Kaplan says
October 21, 2017 at 6:15 am
So her name is Raven? Fits her a lot.
depression comix says
October 21, 2017 at 6:45 am
Dana Seilhan says
October 21, 2017 at 6:31 am
Yeah but passing that down to kick someone else like you got kicked isn’t solving anything. And I think a person can be depressed without having chronic depression per se.
October 21, 2017 at 6:34 am
…That’s one thing that always bugged me about hanging out with people who had mental health issues (whether they were fully ill or not). You would think having been sh*t upon by other people would have made them more empathetic but no, more often than not they took it as occasion to be just as nasty to yet other people down the line. I get that it’s scary when someone behaves in a manner completely different to what you had expected but at some point somebody’s got to be the bigger person and stop and say, “no, wait a minute, what’s going on here?”.
October 21, 2017 at 6:44 am
Yeah, Raven doesn’t really answer the question, does she? It’s a big problem with gatekeepers and I admit to having been one in the past until someone was kind enough to show me the way (and show my own hypocrisy as well). Now I take the position that everyone’s pain is meaningful to the people who have it and it’s not kind to judge people’s pain. It’s a hard lesson to learn — especially when many of us have been on the side of having our pain questioned, it’s something that many of us internalize and pass on. It’s not a good thing.
Felis Dee says
October 21, 2017 at 7:03 am
It’s attitudes like Raven’s, sadly, that have prevented a very good friend of mine from getting diagnosed. He has all three symptoms and when he took a psychologist administered test for depression, he raised all the red flags. But he won’t get therapy or properly diagnosed because he has “a pretty good life compared to others”, and “has nothing to complain about”. According to a gatekeeper-type “friend”. ?
October 21, 2017 at 7:19 am
Felis Dee Ironically, being unable to enjoy the life you have when you DO have it pretty good IS a telltale sign of depression.
Susan Haas says
October 21, 2017 at 9:31 am
Ah, you wouldn’t expect someone with two broken legs to lift and carry another person across a hole, would you? No matter whether the other person was also completely unable to cross the hole unaided, right? So why would you expect someone with depression to emotionally carry another person?
October 21, 2017 at 9:38 am
Susan Haas I think helping another person with depression and acknowledging another person’s depression are two separate issues. I think it’s quite possible to say “I know you’re in pain, it’s real, even though I can’t do anything for you myself.”
October 21, 2017 at 9:39 am
depression comix But I’ve seen plenty of people in so much pain they literally can’t see others’. It’s easier to recognize and forgive when it’s physical pain, is all. JMO
October 21, 2017 at 10:09 am
Depression is a very inward looking condition, to be sure. It makes one so self-involved (albeit in a self-harming as opposed to self-congratulatory) that they can’t see the pain of others. This is true. In this one aspect of depression, it’s hard to compare with physical afflictions. Because if you want to make a straight analogy, this would be more being unable to carry a person with a broken leg over a hole because you also have broken bones, and then telling the other person to stop gong on about their broken leg because your leg is broken in two places AND you have broken ribs on top of that so they shouldn’t talk. No one with a physical affliction would do that (unless they also have an underlying mental affliction.
I’m not judging. I’m just saying that this one symptom of mental illness and depression in particular, the part that makes one attempt to cause pain in others, or ignore/dismiss the pain of others, in an attempt to assuage their own pain is one that can be harder to forgive, even for those with the most amount of empathy, understanding, and willingness to help. After a point, one has to protect oneself.
October 21, 2017 at 10:20 am
Felis Dee Exactly. If you are expressing your own pain in a way that dismisses the pain of others, it’s not OK. Helping people and making other people feel worse are very different things. You may not be able to help people but making people feel worse to justify your own pain is not okay by any means.
October 21, 2017 at 12:11 pm
For me, I notice that I don’t dismiss others’ pain. I deny it because I feel that it’s my job to be everything for everyone, and since I don’t even have the wherewithal to take care of myself, it’s easier to make myself believe nobody else is in pain than it is to deal with the feelings of guilt and brokenness for my inability to help.
Believe it or not, this is progress for me. In the past, I never withdrew in order to protect myself. Now that I have an idea what that is, my therapist and I can begin to shape it into something more personally functional and socially acceptable. It’s a process. It’s always a process.
October 25, 2017 at 3:18 am
To continue the analogy, for those who are permanently disabled it may seem callous for someone to say, “I had two broken legs once too, but eventually they healed, and yours can too.” Sometimes there is no cure, and the best you can do is to help someone cope with their disability.
.. / .-- .- -. - / - --- / -.. .. . says
October 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm
This is why I haven’t told anybody/won’t. It’s bad enough that I think I’m lying; I know my family would just laugh, and make fun of me for it forever. Happy times.
October 24, 2017 at 9:05 am
Nice to see you are still drawing. I hope you are doing well.
Amanda Licorne says
October 28, 2017 at 2:06 am
I always disliked her. Who are you to define another person’s illness you hypocrite? Other people may not be suffering the same way you are but they are still suffering!
November 12, 2017 at 2:16 am
Thank you, depressioncomix, for making this. I myself have acted like Raven.
When I was younger, I was incredibly jealous of my little sister. My little sister is more attractive than me, has more friends than I do, was the favorite in my family, and would sexually and physically abuse me. My father loved my little sister and would force me to do her homework for her. Everything about my little sister has been about force. If I didn’t do what she wanted, she would force me to do so. It was not often that people were interested in talking with me over her, but when they were she would punish me for it. One time a guest who came over found a joke I had made funny and I could see the anger in my little sister’s face. After the guest had left, my little sister cornered me with some chemicals that she found and sprayed them into my eyes. She then took scissors and clipped away all of my hair. She would tell me other times to lay silently on the trampoline, so she could do things to me. If I refused, she would take whatever she could find such as pole and use it to beat the ground near my dog, telling me that if I protested she would torture it. So, I would lay there, begging for it to be over.
My parents knew what was going on, but did very little. I would often get grounded or punished by my father after getting beat up because my little sister would cry crocodile tears. I have had terrible depression, de-personalization, and PTSD for a while now. My mother would look the other way and said that my depression was an insult to them because of me having a roof over my head, my sisters would pretend I wasn’t there or would beat me, my father when I got a bit older would listen when I complained, but he always wanted something and would place me in sexual situations. When my little sister who had done all of those things told me she had depression, I didn’t believe her and felt that she had things so much better. I would tell her that often. Was it right? It’s certainly not right to diminish someone’s suffering, but I am so torn between if I should be comforting and cautious, if I should remove her from my life, or if I should just not care because of everything that happened with her.
Having been in that hell hole, my parents would lock me physically inside the house. The only way to escape being to break the windows, but I was too afraid of what the beating would be like later that day. I was not allowed to see my friends unless I was able to do something I either didn’t like doing or was able to do something I had difficulty with successfully. I never had really any friends growing up and still don’t, and didn’t really understand genuine kindness with no strings attached. When I finally left that hellhole and started talking with people, people would tell me that my stories were too far-fetched to be reality. I had been so afraid as a child to tell anyone because I was afraid of inconveniencing them or making them uncomfortable, so it hurt to finally get the chance and then be told that I was lying. Even psychologists I went to see would tell me to stop talking when I recalled my past because they said it made them feel tremendously uncomfortable. I felt denied any human decency. Therefore, whenever someone would share their own suffering, I struggled with how to comfort them. How do you comfort someone when you have never been shown what that is really like? I have gotten better at comforting people and certainly have not dismissed a person’s suffering after I treated my younger sister that way, but it has taken a while to be better at it. I do believe that depression is debilitating and can happen to anyone. I do not believe my suffering to be worse than anyone else’s because I have never had to suffer as they have had to. I sincerely apologize for the rambling message. Thank you for sharing your comics. They are very relatable.
November 12, 2017 at 5:45 am
Hi Michelle, after reading your story I am truly heartbroken that you were treated this way by your sisters, that you could not depend on your parents for protection from harm, and that so few people believed your story when you finally had the courage to say something. I dunno, I wouldn’t have much sympathy either for your sister — if she did have a mental illness, taking it out on you all those years is unforgivable, and the fact that you still talk to your family shows you have a bigger heart than I do. Showing sympathy for the bully in your life is not something people do easily. Take care and know that your pain is real, valid, and you have my respect for your courage in sharing it.
November 25, 2017 at 6:32 am
Hi Clay, thank you so much for your kind words! I spent a lot of time trying to help my siblings and the rest of my family, but am definitely far from perfect. After a while, I realized that few people in my family really involved me in their lives unless they needed something, so to prevent myself from feeling even more saddened by the empty relationships, I have been increasing my distance since my last post. I will still show up for my youngest sibling and my grandmother who I have closer relationships with. No one is really there for them, and I know what it is like to be alone.
I am still working on creating a support group, and am really trying to make friends, but am struggling. I had less difficulty when I was interacting more often with other people, but somehow taking social risks has begun to scare me again and I feel less socially adept than I was before. I think it’s okay if I build it up again, even if it is slowly.
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