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Just Stop

Before you say it, just stop.  Before you say “but he/she was so successful”, just stop.  Before you say “I wish I would have known”, just stop.  Before you say “I wonder if there were signs”, just stop.  Before you say “but they seemed so happy”, just stop.  Just stop all of it.

Why are we so surprised that depression is on the rise when we are readily bombarded with the terrors of the world around us with no balance of anything positive.  Why should a person talk about it only to be told that it’s their perception of the world and they should just snap out of it and let it go?

Yes, a person can be successful and still be depressed.  As a matter of fact it stumps them too.  Yes, you knew, you knew when you tried to cheer them up when they were down and didn’t understand why that small gesture didn’t ease their internal pain.  Then you walked away.  Yes, there are signs, plenty of them, but were you paying attention enough to the others around you to realize the pain they were in?  Yes, they can seem like the happiest person in the room because they have learned that sometimes their pain can be eased by making others happy.   Yes, when you tried to make them happy it made them sad and they retreated.  They disappeared.  They tried to figure out a way to make themselves happy.

It is never just one thing, it’s a series of events.  Why are we so surprised that depression is on the rise when we are readily bombarded with the terrors of the world around us with no balance of anything positive.  Why should a person talk about it only to be told that it’s their perception of the world and they should just snap out of it and let it go? That as much as they see the people hurting around them and as much as they want to see things get better, you are telling them to just live with it.  That the bad will continue and you, as a member of society can’t change things to the positive.  Please tell me again why you are surprised?   When they try to make things better and you tell them the problem is not theirs to worry about and to just forget about it but no one steps up to claim ownership of the problem.  Please tell me again why you are surprised that they fall into a deep despair of the human condition.

Please, we have ignored this long enough, isn’t it time that we realize that if we listened to those bold enough to speak of the evils that are plaguing our society and ask how we can join together to make our world a better place that we potentially could make a difference, save a life, make our world more of a place that people thrive in instead of survive in.   Please don’t call them mentally weak.  They are stronger than you could ever imagine.  That is how “you” cope with the mentally ill but remember, many of them were mentally healthy at one time, so it could happen to you too.  So please, just stop, just stop blaming the person, ignoring the signs, making it taboo to talk about, shuffling it under the rug as if the problem will go away on its own.  It won’t. So please, just stop.

Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Raissa,
    I hope you are safe and well.
    It seems like ages ago that I sat here marveling at your art as well as your writing.
    This article hit home!
    If you look back at some of my articles I admit to suffering from depression (it has worsened) in addition to severe anxiety.
    Anxiety and depression can over power and cripple a person.
    Medication only helps for a short time.
    This past Winter I could not leave the house for months except for going into the backyard to spend time with my feathered friends who always came by for a visit.
    Thank you, Raissa for writing and sharing this article that touched me so much on a personal level.

  2. Thank you, Raissa, for sharing about this challenging topic! The difficulty is that these conditions, as you say, are tied to many aspects of life. And the conditions can go up and down. Sometimes unawares to the people themselves until it’s almost too late to turn around. The journey there is shorter than the journey back to healing. But it can be done with the right support group. Our individualist society has left little room and time for the right things to happen with the right flexibility.

    • You are so right regarding the journey back. The spiral downward seems to go quickly and is out of control. Once at the bottom sometimes a new bottom opens and the spiraling begins again. Clawing back out is one of the most difficult things and we, as a society, don’t know how to help those that are attempting the climb.

      • You are right. Sometimes I’ve realized it’s mostly about being there and being willing to listen. There is a limit to what we can do, but the least we can do is share what we understand, and be supportive. Many times I’ve felt at a loss how to do more, but I keep sending mobile quotes and imagery and being available whenever someone needs a listening ear.

  3. Great article. It brought to memory the times I visited home while in college. My father seemed out of touch and really quiet. The signs were there for sure but we didn’t know what to do as it was so subtle. It was 1987 after all and we are from a small town in Quebec so not much to report there…and no social media back then either. But my gut was telling me something was different about my dad. He committed suicide in November. just a few months after I had started my second year in College. Depression is sneaky. It doesn’t seem obvious. What I can say is ask more questions, be more present and don’t brush people off as negative.

    • Sorry for your loss. The magic of listening is sometimes the best medicine. So many times depression is viewed as the person that is always down. There are many that exist that appear happy and suffer silently. It may be one reason why we don’t see it in those we are closest to. Something to ponder….

  4. Raissa, as I read your deep felt article I was reminded of two things, Robin Williams and the saying “Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside.” and my Radiation group. When I was going through cancer treatment all three times our little radiation group that bonded over the 8 weeks of treatment were very tuned-into the emotions of others in the group. Often we found the best way to help them through a wave of severe depression was to simply listen and lend a shoulder for them to cry on. You have given us much to think about.

    • I wrote this piece after the week where Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade both chose to take their lives instead of going on. I reflected on when Robin Williams passed and how suicide rates are on the rise. It is a silent killer and it is a way for some to cope albeit a final way it is still a coping mechanism.

    • I believe people do want to help. I also believe the first step to solving any problem is realizing we have one. Once we realize there is a problem we need to do analysis and determine cause. Only then can we understand what solutions may be available and honestly, it’s not a one size fits all. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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