Saturday, May 05, 2018

He Lives with Chronic Depression

So, Wil Wheaton wrote a speech about living with depression and posted it to his blog. It's a good read and it's making rounds on Facebook. I hope it's actually read by lots of people, rather than just giving it a thumbs up. I hope that they take it to heart.

To me, the most important line of the whole speech, which I think most people will miss, because it's in the beginning of the speech, is this:

"When I tried to reach out to the adults in my life for help, they didn’t take me seriously."

I was a kid who fell into the depression well and when I tried to talk about it, I was ignored or blown off or told that I didn't really feel that way or that I'd get over it. I quickly learned not to bring it up anymore, not to bring up how I really felt at all. I learned to fake a smile. I learned to eliminate my feelings so that the well grew deeper. I learned the different signs that adults picked up on that made them think that something was wrong (guys growing their hair long, girls cutting their hair short, anyone dying their hair black or odd colors, dressing in too much black, the stink of not bathing enough) and made damn sure that I didn't do any of them because when those kids were talked to, it seemed to only be accusations from authority, no discussion. No understanding. And I didn't want to be hassled about something that they thought was somehow my fault. Even if these things were noticed by adults and taken as cries for help they were ignored. I did my best to hide everything. I kept my hair short. I made sure to shower. I kept my clothes in colors with a joke on the shirt, if I could.

No one would have seen how I felt inside on the outside because no adult would listen to me when I literally cried for help.

I hope that Mr. Wheaton's speech gets more adults to listen to children because usually a haircut is just a haircut and how do you know what it means unless you hear what's being said.