On depression: “Every organ in your body can get sympathy, except the brain”

Robin Williams in Las Vegas

Depression is something that most of the Whaleoil Crew deal with directly or indirectly every day, all year long.   Some of our most loyal readers have shared their stories with us on occasion.

We all have different experiences of it, and yet, we share a common understanding of some of the ways your life changes when you have or live with someone who has depression.  

In my case, when some people got together with the idea that they could put me under so much pressure that I might (let’s be kind) stop doing what I’m doing, they did so not understanding how depression works for me.  The worse it gets, the more angry I become.  The more angry I become, the more calm I get.  The more calm I get, the more I think of ways to change the world around me.

Depressed people are not victims.  They just have different ways of seeing the world, and working with it.

You are not a passenger of your life.  You are the driver.  And in case of the brain, this is especially true.  Check out this video, and the concept of neuroplasticity.




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  • Chris W

    I have more than one close loved-one who suffers from depression and I sympathise with those who can’t be sympathetic and supportive of depression sufferers.
    It’s incredibly hard to deal with someone who has really black depression – hours and days of pure focused hating. You try and support them and stick by them and they just despise and attack you for it – all too often physically.
    Is there any difference between a severely depressed person and an evil psychotic
    egotist? Probably not – the psychotic egotist is almost certainly suffering a mental illness, everyone does what they do for a reason.

    It’s wonderful to be supportive of the mentally ill – it’s an awful problem and those affected need love and support – but I fully understand those who find it too hard.

    • spanishbride

      In my experience when Cam was at his worst ( before he got off all the drugs he was forced to take when the insurance company were still honoring our income protection policy ) he sucked all the happiness and fun and hope out of the room. On a day to day basis it was exhausting. It had a detrimental effect on our entire family and he was too busy being in a black hole to have any sympathy for what we all were going through. Let’s not sugar coat it, severe depression is a black hole that drains the supporters as much as the sufferer. Now that Cam is in control and knows what to do when the feelings start, life is totally different. In fact if he hadn’t learned all those techniques over the years, Dirty Politics could have literally killed him. In fact I don’t think that the average person who has never had depression could have survived an attack like Dirty Politics the way Cam did. I watched him supporting his friends who were hurt in the fallout from Dirty Politics and he stayed calm while many of them panicked and worried. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and Cam is now incredibly strong mentally and emotionally. I wish we didn’t have to go through all those years of pain to get to where we are but it is what it is. It is no coincidence that great talent often goes hand in hand with depression. Robin Williams is but one example.

  • Michael

    Excellent video – I get very angry when the pseudo-science crystal waving, past lives, psycho-cuddling bs’ers get air space and the basic hard science (actually researched and shown to be effective) gets ignored. MSM always takes the easy, sensationalist route to the detriment of many. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (often in combination with medication) really works!

    • Coffee Connoisseur

      problem is even science has been corrupted by vested interests

      • Pharmachick

        Sometimes, but not all of it.

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          the problem is most people don’t have the time to determine which are good and which is not. But then this is a systemic problem.

  • dumbshit

    what an electric mind that lady has, always admired her wit, very sobering post for those of us who think they are normal!

  • LabTested

    I’m finding a lot to enjoy in life at the moment. But only a couple of years ago I just wished to be dead. I would be on a plane & just wish it would fall from the sky. I never thought about topping myself, but when on the motor bike I would look at the front of trucks & think about what if they swerved & collected me.

    Then there were gaps of a day or so that I felt OK & the past month seemed like a nightmare. Then when I was in the depths I learn’t to tell myself – it will change, this is not forever.

    That was the most important thing. I still sometimes have bad days, but I eventually remember to tell myself – this is not real, you will get past it.

  • Pharmachick

    “Depressed people are not victims. They just have different ways of seeing the world, and working with it.”

    Thank you for that, it speaks volumes to me.