(All picture credit goes to Loryn Brantz please don’t sue me I’ll cry)
So for Valentine’s Day this year I got antidepressants.
I’m not even kidding, I had to pick up my prescription on V-Day…which also happened to be the day I turned 22. Yay.
I did actually have a great day. I went for lunch, had pink champagne, met my friend’s new baby, god that’s surreal- my friend’s baby, as in an actual living human that she created.
I thought that this week I’d talk a little bit about how depression is represented on TV and in film because it certainly influenced my outlook on the illness.
I realised or made my peace with the fact that I had depression when I was around 19, because of this I did watch quite a few TV shows that discussed depression, and noticed that some I had already watched did.
One in particular was Skins. I also watched a lot of those crappy lifetime movies about depression etc. and it really affected how I saw myself.
The girls in these films and on TV were so beautiful. Their depression was perfectly smudged eyeliner cascading down their impeccable cheekbones, as they shakily lit a cigarette, and the obligatory secretly nice bad boy comforted her, even though he had a girlfriend. Just think about how many scenes like that have actually been on TV? I swear I must have seen the same depiction over a dozen times.
The problem was that naive 19-year-old me thought that was how depression was supposed to look. I tried for a long time to be the edgy, messy girl whose depression just makes her entire story tumblr-worthy. After I couldn’t keep up this facade because I had depression, it just felt like another thing I had failed to become.
Depression isn’t perfect eyeliner and black boots, and most importantly, it isn’t cured if a pretty boy likes you. Depression is greasy hair, a drink to go down, a coffee to get up, and feeling as if you are prodding at your own feelings with a stick to see if they’re still alive.
Effy Stonem is not an accurate depiction of depression, at least not for me. People who have depression quite often aren’t pretty, don’t smell good, don’t go out much. A lot of the time they drink too much, sleep too much and eat too much. Then people say that depression is just a fad and that we’re simply lazy. Then they settle into the sofa and watch things like Skins and say ‘see, this is just what I’m saying.’ As if real depression has an onset makeup artist, skinny legs and can be cured in 2 episodes.
Depression should be portrayed far more responsibly; I was so convinced that I had to have the depression that was on the TV that I questioned whether or not I really had it for a very long time. Unfortunately, more often than not, a charming man doesn’t come along, and if he does, he can’t solve all of your problems, because that is entirely beside the point.
Someone once said to me ‘the thing about depression is, it’s all in your head.’ Where else would it be? It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain which is in my head.
Sorry for the heavy post guys, but these things need to be talked about, lest we run the risk of more people falling prey to what I’m calling cinematic depression.
Moral of the story; people are dickheads, and they are stupid. Glad we had this chat.
Happy Do a Grouch a Favour Day! So do this grouch a favour and do some research on depression if you don’t know much about it- don’t worry, I’m talking wikipedia not a PhD. Who knows, you might be able to help someone one day.
Thanks for reading,