*this is primarily referencing depression as that is what i have had personal experience with. i write this from my own view point and do not mean to offend.*
Over the years, I have been told by people who should know better, to “Pull yourself out of it.” Annoying quotes fed to me, about positive thinking and how feeding the ‘bad wolf’ will only make it stronger. “Just stop the self-pitying.”
It infuriates me how one body and the sicknesses affecting that body, is divided into parts. The brain is treated differently because we like to think that we are in control of it and it’s functioning. Yet, the majority of our functioning is subconscious and automatic.
My question to those people is: if we are in control of our brains to the point where we can will ourselves out of depression, why can’t we will our brains to stop our hearts from beating? Or our lungs from requiring oxygen? Or our cells from dying and multiplying? Why is it that we KNOW we have no control over the majority of our functioning, yet people still seem to believe that depression occurs in the conscious mind – we choose to be depressed?
Furthermore, the role we play in being able to help ourselves in the face of mental illness is so highly criticised in comparison to the control we have to help ourselves with other illnesses. Why is ‘letting yourself’ fall into the hands of depression frowned upon, yet people clog their own arteries with fat, fill their own lungs with tar and let their skin burn? We are suddenly more cautious about telling them that they shouldn’t have let themselves ‘fall into’ whatever health condition they have. The difference is, those examples can be as a direct result of our choices, whereas depression can affect anyone at any time and often for no reason.