Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Everybody Is Talking About It

It seems that depression/ppd is a hot topic these days. I was watching an old episode of 'The Glades' and they did an entire episode on PPD psychosis. My first thought was, "Everybody has it? Everybody is depressed? Everybody is talking about it? Let's all jump on the depression train." Then I stopped and thought about it. And said, "Yes please. PLEASE. Please jump on, regular network shows. Show normal people dealing with this issue. Show everyday people crushed by depression and fighting it.

I don't really understand why my first reaction was negative. Maybe I felt patronized, as if the show didn't really 'get' it. But as I watched I realized that they did. They treated the subject with respect and dignity -- exactly the way it should be. I was grateful and felt as though we were moving forward.

Two days later, while watching iCarly with my daughter I realized I was wrong. In that show they put Sam, one of the main characters, in a mental hospital. Because she kisses a guy she thinks she hates. The patients in the hospital are all exaggerated stereotypes. The man who hears voices, the woman drooling in a corner, someone who lives in their world. A bumbling guard. My daughter was watching this. Someday she'll know I spent time in a mental hospital. And this was her first glimpse into what it was like? I was saddened and angered. Not wanting to draw attention to myself or the topic, I did nothing. Which just angered me further.

This is weird and rambling post. I realize this. I guess it's more a stream of consciousness, than a true post. I'm just frustrated that as soon as I think we, as a society, are breaking down the walls of depression, busting the stereotypes wide open, something else comes along and builds them back up, brick by brick. And for a younger generation. No wonder it doesn't go away.

It's one thing for me to joke about my time spent in the hospital. I know what I saw. I see the dark humor in it. I saw the sad stereotypes -- but that's what it was, sad. Because each stereotype was a person with a story behind them. And I believe I'm one of those stereotypes: Middle class housewife, from the outside she has it all. Inside she is completely losing it. She's medicating herself into oblivion until she cracks and ends up in the very place she fears. Twice.

And just when I think I've proven that it's not all bad, that it can happen to anyone, that I'm NOT a stereotype, some silly show like iCarly comes along and bashes me. That easily I was knocked down. Perhaps I haven't come as far as I think.

Needless to say, iCarly isn't allowed in our home anymore. Violet thinks it's because two of the main characters are dating this season and that's too old for her. I have another reason.