When Depression's Just Apathy

Aug 13 , 2022
By Kidist Yidnekachew

Having studied psychology, I am fascinated by how our thoughts shape our lives. I am also interested in mental health and try my best to create awareness. So if I were to say mild depression is not real, people would say, “she is contradicting herself.”

When I say depression is not real, it does not mean that people are not suffering from it. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of suicide. Living with depression is like living with a parasite that feeds off us. There are medications for treating depression depending on the severity. There is also therapy, which is an effective way of treating depression, especially the milder varieties.

If we ask anyone with depression about their situations, they will give us many reasons about why they feel low or maybe one reason that makes them not want to leave their beds, take care of themselves or avoid people altogether.

But what if those individuals did not have a choice? What if they do not have the luxury of staying in bed as they have to pay for rent or have to worry about food?

These would have to wake up in the morning whether they like it or not because they have to go to work. What if they are parents? Often, the impulse of parenthood overcomes the woe that comes from depression. One is less likely to think about themselves if they know other people need them and their absence would wreck others’ lives.

A surprisingly interesting view on the subject matter comes from Andrew Tate, the former kickboxer and now an internet personality. Some say he is a misogynist, and he can be at times. I do not agree with everything he says but he is honest and his views on depression make one wonder.

Tate says that people who get depressed are selfish because they only think about their emotions and feelings and have convinced their minds they cannot change it. But if they were to tell themselves, “okay, I am depressed, so what?” things may change. Andrew added that if a person has children to take care of, the chances of them killing themselves are low. He said we should stop promoting depression as something healthy. We should not be proud of it; instead should work to eliminate it. And we do it by not flaunting it around but instead by training our minds to be strong.

Someone without experience in the science of depression either through a career or academia, should not be taken as an expert on the subject matter. It is easy for financially secure people who are not inclined to episodes of depression to say, “just suck it up!” The issue gets more complex for people suffering from clinical depression, which could have biological causes that require professional treatment. Still, interesting anecdotes should serve as an interesting case study for further research.

Eshetu Melese, on his YouTube show, went to the countryside and asked an old lady if she knew what depression was or if she had ever heard of it. Her answer was that she did not. Who has time for that? The woman is busy with her chores and she does not even stop and think about depression. For her, milking her cows, baking injera, and running the house are more important than living in her head. Her family depends on her and that is all that matters.

I am not advocating only living for others, but if that is what keeps us alive and depression free, we might as well consider it. Sometimes, we may be confusing apathy with depression (the latter of which is an actual, well-documented disease), caused by the possibility that our lives are simply dull. Let us take charge and change our lives to make it more attractive. If the depression persists and is severe, then seeking professional help is in order.

PUBLISHED ON Aug 13,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1163]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (kaymina21@gmail.com)

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