The first time I stepped onto a psych unit, it was obvious there were two types of people: those with depression and those with psychosis. People falling within the depression umbrella carried the world on their stooped shoulders, that is, if they had the energy to move at all. In the second group, behaviors ranged from spending the day in one position watching your fingernails grow, to raving at voices which ordered the afflicted to get IT Right–or else–and right meant commands from God or evil spirits or even commercials on T.V.
I fell into the first group, although I prayed for a little mishegas to take the edge off so my body could stop burning from the inside out.
What got me thinking about this was a suggestion that depressed people should stop their whining and get off the pot. If you’ve been depressed you know that this is as impossible as telling someone with foil on his head that the FBI is not after him.
I am not making any judgments. Both illnesses are awful, although with depression there is a statistically better chance of recovery and I can speak from both sides. Over the years, I’ve dipped my toes into the psychotic pool, albeit briefly, and it’s not a pretty place. My son has schizoaffective-disorder and the challenge is often beyond my capabilities. All these illnesses take a huge toll on the people afflicted and their families. Ugh and ugh again!