Thursday, 7 June 2018

SCARF WAVING MANICS!

Whenever I see or read articles appertaining to depression, more often than not the accompanying image is of people in ecstatic mode. Young women joyously trailing a scarf up high is a popular one used by publishers, or people laughing uproariously (manic, more like).

An internet acquaintance of mine writes books on depression, and he asked my opinion on some of the content, which was fine, except, as per usual, the scarf-trailing young female. I explained my thoughts and he understood, saying that he didn't have much choice on this, as the publishers always chose the image.

If the articles are trying to tell you that if you follow what they're suggesting, you too can feel like this, and the sufferer may feel that if they don't feel like this, having followed the suggestions, then they're doing something wrong. They're doing a grand job, aren't they? Sufferers of depression may also be thinking: 'Can I achieve that illustrated state of happiness?' Highly unlikely. And they'll possibly be very disappointed that they can't.

People with depression don't feel like this upon recovery. Rarely, if at all. Upon my recovery I felt relief and a sense of disbelief. To be able to smile and mean it is amazing. I don't run around flying scarves (although I could) and I don't laugh uproariously at the flick of a switch, although I have been known to laugh uproariously at silly jokes. 

I think that some of these articles - the ones illustrated with women trailing brightly coloured scarves or laughing uproariously with mates - are possibly doing more harm than good. 

Better image options, and much more realistic ones, would be of a previously depressed person reading a book with a genuine smile. Or engaged in conversation with friends and obviously interested. Yes, you can attain that feeling. That's not out of reach.

So, I beseech these publishers and editors and those in charge of the design of such material - for goodness sake illustrate them with a normal person smiling and interested.

Thank you. 


6 comments:

  1. That is so good to read on so many levels. I am not one of the depressed but I certainly identify with that sort of image hyperbole: for example, the adverts on 'self-help' videos that have women in crisp white blouses over their 34 B cups, sitting on a desk in an apartment with a New York skyline surrounded by freshly lacquered pot plants.






    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lynne! And absolutely. I was spurred on by seeing an article in one of my newsletters. I've felt that way for so long, I knew I had to write about it. Thank you.

      Jo

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing this interesting post. Sometimes we receive the wrong idea of what does it feels to be happy. There are so many levels of happiness and each of us perceives happiness in a different way. The fact of standardize happiness in an unique way is wrong and almost dangerous. I agree that even for people who do not suffer from depression being crazily joyous is highly unlikely to happen. I feel grateful for I have never suffered of depression but only in a couple of occasions I have been feeling euphoric. For me happiness is that feeling of tranquillity and balance in my everyday life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your response P.J. Being crazily joyous just isn't realistic. So glad you agree!

      Jo

      Delete
  3. Very good point, Jo. And it doesn't even apply only to people who are suffering from depression: Introverts don't tend to be happy as loudly as a football match, for example. And when I'm down in some way I need different forms of feeling good. Such as being content, feeling silently joyous and so on. Thanks for pointing that out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for responding Jana! Yes, being joyously ecstatic, while obviously wonderful if it ever happens, just ain't the norm. Being content is much more likely!

      Jo

      Delete