This post at io9.com is very interesting.  I’ve actually wondered with some regularity (when I don’t have anything else to stress about) what the long term effects of so much cortisol is doing to my body.  If we extend the findings of this study to realm of possibility then one assumes it’s damaging my endocrine system and making me more prone to future depression.  YAY!

But what’s actually the most interesting here is the comments.  Many folks giving the usual “just get over it” and “you can will yourself out of depression, if you were a better person you would have done this already” type comments (although I think many people don’t realize that that is specifically what they are saying).  One commenter made an excellent point and I hope I’m breaking too many internet rules by posting it here, but here goes:

“Getting over it” isn’t something that happens over night, once your brain stops knowing how to make ‘happy’ anymore. Its a choice to have discipline similar to being a marathon runner. Every day you have to have focus and choose, again, to do this difficult thing that hurts, on the chance of a really cool payoff long in the future. You work to modify your body, physically, through hours of effort. Taking care of your mental health is what you do, it is your hobby, and it is an activity that takes a similar amount of effort as a full time job, running your own company, training for a marathon, or getting a new degree.

“Get over it” is the equivalent of saying “get your MBA” or “run the Boston Marathon”. Yes, it is something that just about anyone can do and will improve their life. But its not something that is taken on lightly and shouldn’t be given lightly.

There, my friends, is the rub. Or at least the thing I’ve been losing sight of.  I do feel better, even though I know I’m not better.  And lately I’m guilty of just trying will myself better when I should be asking for help.  (Yes, YES, I will call my doctor and make an appointment about the physical things that I have been stressing over and that will probably help a lot.)

It was truly a nice boost to read all the comments on this article  and see the folks defending against the “you can just get over it” responses.  Made me feel like there are others out there, made me feel supported and gave some excellent insight into how others have dealt anxiety and depression.  Sometimes you find a boost in the most unlikely of places.

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