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#1 Posted by Simplexity (1382 posts) -

So I was at my job today chilling out in the break room as there wasn't much to do really with 2 other co-workers, and I was listening in on their conversation and it left me fascinated.

One of them started talking about how he suffered from depression for a long time because his dad kept setting unrealistic expectations for him which he inevitably failed which then made him feel worthless and keeps complaining about random insignificant shit. and this other dude who is an immigrant from Afghanistan (we are in Norway for the record) listens to him and sympathizes and actually says he is glad he never had to go through what he did.

Now I know for a fact this immigrant dude has had a hard life to put it mildly, his dad was killed when he was 7 right in front of him, he was then forced to work like a dog for pennies to put food on the table for the family. Then the war on Taliban started and he had to flee the country, eventually crawling across the border through mud at the age of 12. He then eventually ended up in Norway without friends, family and any language skills or education. Where he then somehow crawled himself up to being accepted into one of the most prestigious secondary schools in the country.

So how can a guy that was pretty much handed a good life on a silver platter be depressed compared to a guy that started with very little and the little he had got taken away from him?

I just don't understand.

#2 Posted by Zeik (2232 posts) -

Because depression is a personal thing and doesn't go away just because in the back of your mind you know there are people out there that have it worse.

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36062 posts) -

So how can a guy that was pretty much handed a good life on a silver platter be depressed compared to a guy that started with very little and the little he had got taken away from him?

I just don't understand.

This is actually a very shitty thing to do when discussing somebody's depression, since it's essentially invalidating their feelings.

#4 Edited by SomeDeliCook (2228 posts) -

One time in the breakroom a cowoker told me about how he had to drive to San Fransisco late at night because his daughter's period wouldn't stop bleeding. I met this guy about a week before that and he already decided to tell me all that.

So yes, people are weird

Ontopic, people handle situations differently. Some have huge anxiety issues over the smallest thing while others seem to keep their cool in the worst situations.

#5 Posted by themangalist (1722 posts) -

Suffering and sadness should not be compared. The feelings are universal.

#6 Posted by CitizenCoffeeCake (475 posts) -

Yea depression doesn't work like that. In fact, depressed people can often feel more depressed because they have a good life and are still sad.

#7 Posted by Milkman (16540 posts) -

Everyone's reality is different. What may seem inconsequential to one person can be life-shattering for another. It's best not to judge people like that.

#8 Posted by dungbootle (2457 posts) -

Depression has nothing to do with social standing or quality of upbringing

#9 Posted by Yummylee (21279 posts) -
@zeik said:

Because depression is a personal thing and doesn't go away just because in the back of your mind you know there are people out there that have it worse.

Yuuuuuuup.

If you follow the road OP is on then it inevitably just ends up in this bizarre pissing contest about who truly deserves to be depressed because they went through such and such.

#10 Posted by Simplexity (1382 posts) -

Oh yeah I probably didn't word it fantastically but believe me I know everything about depression, it is more an observation of how weird the human mind is.

The person that has everything is depressed whilst the person that has nothing is happy, it doesn't make much sense.

#11 Posted by MauveForest (588 posts) -

One time in the breakroom a cowoker told me about how he had to drive to San Fransisco late at night because his daughter's period wouldn't stop bleeding. I met this guy about a week before that and he already decided to tell me all that.

So yes, people are weird

Ontopic, people handle situations differently. Some have huge anxiety issues over the smallest thing while others seem to keep their cool in the worst situations.

the person this person is describing is strange.

The guy that has been through a hard life probably has a of empathy and can understand the hardship the other guys is going through. That is commendable not strange.

#12 Posted by Zeik (2232 posts) -

@simplexity: What do you consider "nothing"? Even if it's as simple as a motivation or drive to succeed in life that can result in a very different attitude toward life.

#13 Posted by TruthTellah (8554 posts) -

People are super strange!

But in this case, it seems relatively understandable. Real happiness is often very separate from having "a good life". It sounds like the man from Afghanistan has persevered through quite a bit and come to have a strength that lifts him and others. That's a resolute happiness, based not on circumstance but on choice.

It sounds like this other individual has some issues, and from your explanation, I can understand him feeling like that. Perhaps his time with this other individual will help him on a path to personal growth.

#14 Edited by Beb (237 posts) -

Depression isn't a reasonable reaction to a shitty life. It is a sickness where your mind gets suck in a negative feedback loop.

Edit: By which I mean, thinking the depressed person should just cheer up because life isn't so bad, is like saying an alcoholic should just stop drinking.

#15 Posted by Clonedzero (4091 posts) -

@simplexity: I suppose by this logic, you're never allowed to feel sad, upset, depressed, angry, annoyed, or anything else because other people have hard harder lives than you.

#16 Posted by Azurath (294 posts) -
#17 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

How would you know he crawled through the mud to cross a border at age 12? That sounds like hearsay. It should be stricken from the record.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (36062 posts) -

The person that has everything is depressed whilst the person that has nothing is happy, it doesn't make much sense.

No matter how you phrase it, it sounds judgmental as shit.

#19 Posted by Wattsiey (20 posts) -

When youre a stranger

#20 Edited by mlarrabee (2887 posts) -

Depression, and morose feelings in general, are ninety-nine percent perspective for ninety-nine percent of depressed people. I was suicidal for six years and I left it behind without drugs or therapy. Is that possible for everyone?--not at all. But self-absorption is a major cause of depression in chemically balanced people. Please reread that: chemically balanced people.

Entitlement is a huge factor as well. If one imagines one somehow deserves something from life (as salesman are so eager to impress on us) one feels cheated when one experiences the unfair nature of life.

#21 Edited by EarlessShrimp (1631 posts) -
@yummylee said:
@zeik said:

Because depression is a personal thing and doesn't go away just because in the back of your mind you know there are people out there that have it worse.

Yuuuuuuup.

If you follow the road OP is on then it inevitably just ends up in this bizarre pissing contest about who truly deserves to be depressed because they went through such and such.

Therefore there can only be one person who can really be depressed because they literally have the shittiest life on the planet. It may be something along the lines of being an amputee forced to test baseball gloves for nike in a place where they cannot afford baseballs so they use balls of shit, and his or her depth perception is off because one eye had been poked out by a poisonous snake. The poison from the snake happened to horribly disfigure the remainder of their body to look more like a small shetland pony than a human but they still force this child or older person or whatever to try and catch shit-balls. However, their supervisor/ball thrower is truly sadistic and actually tries to hit them in the face/genitalia. Then they get beaten up on the way home from work by the same three-legged chihuahua that steals the meager penny they earned for their hard days getting hit with shit-balls. Then when they get home they get a new disease from the plethora of infected wildlife with which they house in their rusty spike home. Then again, someone probably still has it shittier.

#22 Edited by Ares42 (2583 posts) -

Life is a subjective thing, not objective. Consider the fact that people that lived a few thousand years ago lived under circumstances worse than you can even imagine and yet most of them still had a will to keep on living. It's all about expectations and personal experience, not some universal measurement. Yes, we should be extremely happy considering all the luxuries we have in our modern lives, but since we've never experienced anything else we just expect that that's how life is. Following your logic you would spend every second of your life being overly joyous about everything in your life, as compared to the vast majority of people that has ever lived your life is heaven.

#23 Posted by wjb (1639 posts) -

The dude from Afghanistan sounds cool.

We live in a world where everyone wants to pretend like their life is worse than others, but it takes a lot to just listen and sympathize.

#24 Posted by audioBusting (1477 posts) -

The human mind is strange, but it would be stranger to think that people shouldn't feel depressed because other people have it worse. By that logic, only one person in the world at a given time should be sad.

#25 Edited by planetary (342 posts) -

Expected Lost Boys discussion, got depression.

#26 Edited by ch3burashka (5017 posts) -

It's called being a good listener. Also, it's called perspective - sure, the dude didn't have nearly as hard a time, but his experience has its own merits. I don't know how cool the Afghan guy would be if he went around telling everyone, "You got problems? That's nothing! Listen to my story!" Just because he had a hard life doesn't mean he can't be sympathetic.

#27 Posted by Zeik (2232 posts) -

Expected Lost Boys discussion, got depression.

That's deep, man.

#28 Edited by believer258 (11668 posts) -

The depressed guy is depressed because some part of him feels like he failed in life.

The immigrant is not depressed because he worked his ass off to greatly improve himself and is satisfied with his place in life.

Having your life handed to you on a silver platter does not preclude depression; in fact, it might make it even more likely. People who have anything they could ever want are simply expected to be happy and satisfied with their lives from the get-go, when the person might actually feel bad because they haven't actually achieved anything in life.

#29 Posted by Whitestripes09 (400 posts) -

Depression tends to effect those who never had the experience of something really traumatizing or generally having a childhood without difficult issues to face with. I remember reading an article about how current kids either in college or barely getting out of college in the U.S. tend to fall into depression due to how parents and society raise these kids by constantly making sure that they are rewarded constantly and don't "feel bad". Then all of a sudden once in college or getting out of college they realize what the real world is like and fall heavily into depression since they never really had the chance to experience that life isn't always great...

#30 Posted by SunBroZak (1026 posts) -

Expected Lost Boys discussion, got depression.

Bah, someone beat me to it.

#31 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Depression tends to effect those who never had the experience of something really traumatizing or generally having a childhood without difficult issues to face with. I remember reading an article about how current kids either in college or barely getting out of college in the U.S. tend to fall into depression due to how parents and society raise these kids by constantly making sure that they are rewarded constantly and don't "feel bad". Then all of a sudden once in college or getting out of college they realize what the real world is like and fall heavily into depression since they never really had the chance to experience that life isn't always great...

Yeah, I don't think so.

#32 Edited by planetary (342 posts) -

@planetary said:

Expected Lost Boys discussion, got depression.

Bah, someone beat me to it.

#33 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

Faces look ugly when you're alone

#34 Posted by thomasnash (539 posts) -

The depressed guy is depressed because some part of him feels like he failed in life.

The immigrant is not depressed because he worked his ass off to greatly improve himself and is satisfied with his place in life.

Having your life handed to you on a silver platter does not preclude depression; in fact, it might make it even more likely. People who have anything they could ever want are simply expected to be happy and satisfied with their lives from the get-go, when the person might actually feel bad because they haven't actually achieved anything in life.

It's also pretty difficult to feel positive about yourself if you've never had to properly achieve anything, I guess?

#35 Edited by Fallen189 (4941 posts) -

Depression is relative to the person suffering from it, not to those around them. I've suffered from major depression, but on the outside, I have a pretty sweet life. Different people deal with things differently. Not to say you're a bad guy, but next time, try to be a bit more empathetic towards the depressed guy. He'll probably appreciate the fact you care.

#36 Edited by Duskwind (141 posts) -

@simplexity: High parental expectations can cripple a child mentally, especially if he/she is more of the sensitive or insecure type.

#37 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Had to.

#38 Edited by falserelic (5333 posts) -

The atmosphere on this thread makes me feel despair..

Sadness can express our pain and make us feel grief for others, it just comes and goes as it please. A world filled with so much sorrow is a sad place to be...

#39 Posted by joshwent (2136 posts) -
#40 Posted by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

Yep, I fit into that weird category.

#41 Posted by SunBroZak (1026 posts) -
#42 Posted by Video_Game_King (36062 posts) -

@joshwent said:

And there's the theme for my new sci-fi novel. The world has cured depression by positively identifying the most utterly miserable person who exists. But what if he were to die?...

Some sort of list of people ranked by their suffering, updated periodically? This actually sounds like it could make for a decent story, at least in the right hands.

#43 Posted by Breadfan (6589 posts) -

@wattsiey said:

When youre a stranger

Faces look ugly when you're alone.

#44 Edited by BisonHero (6219 posts) -

@thehumandove said:

@whitestripes09 said:

Depression tends to effect those who never had the experience of something really traumatizing or generally having a childhood without difficult issues to face with. I remember reading an article about how current kids either in college or barely getting out of college in the U.S. tend to fall into depression due to how parents and society raise these kids by constantly making sure that they are rewarded constantly and don't "feel bad". Then all of a sudden once in college or getting out of college they realize what the real world is like and fall heavily into depression since they never really had the chance to experience that life isn't always great...

Yeah, I don't think so.

Well, someone already posted the song by The Doors, so I'll just chime in to say, yeah, whitestripes09 is oversimplifying things a lot.

#45 Posted by planetary (342 posts) -
#46 Posted by ThatFrood (3373 posts) -
@breadfan said:

@wattsiey said:

When youre a stranger

Faces look ugly when you're alone.

Women seem wicked when you're unwanted.

#47 Posted by SunBroZak (1026 posts) -

@sunbrozak said:

@planetary said:

@sunbrozak said:

@planetary said:

Expected Lost Boys discussion, got depression.

Bah, someone beat me to it.

Oh dear. I've opened the wrong can of worms, so I best submit before I go down this road. Good show, sir.

#48 Edited by StrikeALight (1114 posts) -

I agree with the OP. Does't make much sense.

#49 Edited by MrCaptain (364 posts) -

Have you ever complained about anything ever?

Well, now you know you cant.

#50 Edited by tourgen (4427 posts) -

well one guy feels trapped and mentally abused with little hope of escape or of things improving anytime soon. The other escaped an insane situation and probably feels pretty good about his future prospects.

Feeling like you have some amount of control over your future and hope for improvement and progress are pretty important things to feeling O.K. Feeling like the important people in your life recognize your value and extend you some degree of respect is also pretty important. Doesn't sound like this dude has either. Fuck yeah he's unhappy with his situation.