Writer’s Note: This is from a time when I was a patient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM). I was there because of a spinal cord injury and did therapy with them for about 2–3 months.
There’s very few memories I have from rehab but this is one of them. It struck me as odd because I never once thought it myself.
There I was, sitting in my bed, and in comes the nurse. I can’t recall the reason. But I believe she came in to drop off some medicine for me to take. And we didn’t really make conversation but she felt inclined to tell me, “you’re depressed.” When she said that to me, I sort of laughed in my head because why would she even think that? I know I tend to give off a sad look sometime but it’s hardly how I feel. She probably mistook that and thought, “he looks sad, so he must be depressed,” because I was in therapy for an injury that could leave me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
One traditional hypothesis of depression is that people who are depressed have a deficiency in monoamine neurotransmitters in the body, which leads to low levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norephinephrine in the brain. But growing evidence supports that at least some forms of depression may also be linked to ongoing low-grade inflammation in the body.
No matter the situation, I don’t think for a second I could claim depression because of it. It’s not denial neither. I just don’t really believe that my circumstances are that difficult to the point I mentally can’t function. Don’t get it twister neither. When other people say they have been through depression or have depression, I’m not denying that those people aren’t battling something unreal. All I’m really saying is there’s no amount of depression in me that would lead me to claim that. It’s almost laughable for me to think I am.
I’ve always been the type who could look on the bright side of things, even when times were rough. I felt that being in a depressed wasn’t healthy nor productive in any way. A waste of my energy. And to think back on that moment with the nurse, it’s unreal for me. Never in my life would I say that about myself. I have my moments of course, but I’m taught a certain way. I get it from years and years of playing basketball. That constant push when you’re feeling tired from running suicides all damn day. The struggle. You know it’s for a reason — for accomplishment.
Depression is a physical illness which could be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, scientists suggest
Dr Alan Carson, Reader in Neuropsychiatry, at the University of Edinburgh, said: “All psychiatric and neurological disorders are based in brain and brain is not static but structurally and functionally responsive to a range of biological, psychological and social issues.
I think it’s hard to have feelings of depression and feelings for power at the same time. I want more for myself. Because of that alone, I couldn’t feel what others say they feel. I wouldn’t allow it. And this has nothing to do with new age law of attraction stuff neither. It’s a survival thing that I feel. To think of myself as a depressed person in my opinion would be counterproductive. Are there people who strive for something, but also have depression? Yes, I think those people exist. With me I just have more that I want for myself and being depressed wouldn’t serve my interests. I wouldn’t give it the energy. No thought whatsoever. I’d rather put those thoughts toward my mission that I set for myself all those years ago.
I can only be in a state of power to realize that mission. And as I look back and think of that nice nurse, I’d say she had it wrong about me. I wasn’t depressed. I was in thought. Focusing. Determined. I was wondering to myself, “how the fuck am I going to do this?” Whatever I was, I was going to figure it out no matter how long it took me.