Depressive Realism and The Monster, Apathy

I have often said that depressed people see the world and its problems clearly. What causes the depression is a lack of hope or overwhelming fear.

It seems there is an actual name for my belief: Depressive Realism.


Reality Sucks by Gabrie Coletti on Flickr | Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Depressive realism is the proposition that people with depression actually have a more accurate perception of reality, specifically that they are less affected by positive illusions of illusory superiority, the illusion of control and optimism bias. The concept refers to people with borderline or moderate depression, suggesting that while non-depressed people see things in an overly positive light and severely depressed people see things in overly negative light, the mildly discontented grey area in between in fact reflects the most accurate perception of reality.” ~The Free Dictionary

I argue that even into deeper depression we see reality clearly, but again, lack hope. Delusional beliefs or illusions are hope and that’s healthy, but so is hard grounded reality. Problems aren’t fixed without looking the demon in the eye and then wrestling your angel (correct link to post coming soon) until you’re blessed.

I hate apathy. It is one step from seriously debilitating depression where my view is no longer depressive reality but taking on colors of pessimistic illusions ( ” It doesn’t matter, I don’t matter, things would be better off without me” etc), It is the last firm ground before plunging into the abyss. Apathy has weighed me down for a couple of weeks now…held me down like an older brother holds his younger brother down and threatens to loogy him.

Danger Due To Apathy by Michalis Famelis on Flickr | Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A ton of shit has been the reason I’m depressed but fighting to not fall over the edge is all that is left at my disposal. It was the knowledge that my ‘might-as-well-be-daughter-in-law’, J., has a four-inch benign tumor in the middle of her liver that tipped me over into apathy.

After having L.J., her son, my grandson, she was nagged at by a back ache. J.’s pretty reticent so when I was visiting I became concerned when she seemed in so much pain but covering it as best she could after being up off and on with the baby. She’s a tough Philly cookie. The pain had to be great for her to not be able to cover it.

She has surgery early Friday morning. I’m coming Thursday night so someone can be with the baby, allowing her mother, father and my son, S.P., to be with her at the hospital. We’ve spoken about it in text and I was fine until she typed “I’m scared” . That got me. J. is like one of my own to me. I never want her to feel fear. It’s a five hour surgery but she has a good surgeon from what I understand. Just the thought of her being afraid sends me over the edge into anxiety. I’m a little pissed at God, though I know that’s irrational. But, I mean, shit. They just had a baby. They are shifting and pulling on the new role of “Parent” and within two weeks or so of having this baby and new life….BAM…here you go kids, swallow this huge mother fucker of a reality pill.

Fuel by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay | Creative Comons License CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

Between the financial issues (which I know we all are facing in this fucked economy….don’t even get me started on it) and this, my anxiety is over the top. I worry about having enough gas to make it the week and get to Philly. I know God will make a way if I am open, but that doesn’t always quiet the scared kid in me. The rosary I made last week is helping immensely and knowing I’m going to see The Squishnin, otherwise known as L.J., makes me excited. Being able to help, to do something that actually impacts the situation has really lessened much of the nervousness.

The other night, on Twitter, during a week of my worst apathy, lethargy and sense of impotence, was a rip roaring hour of comedy between myself and two ladies. @GingerSnaap  and @Genevieve without even trying, made my evening one of the most enjoyable in a long time. If you’re on Twitter, follow these funny ladies with huge hearts.


When depressive realism sets in, find anyway possible to give hope and vanquish fear. Hitting it from all sides, physical (sleep, eat, take meds) emotional (find ways to laugh, hope and kick fears ass) mental (talk it out, rationalize and analyze how another angle may be being missed ) spiritual (or scientifically, however you believe or have faith ). Be with friends in between your solitude and really lose yourself in them.

We need to kick the monster Apathy’s ass.

I got an angel to go wrestle and a monster to vanquish.

See ya later, ‘baters.










  1. I had a motivational speaker once say that we are not defined by our roles “Mother, sister, brother, etc…” and we need to figure out who we are outside of other people. I think that’s bullshit and I think that being Lochlan’s grandmother is exactly what you need. We really don’t exist BUT in relation to others.


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