The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Stigma: Depression is not a choice

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2018 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 498 times Debate No: 106576
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
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As some of you may know, for years I have suffered from depression, isolation inflicted social anxiety and ocd, due to childhood emotional negligence, family alcoholism, and peer group rejection.

Next month I'm at set to attend my first group therapy session with fellow people in need of counselling, but until that the these (nearly) 22 years of my life have been numb and lonesome. I simply don't know how to connect and form relationships.

I want to discuss this issue with someone against mental health to get a better understanding on why this is so stigmatised so much. I feel people just view it as laziness and 'not wanting to work', that's certainly the view from family. I've been on antidepressants for 4 months now, and they have hardly show any compassion. To make things worse they did not attend my graduation last year and banned me from my young cousins birthday party cos of these differences in opinion. It's a strange disease because it thrives on arguments and isolation.

Rules- Mutual Respect, no contempt or hate
Debate can extend in comments section with others
R1 is just acceptance and maybe a brief intro about Con, it may help if you address your political alignment in relation to your accounts. I'm centre leftish, I scored quite similar to Gandhi on an online political alignment test.


Okay, I just want to make it clear first-off that I am new, and I just wanted something to do at the time being so let's please keep this a calm debate. (By the way, I'm twelve so please don't start bringing super complicated things into this as well.)

I know depression is a very hard thing to go through, and sometimes the person that has it can feel as if they don't even belong in the same world, but depression can be a choice. Now don't get me wrong, it is not a conscious decision to be depressed in such a way, but there are conscious decision to cope. I guess I just proved your point a little, huh? Anyway, depression may not be a choice when it begins, but you can choose to change. I know you might say something like, "well I just can't connect with people" and maybe that is true. You might feel isolated, and that you aren't important in any way, but just think of this. Change that one way you think. I'm not asking you to become a different person, but change that part of your head that tells you nothing matters. You CAN choose to try and change your life. And you CAN choose to try and change the way you think about yourself. If you just try that, I promise you will feel a difference.

And sorry if some of that was irrelevant, but I just got into this and I don't know anything about your particular situation.
Debate Round No. 1


I see where you are coming from, but this is were things get tricky. What you are implying (choose to change) takes years, even decades for some to manage. Its not that we don't want to change, allow me to provide personal anecdotes. When I attended my GP counselling session few months back, she highlighted that people hardly ever come to counselling for depression, that is how it is to address. I believe in order for one to change this hardwired disease ( depression is classified as a disability), one needs to accept counselling, master self discipline, education, and self-awareness. Again for some, that may take forever, definitely not overnight.

I mean for me I wouldn't say my depression is critical, severe yes but not suicidal. My issues don't even compare to those who suffer from PTSD, rape-physical abuse etc.

Ever since primary school, I have felt like a voice trapped inside a body, that's what best describes depression. I constantly get ill due to poor coping mechanisms, and have a terrible immune system. Its easy to say I need to control my diet*, and exercise more. However normal people experience a buzz when exercising, not me. I instantly feel more depressed after the initial endorphin rush, its as if i'm unable to experience positivity. Depression is so energy sapping that it simply can not be a choice. In other words, I can choose to fight and overcome it or accept it and continue living in misery, but I definitely can not control the root cause of it, ala it chose me first, as you already noted.

The problem I have with society, is that no one is willing to address such as an epidemic, media hardly ever promotes it. that's the stigma aspect.

*- Because of my issues, I think in black and white/ all or nothing. I eat a lot of pizza or pasta bake for comfort, otherwise I have been a vegetarian, have not even crisps and chocolate for 5 years in order to prevent myself from binge eating as I used to, This brings me back to poor coping mechanisms, if it is not pizza, its porn, if not porn, then caffeine-sugar, just something that blocks painful emotions. This aspect of depression is the hardest to master, overcoming poor coping mechanisms requires you trust people, and as mentioned depression thrives in isolation.

Jonlee pointed out a very interesting observation about me in one of our debates, he said "I like to be in a losing position, it gives me power", that sums my condition perfectly. Its a sort of inferiority/god complex at the same time.

Anyone is welcome to add their thoughts in the comments section, don't worry about my feelings, i want to understand the stigma completely, just as long as you don't hate crime, cos I can go off on a tangent quite easily.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by bookworm-debator 3 years ago
Okay, now I kind of get where you are coming from, and sorry I missed the second round. I see that you can not necessarily choose to have these mental reactions, and I feel that you have been doing relatively good compared to other people. I also think that it would be best if you were to try and maintain good habits, so you could possibly deal with the mental root. You seem to think that you can not deal with the root of this, and that may be true, but maybe finding your own positive ways to cope with this may help. I know that something like that would not be easy, and would definitely not be an overnighter, but I think you could try to change it. ( Sorry if any of that was contradictive, but I don't know much about this subject.)
Posted by philochristos 3 years ago
I would debate you, but I don't want to make you feel bad. Besides, my only real position is that depression is not necessarily a choice, but it can be.
Posted by Ezpresso 3 years ago
Of course, it isn't a choice, people can't choose their mental and emotional state, nor can they decide the up-bringing they have nor the things that they experience
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