4.28.2005

"I'm Depressed!" Support Group

I was pacing the halls on my way to the doctor's office last week when a poster on a bulletin board caught my eye.

It was for a "group" that meets on the first Thursday of each month at a local hospital. It was a support group for people with Depression. Although I am sure that the brainchild who thought of this concept has the BEST of intentions, like, what on earth?

Okay, if I am depressed? I can't make it to the mailbox. Forget making it to some group, downtown, where I have to navigate traffic and parking and perhaps even (wah!) shower and look decent. All to hang out with OTHER DEPRESSED PEOPLE who will probably bring me down even further.

And if I'm not depressed? I'm trying to get everything done before the next depression hits. I don't think I want to hang out with depressed strangers who may be stepping on my short term buzz.

What do their group conversations sound like?

[Cut to impossibly perky first year social worker intern with sassy haircut]

FYSW: Hi everybody!

Group: Mumble, mumble, mumble.

FYSW: Welcome to the General Hospital Depression Support Group! Tonight, we're going to discuss how you feel! Okay?! So who wants to go first?

Group: Half stare vacantly at her, half stare at the floor.

FYSW: Um, okay....I'll just pick someone. Bob? Could you tell us a little about how you are feeling today?

Bob: I'm, um, depressed.

FYSW: And....

Bob: and....despondent.

FYSW: Good word Bob! Did you catch that everyone? Bob is feeling depressed AND despondent. Let's hear it for Bob.

Group: Mumble, mumble, mumble.

Yes, someone out there is a marketing genius. I think it would be better to recreate this thing as a GAME SHOW with FABULOUS PRIZES that you get for answering questions about BEING DEPRESSED. That would certainly motivate some of us. Or make time there a little more...productive.

Host (FYSW): Hello everybody! And welcome to "Sucks to Be You!", the fabulous new game show for depressed people!

Contenstants: Mumble, mumble, mumble.

Host: Okay, Player One. I am thinking of an anti-depressant that is also an anti-smoking drug. I am thinking of....?

P#1: Wellbutrin.

Host: Excellent! Do you want to advance to the bonus round?

P#1: Whatever.

Host: What famous politician referred to his depression as "the Black Dog"?

P#1: Um....

P#3: I think it was Winston Churchill.

Host: Winston Churchill is RIGHT! Johnny Pardo! Tell Player #3 what she's won!

Johnny Pardo: You have won a year's supply of Little Debbie Snack Cakes! A light box! The chance to get a hard time from your insurer regarding payment for your meds! AND! THE RIGHT TO FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF ALL DAY!!! Because...IT SUCKS TO BE YOU!

P#3: Thanks. Can I lay down now? I'm really tired.


Now THAT?! That is something I would drive downtown in my pajamas to go to...