How do you feel about "heroic" stories?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/4/2008 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
This is something that has been running around my brain today. I was wondering how other people who suffer from depression feel about "heroic" stories. What I am referring to, for example, is the amputee who completes a 50 mile marathon in thier wheelchair or the teenager who is dying from a rare form of cancer and inspires everyone around them and has 500 people show up at their funeral and talk about how amazing they are. And here I am feeling good about just getting up and taking care of the about feeling useless. I literally can't STAND heroic stories,,,,they always make my depression about a hundred times worse. I KNOW I KNOW I shouldn't compare myself to others but it happens. I know I am a monster for even bringing this up. Ohhh,,,and these people always have a huge, support network of family and friends cheering them on and helping take care of them. I KNOW life is a gift and that we should be thankful for every day of it but truth be told I don't like my life much these days and I am just getting through the days on automatic.

Parkinson's disease, depression, anxiety disorder

"If you pursue evil with pleasure the pleasure passes away but the evil remains, if you pursue good with labor the good remains and the labor is not wasted."

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 8/4/2008 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kevin,

Remember what you are dealing with is just as important as that amputee that you mentioned and the guy with cancer. We all fight our demons be it depression or anything else. It is hard. I like you have enough on my hands just getting up and getting dressed. But please don't become bitter. It just makes you feel worse. I have something that I would like you to read that I think will make you feel better about yourself. Go to this site:

The writing is called desiderata and it has been around since the 16th century. I think that you will find some solice there.

Hugs, Karen...

If you have trouble getting to the site with the address, just type in Desiderata in search and you will find it.

  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/4/2008 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Kevin...I agree with you 100%. I have the same reaction to those stories along with "inspirational" speakers. They make me feel resentful, not hopeful.

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 8/4/2008 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I really wish that you didn't feel that way.

I guess it is how it is presented, but I don't wish bad on anybody. I am happy when I see somebody succeed. I think in time, after you have been through enough in life you will see things that way too. Sometimes you have to walk a mile in a man's shoes to know what he is going through.

I wish you both well.

hugs, Karen...
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/4/2008 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,
I think that the majority of people that suffer from catastrophic incidents do not get the hype you are referring to but to resent the ones that have seems to make poor sense.  Remember we are not in their shoes and yes I have felt resentful myself. It is a human and natural feeling but let it come and then toss it away as it will serve no purpose to resent anyone.
They are the victims that bring to the forefront the need to carry on the special olympics to inspire others, they are the ones in the lime light and they are human beings just as we are.
That does not make their pain or loss less then ours. I am sure everyone here could find someone in the forums who has it worse then us yet here we are all equal and we care and support one another, no strings attached.

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/5/2008 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't get me wrong. I'm not resentful of everyday people overcoming the issues and problems presented to them in life. It's when those stories are intentionally wrapped in a heroic light and fed to me in a way that's supposed to inspire that I find objectionable. I think it's manipulative. Instead of inspiring me it either a.) makes me doubt their story or b.) makes me feel badly about how I've done less with more (of whatever the story is about).

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/5/2008 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   

Even in my depressed state I still can find inspiration and admiration in those who overcome adversity. After all, that is what we all are striving for. To overcome adversity. Whether the adversity is a physical deficiency or a mental illness the challenges remain.

I believe there is a knee jerk tendency for people to scoff at "heartwarming" or "heroic" stories. Those human interest stories on the news or those rare episodes of Maury that are not "You're My Baby's Daddy And I'll Prove It" are designed to show the best in people. The danger with these types of stories, I believe; is that they individuate us and indirectly place us on a lower tier. For those of us dealing with depression this can worsen our current state and make us feel like doggie doo doo.

Always remember that the media portrays those stories in the heroic light. That they place these individuals on pedestals. If you speak to any of those who overcame a major challenge I'm sure they will not look at themselves as heroes or special. They define themselves simply as people. As we define ourselves.

It doesn't matter how the media positions heroism or beauty or patriotism. Or how the media tells us to feel. Remember and be faithful to your true self. The greatest version of the grandest vision you hold of yourself.

We are all heroes and inspirational to each other.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

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