Perception is a very difficult thing. Speaking to my ‘normal’ friends, it can seem they get perception of others screwed up in their heads, so to encounter perception difficulties as a Depressive is doubly troublesome. As human beings everyone observes other people, and I have found that this is mainly because we measure ourselves against what others look like, act like, feel like. Maybe it’s an empathy thing, or maybe it’s just as simple as wanting to fit in.

I’ve found that when people openly and loudly voice ‘OMG look at the state of that’ or some such similar comment, it isn’t because they have anything against that person, or particularly anything to do with what said person looks like, but actually it’s a reflection on them. They don’t want to look like that, they are in fact screaming out ‘Do I look like that? Me, me me.’ It’s an inwardly critical comment. Same with people pointing out fat people, or suchlike. It’s because the person who’s making the comment has been conditioned that fat = bad, so therefore they have an innate fear that if they are fat no one will like them so they openly criticise others they consider to be in that category, almost as a reminder to themselves so that they never end up like that.

Being a larger lady myself, I have often been involved in conversations where people have criticised me, and i’ve turned around to them and asked them why they feel it necessary to say such things. Not in an agressive manner but in a questioning way. Most people do not know. And when you actually openly discuss with them, they admit it’s not actually anything to do with me, but their perceptions. In fact, many have then said they admired me, wished they had the strength to just ‘be’ without caring what others think. Funny thing is I do care what others think, like every normal person on the planet. But that’s a double edged sword too. Just ‘being me’ and not caring what others think is another perception. Like being fat and allowing myself to walk the world is ‘not caring what others think’. Interesting.

Anyway. My point is, you can perceive whatever you want to perceive in others actions and lives. People rarely live their lives 100% bared to the world. How do you know what is bubbling away in their psyche unless you’re psychic? I’d say stop trying to second guess others and if it really bothers you what they’re thinking, just ask. Isn’t that the key to communication? If it’s tough for those without mental illness, then it’s doubly tough for those with mental illness, and that’s why I developed the ‘just ask’ methodology. It is difficult. Don’t get me wrong it takes courage, but after the first few times, it gets a lot easier. And with the answers forthcoming, paranoia disappears to a great extent. There’s less bad thoughts whizzing around your head, as you’ve heard the answers from the horses mouth!

So, when you look at others, perceiving they have the perfect life, the perfect 2.4 children, the perfect family, the perfect figure, the perfect job, the perfect whatever, is this really the case? Are you just seeing what you want to see? Projecting your ideals on the other person? Is the grass really always greener? I would say not. Why do you hold such ideals so highly anyway? If there’s something bad in your life then change it? If it can’t be changed, then learn to deal with it? As with Depression it can’t be changed, but it most definitely can be dealt with.