So how would aliens react finding out about mental issues like depression?
That’s actually a really interesting question!
One that I’ll have to quickly research before I write out this scenario.
Xylion was examining some books he found lying around Human Jenny’s cabin. Yes, he was technically stealing them from her, but he was very interested in what humans were like. Seeing as he had recently experienced the terrifying things known as Grand Theft Auto V, he had to find something redeemable.
Human Jenny had mentioned she was an Anthropologist, and when he questioned what that was, she said it was the study of humankind. He had to hold back his comment about how self-centered humans were if they had a job to study their own species.
So far, none of the textbooks revealed anything interesting. He saw some stuff about history, but chose to leave it alone. He had heard humans had a long history of wars and perils, so maybe that wasn’t the best one to look at.
The next one was all about the Human Brain. He flipped through it a bit, but found nothing of interest. Who would want to know how human brains work?
The last book he found was labeled ‘Mental Disorders’. He frowned. He knew mental meant mind, but disorders? Was something wrong with human minds?
He grabbed the book and opened it. However, before he could begin reading, he heard the voice. “And what do you think you’re doing?”
Xylion almost began to secrete mucus again. He turned around slowly to see Human Jenny. Her eyes were narrowed and her cheeks red with anger. Xylion felt his tentacles begin to quiver. “Ah, Human Jenny! You’re- uh- hello! How is your day?” He asked, dropping the book so he wouldn’t ruin it.
Human Jenny grimaced at the phlegm that began to cover his arms. “What are you doing in here, Xylion?” She asked, crossing her arms.
“I was simply looking at your books! I wanted to know more about humans.” Xylion saw no point in lying. His species was known for doing what was always best.
A grin spread across her face. “You could’ve just said so! I know all about humans! Not only am I one, but it’s my job to study them! Now, what do you need to know?”
Xylion was shocked at her sudden change in demeanor, but he took it as a pleasing from Xalzor, the primordial god from his planet. Xylion looked down at the book he had been interested in. “What are ‘Mental Disorders’?”
Human Jenny’s smile seemed to droop slightly. She made some weird noise that sounded somewhat like a cough. “Well, Mental Disorders are problems that affect humans’ mental, physical, and/or emotional wellbeing.”
“So, they are weaker than the average human?”
“No! Not at all! Each issue affects a person in different ways, though they all have similar problems that come with them.” Human Jenny reasoned.
Xylion frowned. “Like what?”
Human Jenny picked up the book and flipped to a random page. “Here, this is one that affects a lot of people in this day and age: Depression.”
“‘Depression’? And what is that?”
“Well, have you ever experienced sadness, Xylion?”
He had to think about that. “Yes, one time when I was younger my brothers played a crude joke on me that ended up with me believing that I was useless. Of course it was all in good fun and I learned that eventually, but I was quite sad until then.”
“And how long did it take for you to realize that?”
“About a day or so.”
Human Jenny sighed. “Well, imagine that you are feeling that sadness for weeks and months on end. It’s never ending. Joy isn’t something that really seems real to you. It’s like the world around you is faded and everything just seems to bounce off of you. Even when you’re doing something that used to make you happy, all you feel is this sense of overwhelming sadness waiting right around you.”
Xylion blinked. “Is that…curable?”
“Yes. With pills, it can sometimes help. Not only that, but psychotherapy helps too. Most people get better.”
“And those that don’t?”
Human Jenny hesitated with her answer. She sighed, looking down. “Let’s just say they all have different ideas on what to do then.”
Xylion frowned at the cryptic message. He was confused. What did happen to them? What did they choose to do? Before he could ask anything else about it, human Jenny was already flipping through the pages.
“Schizophrenia.” She murmured, looking down at the page. It was filled with colorful images. Xylion frowned.
Human Jenny looked up at him. “Schizophrenia is a disorder that gives the victim auditory, visual, olfactory, an/or tactile hallucinations. People with this issue often see things, hear things, smell things, or feel things that aren’t there. The cause of this isn’t understood, and it often includes lifetime treatment.”
Xylion shook his head. “That’s horrible. How do people endure that?”
“Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.”
Great, more vague answers. Xylion was getting sick of it, honestly.
Human Jenny sighed as she opened up another page. “Let’s see…Anxiety.”
“But…most humans have this disorder! Human Isaac often talks about how anxious he is! Is that not the same thing?”
“Yes, all humans experience anxiety, but it’s when it starts interfering with our daily lives that it becomes something serious. One example of anxiety is the Panic Attack centered anxiety. These panic attacks can do different things, though some of the things that can occur during them are: muscle tension, poor concentration, fear or confusion, the inability to relax, etcetera.”
Xylion was shocked, yet again. “How do humans deal with this sort of thing?”
Human Jenny shuffled nervously before standing up. “Well, most people take pills to help them calm down and such.” Human Jenny began to rummage through a bin as she talked. “They take these pills to help keep them calm. Mainly because they fear dying in these situations, often feel discomfort, feel like they’re choking,” Human Jenny’s voice was fading now, “shortness of breath,” her breathing was getting raspy now, and Xylion was getting even more worried, “and others things.” She finished, coughing slightly.
He watched as she pulled out some orange container and opened it. Two white tablets fell into her palm and she pressed it against her mouth, letting the pills go in. He watched as she took her hand away and got a drink of water. As she swallowed the pills, she seemed to visibly relax. Xylion stood up. “Are you okay, Human Jenny?”
Her head hung slightly. “I’m alright. I just suffer from Anxiety, ya’ see? Sometimes when I talk about the different affects it has on us humans, I freak out. I’ll be fine, though.”
“Does anyone else aboard suffer from these disorders?”
Human Jenny nodded. “We’ve all had a problem sometime in our life. We aren’t exactly kids, you know?”
Xylion shuffled nervously. “What happened?”
“Well, Isaac has insomnia.”
“And what is that?”
Human Jenny sighed. “Well, insomnia is a sleeping disorder. It makes it so the person affected by it has trouble sleeping soundly at night. he has to take pills to help him fall asleep, otherwise he can’t sleep at night and won’t function as well in the mornings.”
Xylion looked down. He had never noticed this before. “And the others?”
“Well, Freddie’s been struggling with Depression ever since he lost his girlfriend in a shooting, and Mason has PTSD.”
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was in combat back on earth and he saw a lot of death. He watched his friend’s die, and that’s not something you can easily bounce back from.”
Xylion looked down, sadness filling him. Just the knowledge that his fellow crewmembers went through this on a daily basis was saddening. He frowned. “How come you were all sent up here then?”
“Well, Isaac can take pills for his Insomnia and I can take pills for my Anxiety. Freddie also takes pills, and because I have a degree in Psychology I am able to be his therapist, which is the person that can help him through it. And Mason is mostly over his. He occasionally gets nightmares, but he’s mostly gotten over his PTSD. He’ll never be completely over it, but he can function without having an episode on a normal day-to-day basis. Sometimes it hits him, and it’s only happened once since we joined your crew.”
Xylion sighed. He gently put a tentacle on her shoulder and wrapped it around her, pulling her to him. “I’m so sorry you all have to deal with this. If I could help you, know I would.”
When human Jenny pulled back, her face was red. She nodded quickly. “Yeah, whatever you say, Xylion.”
Xylion smiled down at her. He realized something that day.
While they looked weak, humans were always fighting a war. They were always battling the inner problems. Even fi they looked fine, a human wasn’t always as happy as they seemed. He’d take that lesson to his grave.
So what’d you think?
I did my best to write this part, because it is a huge part of our society. Anyways, if you want to learn more about different mental issues, then click here. I did my best looking up each one that I used and tried to portray it as closely as possible. Sorry if I didn’t do that good of a job.
Anyways, if you ever feel like you need some help with something, know I could be there to help you.
And I hope you enjoyed this, Anon! It took me a bit to write this and research it, but I think it was worth it!
It was especially long because my dad kept through those little poppers at my brother and my sister keeps showing me those anime crack videos, but who cares, I’ve written in worse environments, I think.
And goodbye! See you in the next Humans are Weird post.