Got Depression?

“Kids your age who live in Iran. They should be depressed … not you!" I shouted


Got Depression?
by Siamack Baniameri

My brother called the other day. I was a bit surprised. We don’t talk much. Life has been busy and our relationship has been reduced to quick chitchats, consisting of a few words and not much content.  We sometimes go for months without talking. Dealing with kids, wives, demanding jobs, the in-laws, and everything in between, leave us both with no time or energy to keep the communication channels open.

He sounded stressed on the phone.

“What’s wrong?” I asked him.

“Well, you know, shit hit the fan with Kami. We got issues,” My brother said.

Kami is my brother’s teenaged son.  The kid is a bit strange and very shy. He is one them kids who wear only black and walk around in long trench coats and military boots. He scares me.

“Drugs!” I asked.

“No, he has not left his room in a week. He’s not going to school. He doesn’t talk to anybody.”

“Well, is there anything I can do?”

“Actually, yeah, come over. See if you can talk to him. He might respond to you. He always liked you.”

Shit! I was afraid he would say that. What the hell can I do? I can’t even talk to my own kids without getting in a big fight. I have a bad temper and I’m just not good at emotional bonding stuff.

“Are you sure? I mean, you think he will talk to me?”

“He might. I’m desperate.”

“How about the school counselor?”

“Nah, he needs family.”

“How about your wife? What does she think?” I asked.

“She thinks you’re an idiot, but what the hell does she know.”

“Okay, I’ll be there.”

I sort through different scenarios in my head as I drive to my brother’s house. What could be going on in Kami’s mind? How should I start the conversation? What if he is on drugs? What do teenagers talk about nowadays? What the hell am I doing?

My brother opened the door. He looked like hell.

“Thanks for coming over,” he said.

“Sure thing. So, where is he?”

“In his room. The room stinks. I can kill him. I swear I’ll kill all of ‘em, and move back to Iran.”

“Okay, take it easy.”

I knocked on the door. No answer. The door was unlocked. I walked in. He was in bed, motionless.

“Hey Kami. You okay, dude?”

“Don’t call me dude,” Kami said while laying there.

The room did stink. I looked around to find a place to sit. The only chair in the room was buried under a mountain of black clothes. I cleared the chair and sat down.


“Leave. I don’t wanna talk to you,” Kami said.

“Well, your parents are concerned. They wanna know what they can do to help.”

“Tell ‘em to leave me the fuck alone. And just to let you know: I never liked you. I think you’re a bully just like my dad. You guys are all a bunch of assholes.”

Well, the kid is honest. Gotta admire that. I pulled the chair closer to the bed.

“Listen, can I be frank?” I said. “Well, I never liked you either. I think you’re a spoiled brat who was given too much too early. You never earn your keep. That’s why you don’t appreciate your parents and everything they have done for you.”

“Do I look to you like I care?”

Under normal circumstances -- just about now -- I would do exactly what my dad would have done: I would have kicked his ass to next winter. But in this country, you can end up in jail for doing your parental due diligence.

“Just tell me what’s wrong. That’s all I’m asking.”

“I have depression, you ape. Do you guys even understand what that means? I hate my life and everything in it. I’m having a meltdown at age fifteen and it’s all my parents’ fault.”

Okay that did it. I can’t take this anymore.

“Depression!!” I exclaimed. “What the fuck ARE YOU depressed about?”

The kid slides back against the wall, startled. I guess I got his attention.

“I … I …”

“Depression my ass. Do you know who should be depressed? Huh?”  I shouted.


“Kids your age who live in Iran. They should be depressed … not you. Kids in Iran who put up with bullshit everyday of their lives. With outdated education system, with poverty, with no facility to exercise, with no prospect for better life, with no jobs waiting for them, with no chance to go to college, breathing polluted air every day, fighting off drug dealers on street corners, wondering if their parents can pay the water bill, freezing their asses off in cold classrooms with leaky roof, living in one-bedroom shacks with their seven other siblings. They would do anything to be in your shoes.”

“But, it’s a medical condition,” Kami shouted back.

“Get your ass out of the bed before I send you to the hospital with a real medical condition.”

“Make me.”

“You got it…”

I grabbed Kami by the shirt and pulled him off the bed. It got ugly after that. I tangled up with the kid and started chocking him. The poor kid turned blue.

“I’ll beat the depression out of you … you little shit. Think of me as the Iranian exorcist,” I shouted while tossing Kami around the room.

Few weeks later Kami was diagnosed with clinical depression and started taking medications accompanied by weekly sessions of therapy. I guess the kid was right. Though not entirely cured, I heard he’s actually doing better.

As for me, my brother has not spoken to me since and his wife has put a restraining order on me!

I don’t exactly know what made my brother think that I could handle this situation delicately. He knows that I’m my father’s son and like many hot-blooded Iranians, I too believe that every complicated life situation can be fixed with a good beating, which explains why we don’t have any depressed or gay people in Iran.


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more from Siamack Baniameri

Thank you for making me laugh!

by SaraA (not verified) on

Oh how I needed a good laugh. Brilliant!

Khodadad Rezakhani

Damn Funny Dude

by Khodadad Rezakhani on

I had not laughed at a story for a long time. The piece about the "Iranian exorcist" was superb, oh god Siamack, you're great...


A very nice subject and good

by Lefty Lap Poodle (not verified) on

A very nice subject and good storytelling indeed. I wish you write more on this subject because it is so real and applicable to many of us.

I am not sure if I should believe you when you beat him after he fessed up about his depression or not! I can see you (and me and others) capable of doing both depending on our mood and the situation.

The whole point is to get the boy/girl to fess up. After that the rest is up to you. As they say in Farsi, problem cho solve shod easy gardad!!


When I was 15-16 I had a

by friend~ (not verified) on

When I was 15-16 I had a girl friend who did not get along with her mother AT ALL!
There was always a kind of rivalry between the two of them.
Her mom used to call me the "aaghel" one and her the "khol o chel"- of course I was told this by my friend.
One evening her dad called me to go over to their house said there was something of great importance!
When I stepped into her room I saw 'S' sitting on the floor with a HUGE pile of tron up tissues in front of her, I could barely see her face, and her eyes were almost swollen shut from crying. She continued to take tissues out of the boxes one by one and tear them up!
Her dad was devastated.
He wanted to call a doctor to give her a sedative. (this was in Iran). Apparently she had been screaming her head off and all of a sudden she went dead quiet!
After initially pretending with me too, she finally whispered " I had to do this , there was no other way to calm things down around this house.
Now dad is on my side and mom has to leave me alone... or else I might just go berserk again!!"
It worked for a long time and by then many things had changed.

She turned out to be a wonderful kind daughter for both her parents in later years and has been taking care of them.
Teenage years are strange years!!--and sometimes so are parents!!


Use the rod and mend the child!

by Miny (not verified) on

.. when you beat something out something else gets in too...but you can get most people to think straight and STRAIGHT by helping them shake off unneccessary thoughts like somewhat....

and you too are honest Siamak..gotta admire that are really funny literally in literal sense...

its interesting to read about Shawnies and Ziadities of Kamis....

There is no cure for depression i guess....Kami will get cured as he gets older for sure...Adolescent years are tumultous....

Also these days children are becoming adults and adults are becoming children....equinox!


Unfortunately AW is right

by Souri on

Here is a link about it. Last update was in 2004 (I believe??)



American Wife

you are mistaken

by American Wife on

Corporal punishment is NOT illegal in the US.  I think it's absolutely ridiculous to say you have cognizant awareness at 4 years old. 

Marjan Zahed Kindersley

I have no idea what you are typing about

by Marjan Zahed Kindersley on

I have no idea what your intentions etc are. I don't know you from Adam nor Eve, for that matter.


I wasn't playing a word game. I was trying to find out what kind of logic, if any,is behind the correlation of "limits" and "control".


As for the legitimacy of my socalled "opinion", it's a legal fact that corporal punishment is punishable by law and a criminal act.

It doesn't hurt to inform oneself in the fields of child psychology and ethics, especially as a parent.


I know I am entitled to my opinions. I gave myself that right at the age of 4 as a conscious decision and inform myself as much as possible before forming one. It's really irritating to read something so silly.

I very rarely post here, as I have no time to waste. So, yes, let's stop posting after my lastwordteritis.


Child/ abuse pisses me off.


American Wife


by American Wife on

I'm not going to get into an discussion over child pschology because I'm not an expert.  And if you are not, then I suggest your opinions are just that... YOUR opinons.  I'm voicing my opinions.  You're certainly entitled to yours.  And I'm not going to get into a word game with you either.  I believe a parent should control situations regarding their children.  I believe parents should be able to enforce their expections via limits.  I can only speak for my experiences and what I believe the result to be.  I used the word "believe" in my statement.  Please don't assume my intentions as stating a fact.  Let's agree to disagree.

peace out

Marjan Zahed Kindersley

I realized that

by Marjan Zahed Kindersley on

especially about the "gay bit" being beaten out. He did however raise the issue. And admittedly, I went on and on, but I find it truly peculiar that this sort of barbaric behaviour not only goes on, but is condoned. (I was trying to edit my comment, but I'm techno-dippy...)


"Secondly, since you obviously have children yourself,...."


b) "My parents were strict and I absolutely believe that as a result of their strict CONTROL I am a better person. "

How do you know? Are you retro-psychic?


c)"I personally believe in corporal punishment. "

Luckily some sensible people have made this illegal and criminal. I'd have social services and the police on your back immediately.


d)"I'm not sure where you're getting some kind of harmful effect from
control but believe me, children need to know and understand limits. "


What do limits have to do with control? Exactly?




V Amusing

by KB on

Great post. This is what we are accustomed to from SB, wit, grit and a good dose of Iranianism. If I was reviewing this I’d give it 4 Stars.


American Wife

well, first of all

by American Wife on

I'm quite sure this article was mostly satirical so please don't jump on the child abuse wagon so fast.

Secondly, since you obviously have children yourself, you know of where we speak when we say that children DO need control.  Parents DO and should have the power.  I'm not sure where you're getting some kind of harmful effect from control but believe me, children need to know and understand limits.  I personally believe in corporal punishment.  If you don't, fine.  I was not BEATEN UP.  My parents were strict and I absolutely believe that as a result of their strict CONTROL I am a better person. 

peace out


Why the kids in Iran should be depressed?

by Urban Girl (not verified) on

Don't under estimate the teenagers who live in the same family level as Iranina families in North America (middle class and kind of educated, but not very rich).

I just came back from Tehran and met family and friends' teenage kids. Very well behaved, relaxed, provided with best schooling facilities and best electronic devices(cell phones, digital cameras, lap tops, ...). Some of the "bullshits" they have to deal with everyday are "What music to download in their cellphone (gooshi)" or "Which movie to watch" or "Where are we going to hang out today?"

The respect between parents and the kids is bothways and there is a very well understanding between them.

The problems you mentioned for Iranian kids, you can find them everywhere.

However, I enjoyed your story. It's the story of most of us parents with teenae kids.

Marjan Zahed Kindersley

American wife and Siamack

by Marjan Zahed Kindersley on

Please, use some logic, just because you were beaten up, doesn't make you a better person, nor a more intelligent one.

For one, you may have turned out better (whatever that means) if you hadn't been beaten up. There is no way of knowing.

Violence can't possibly a problem-solving device. Don't be surprised if the victim one day hits back, one way or another, including self-abuse. 'Seen it loads of times. It's really basic behavioural psychology.

The entire "reward/punishment" system needs to be changed.

And I truly find words like "control" and "power" etc., beyond primitive and barbaric.


Siamack. It depends on the dialogue of each cell and the combinations of communities of cells with its/their environment. So comparing one set of youngsters dopamine etc. levels with that of another thousands of miles away, isn't at all helpful. Not to mention the catastrophic amount of stimulant addicts in Iran....It's not as if they are hopping around like pink bunny rabbits.


Plenty of info on :

It's like saying "you can't possibly feel cold, because the North Pole is even colder".

(triggering mirror-neurons isn't always helpful, in fact at times even more damaging)


the more research they do, the more they seem to go back to the importance of excercise, especially during the teenage years the old endorphins etc...) and that a positive belief system acts as a fantastic placebo.


It also happens to be illegal to beat people and if I had been around I would have called the squads on the spot.


hoooorrraaah Siamack is back

by Nel (not verified) on

you're funny man, I'd given up hoping for you to reappear here
is this a prelude of a sequel to the Iranican dream?
very much hope so

persian westender

A very good post to read

by persian westender on

A very good post to read indeed! fluent and realistic…

You probably should be a pro-electroshock therapy for depressed individuals! It teaches the lesson in a way that patient would never think of depression again! :-)   




Siamack you rule!

by IRANdokht on

Nothing funny about depression or teenagers or corporal punishment, but you managed to make it fun just fine!

A pleasure to read as always


American Wife

that is the BEST thing

by American Wife on

I've read today... or this week.... or EVER.  Awesome to the max!

I don't understand why beating your kids is such a big deal.  I believe just one good beating a week would solve ALL our problems.  Honest to god... my dad would beat the crap out of us and when we tried to deny the offense, he would say "it doesn't matter... I'm sure there is something you've done that you didn't get caught for".

all joking aside.  There is a serious SERIOUS lack of parental control these days.  I'm guilty too.  Things HAVE changed and not for the better. 

A temper is a bad thing to have if you're a parent....believe me, I know how hard it is to control

Again, a great piece.


Music for Deaf

by Dr. A. Danesh (not verified) on

When Birds Stop Singing

There were
Six electric cables
Going over my head
And the pagans that you could count them easily
Were sitting in there
The birds kept coming and going
Over my head
Each time a new music note
Was written by pagans on cables over there
The guitar orchestra went for hours
Created by birds could be overheard
What was the title of their music?
Yes, it was about being polite & courteous
When you are before your dad

--Abol Danesh


We are in the same boat!!

by anonymous.... (not verified) on

...Oh, are you talking about my family? We are exactly alike :)

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

This is what I neded today!!

Only you can take a serious issue and "Iranicize" it this way.


As always loved it!

by Princess on

"...which explains why we don’t have any depressed or gay people in Iran." hahaha