For centuries, depression has been marginalized all over the world. Everyday desperately sad people are told to put their chin up and think happy thoughts. This is not Peter Effing Pan, people. I live it everyday. I have a team of medical professionals, friends and family who are committed to making sure I don’t fall into the abyss. It gets better, it truly can. But not until you take the steps to get help. Nobody but you can do that. I do it because I love my life. My kids, husband, family, dogs, friends, and so many other things are worth getting out of bed for. The first step is always the hardest.
You are not alone. Here are some facts on depression worldwide.
- Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
- More women are affected by depression than men.
- At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
- There are effective treatments for depression.
Source WHO Fact sheet N°369
I have had two members of my family lose their lives to the worst affect of depression. I have been on the edge too many times to count. The good news is there is treatment. There are so many options now, it’s tremendously exciting. We are on the verge of a new breakthrough in medication. therapists have a whole new tool box to help you through you struggle.
Depression is a medical condition. It can be situational or chronic. The only way to know for sure is to talk to a professional. Stop pushing it off as “as soon as we get through [fill in the blank], I’ll feel better. You don’t know that for sure. One of my family members was heartbroken after a breakup with his longtime love. He made a choice that was a cry for her attention to show her how sad he was without her. Now he is gone forever. Now she has to carry that in her mind forever.
If you had diabetes, you would take insulin. If you had an ear infection, you would take penicillin. Society has made mental illness separate from other ailments for too long. Let’s stop that trend. Treating depression helps everyone around you. Talk therapy helps you recognize triggers and how to make it through each day. Medication can ease you symptoms and let the sunshine in your head again. Faking happiness will not make you feel better, either.
Here are some symptoms:
- Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Reduced sex drive
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Source: Mayo Clinic
If someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, speak up. Offer to take the kids for a day so she can go to the doctor. Make meals for the family to lighten her mental load. But most important, say “I think you may be depressed. Have you seen a doctor lately?” Do not let it pass after one comment. Keep that person under your watch. Mention it to his/her significant other. This is one case where nagging is helpful when done in a kind way.
In closing I want you all to remember this:
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.
Source: What Is Depression? NIMH