I suffer from Depression and PTSD. I was diagnosed with this three months after my husband passed away from cancer almost three years ago.
Before that I just had the Depression, but it was mild enough to work around with my artwork and reading. Taking a walk or listening to soothing music also helped to do the trick.
Due to grief over the death of my soulmate and a huge amount of unnecessary toxic family drama during and after my husband’s death, I began to withdraw. The crying would not stop. Sometimes it went on all day into the night. I distracted myself as best I could, but nothing seemed to help. I am very strong in my faith in God and my church, but still I couldn’t shake the overwhelming, debilitating feelings that would flow over me and through me like water. With that, suicidal thoughts.
I went to grief counseling, took the anti-depressants that my doctor prescribed and it took a bit of a edge of it. I didn’t feel like I wanted to curl up in my blankets and hide from the world, but I didn’t feel right either.
People do not understand those suffering from Depression unless they either have it themselves or they live with someone who fights with it. People think that those of us with this chemical imbalance are weird, crazy, to be avoided.
We are average individuals, most of us highly functioning members of society. Many of us have very high i.q.’s. Many of us hide our depression under the guise of the class clown, the joker, or the person who is always up and on top of things. We are chameleons and hide it very, very well. Many of us are highly creative individuals that look happy on the outside and are going through a war torn hell on the inside.
The reason I am talking about this is because it’s something that just doesn’t magically go away. I still suffer from it, despite having days even weeks of no problems. One thing which may seem completely insignificant to everyone can trigger it. It’s a domino effect and once the dominos fall, it’s difficult to stop them.
This was a very difficult holiday season for me.My husband and I got engaged on Thanksgiving 2009, after finally finding each other after 32 years. He was my high school love, and I his. We married on New Years Eve that same year. We had both agreed it was the best thing we ever did and we had 4 years of absolute bliss together until the cancer hit him. Why it has hit me so hard after this time, I’m not sure. But it did. I had to quit night school, my health was beginning to deteriorate from pushing myself and saying I’d get over it. I wasn’t.
I cried off and on throughout the season and opted to go to bed very early on New Year’s Eve after a sleeping pill and basically miss the celebration.
Yesterday was the birth of my first great-granddaughter. I was ecstatic! Big mile stone for her and me. And yet, 3 in the afternoon, the Big Nasty hit. I was able to finish work, barely, and stopped off at the store for the obligatory pint of Ben and Jerry’s on the way home. It got worse. I basically bawled hysterically all evening, got a blessing from the church missionaries, and finally was able to fall asleep after some NyQuil and about three movies. Three am, up again. I played video games until I could fall asleep once again at 4:30. I slept late and went to work at 7:45 (I’m usually there by 7:30 am). It was triggered by not having my husband, Terry, here to see the new Great Grandchild. We’d had a playful bet going as to who would be the first of us to become the Great-Grandparent (we had children through different marriages).
This is not a pity party about me. This is what a lot of us go through who fight with this. I am at work writing this right now. I smile and greet everyone. I will function and get my work done today by focusing. But the Depression is still there. You will never know it to look at me. None of my co-workers really do, except one.
I write to make you aware that we’re just like you. I am writing to let you know that we are not loony tunes that need to be locked away. I am asking you to understand when we cry for help or when we need space.
I am writing to take some of the stigma off of us, bring it all into the light, so that you can understand us. Don’t write us offas hopeless nut jobs that you shake your head and turn away from.
We’re your bosses, friends, co-workers, boy scout leader, mom, dad, teacher, celebrities, sister, brother, grandma or grandpa. We are no different than you, but we have a disorder.
That’s all. Let’s stop the silent suffering because of stigma so we can stop losing those we love due to the despair that is Depression.
If you have it, get help. There are great therapists and groups out there. Please do not turn to alcohol or drugs to get rid of the pain. It won’t work. Working through it will. If you are suicidal, please speak out. We don’t want to lose you. There are those of us out there that understand.
Please discuss this with your family, friends, clergy, and most importantly your health care provider!
For more information on Depression, please go for more information :
Thi is the National Institute of Mental Health.
If you are contemplating Suicide, Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Here is their number: Call 1-800-273-8255
Make the call, save a life…even if it is your own.