PubMed Health says: “Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with every day life or longer.”
WebMD says: “When you have depression, it’s more than feeling sad. Intense feelings of sadness and other symptoms, like losing interest in things you enjoy, may last for a while. Depression is a medical illness, not a sign of weakness. And it’s treatable.”
I will be referencing to the information I gather on these two sites throughout this series of entries on the topic of depression. I don’t want to make this like a research paper and bombard y’all with references…so! If you are interested in where the information is coming from more specifically, just google “depression” and links to PubMed and WebMD will be at the top of the page!
I’ve got a rough outline so far of how I’m going to talk about this with y’all…I kind of scribbled it down pretty quickly because I was eager to start discussing this! Definitely not an outline my college self would have been happy with lol:) I’m going to go ahead and kind of let y’all know how it’s going to play out…but it’s subject to change…and please forgive the roughness of the outline!
*My story (in summary)
*Are you depressed? (clinical, temporary, family history, etc.)
*Doctor and treatment (meds, alternative treatment, lifestyle, etc.)
*Stopped treatment and feeling depressed again
*Living with depression
Like I said…kind of rough! Throughout this entire thing, something I’m going to emphasize over and over is this: IT’S A PROCESS! Everything about depression from asking the questions to receiving the diagnosis to seeking treatment and every little step and moment in between is a process. The key, and something else I will emphasize over and over is this: DON’T GIVE UP!
I wanted to share this drawing because I feel like maybe this is how people feel about depression. I was inspired to share my thoughts, stories, and experiences about and with depression because of some recent discussions I’ve had. What started these discussions was an approach that started kind of like, “I need to talk to someone and I don’t know who to talk to.” Or “I am not good about talking about this with anyone…it’s hard for me to open up.” Or “I don’t know what others will think if I talk about this with them.” These aren’t direct quotes but rather a general summary of how we started talking about depression. I never felt like any of these people felt ashamed…but I wondered if maybe there was a subconscious feeling that neither the person nor anyone has ever been aware of with this medical condition! I also thought to share this drawing because of the sadness that I felt when I created it…my shame came from other actions that came from depression…but not depression itself. However, I wanted to have a visual for y’all of the depth of sadness that comes with depression…the feeling of solitude inside one’s self…the feeling of drowning in one’s own tears. As a person with depression, if you keep that inside you and don’t seek help…even if just starting a conversation with a friend…it will get worse and worse! My thought for today is this: BREAK YOUR SILENCE! Emerge from that solitude and lost place inside your mind and confront what you are feeling as the possibility of a medical condition! There is also the possibility that what you are feeling is temporary rather than clinical…but you still have to talk about it…you mustn’t keep it locked up. Whether it’s clinical or not, you cannot just “get through it!” You will have to seek help and treatment and again IT’S A PROCESS but DON’T GIVE UP!
I don’t want this first entry to get too long and wordy, so I’m going to begin wrapping it up. Next time I will tell you more about my own story and share a paper I wrote in college. Please don’t wait on me to write this all out if you are questioning whether or not you are depressed. Go ahead and call your doctor…start your journey towards treatment and feeling better…look to me as someone on the path with you. We are all in this together! As I continue writing about this medical condition, hopefully we’ll all learn something and feel motivated to take a proactive approach to depression. And remember:
BREAK YOUR SILENCE!
IT’S A PROCESS!
DON’T GIVE UP!