The Big Dark Elephant In The Room: Dealing with Depression and Mental Illness
There is an elephant in the room that no one likes to talk about. It’s called mental illness. It comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t care if you are male or female, old or young.
I’m a positive, see the glass half full type of person, but three years ago I was blinded sided by a flood of darkness that was so heavy I didn’t know if life was worth living. The simplest of tasks became a great effort. THANK goodness I didn’t give in to the brutal lie and fought through it. The bits of depression that I experience off and on have given me a small glimpse of what too many experience on a daily basis, and I can’t imagine dealing with it on a deeper level. I have had days I wanted to stay in bed curled up in a ball with the covers over my head and shut out the world until everything was all well. I know there are too many people that experience this in various degrees EVERYDAY.
I was somewhat surprised when I read the comments under a recent Facebook status that I had posted about back to back funerals of two very good friends. The comments quickly turned to the topic of depression and mental illness after someone posted about a loved one who had taken their life to end their fight with mental illness. It was clear to see there were a lot of people hurting from the effects of this ugly dark disease either directly or from it’s ripple effects.
I reached out privately to those who openly expressed they battled mental illness, I asked one mother if I could share her story. She bravely agreed in hope her story might help others. Thank you for being honest and real.
Life with depression
“My life is very different from others. I have a problem, or you could call it a disease it is called DEPRESSION. I am really good at masking it so that people don’t know what I go through however some days it isn’t that easy. Some days everything I do takes a huge effort; getting out of bed, making sure the kids are ready for school, going to work. It is truly very hard. Then I come home from my day and realize my job is still not done and I must fight to finish the day.
Depression comes and goes, some days it is really strong, and other days it is mild. The hardest thing with depression is the feeling of having to do this alone. If I talk about it then I fear people will stop being my friend because they don’t understand depression and don’t dare ask what it is like. I hesitate to tell people because I have been judged so many times because of it. I don’t want pity, or people to think I am crazy. You learn to keep it to yourself and stay in survival mode.
I am a strong person who struggles with feeling like I am not of worth and that I will not amount or do any good in my lifetime. The lowest time in my life was when my children were 21 months and I also had a newborn. I lay on the floor of my home curled into a ball sobbing and feeling that I am not worthy to be on this earth and nobody needs me. I cried as the thoughts hit me that I should just kill myself, I then thought I can’t leave my beautiful children. Then the thought was kill them and take them with you. How could someone that loves and adores children have a thought like that? I am grateful every day that I didn’t listen or do what the depression was trying to tell me was okay. My poor husband didn’t know how to help me. He had always been told that depression is all in your head GET OVER IT, It’s not that hard!
ONE DAY my husband and I were driving to his parents and he turned to me and said;
“I don’t know how to help you; we need to have you talk to the doctor.”
He FINALLY understood that I can’t control this. After seeing the doctor and determining that I have the same chemical imbalance as my mom, alas I needed to be on medication. This is not what I wanted to inherit from my mother, I wanted the gene that makes her an excellent baker not the depression gene! It was very hard for me to tell my other doctors that I was on meds for depression, until one doctor made the difference. He told me never be ashamed to say I have depression and need medication to help, just like someone who is diabetic needs insulin. I am grateful every day that he helped me see it that way.
I hope if anything comes out of sharing my story that it will be not to judge because you never know what someone else maybe dealing with. I am grateful for my children because they are what has kept me alive. I look forward to the day when I get to see my them get married and I become a grandma. My children are the positive in my life that helps me get through the darkness of depression. I am stronger because of this bump in my mortal life. Even with all the bumps in my life that I have faced and made it through I am thankful every day that my Heavenly Father sent me to earth with a 4-wheel drive so I can muddle over the bumps and come out on the other side.” ~an anonymous friend
I love hearing there is HOPE …
Dozens reported they had received help from medication, others from diet, exercise and supplements. Several were excited to tell me about a product that had helped them or someone they loved, called “EMPowerplus Q96″, a natural remedy found by a father, desperate to find a solution for his children who have mental illness, and not wanting to lose them to suicide like their mother and Grandmother. I was so intrigued by the article that I ordered the product! I am eager to try it, who doesn’t want greater mental clarity?
I would like to do several follow-up blog posts featuring YOUR story of over-coming, or successfully dealing with depression, mental illness, bipolar, etc…. By being open you help others. And in doing so, you discover life is good.
Autumn Stringham shares her experience with bi-polar disorder