I am re-posting this due to some recent events that I have no information about other then to say we must have preventative measures in place within the schools and community centers. There should always be measures in place to raise awareness about depression, bullying, drug use and any other malady that affects people of all ages.
A lot of people say they are depressed because their favorite team lost, the weather is bad on an off day from work or a piece of clothing does not fit the way it once did. They throw around the term “Depressed” casually.
“I am so depressed!” They say out loud to whomever is around them.
“What’s wrong?” One would ask.
“Just bummed out because I couldn’t get to see the Tom Hanks play.”
In your mind you are thinking – bummed out is not being depressed. Bummed out is when something specific effects your mood. Depressed is when everything seems to be falling apart.
I have been depressed in my life. I don’t say I suffer from depression, I say I have learned to live with it. Learning to live with depression is not something that comes easily. I went to therapy for around 20 years of my life and it was not until I was around 30 years old that I found the right therapist who was able to treat me.
Since then, I have learned to accept this feeling of darkness – this claustrophobic attack of the mind, body and soul.
My level of depression is not at a dangerous level. But for others they are not as blessed.
I know a lot of people who suffer from depression – and when one is suffering from depression they rarely will be the kind of person to shout it out from across the road. They are usually the ones going through the motions of life avoiding the spotlight lest they be found out.
Or they are the ones who are staying out late, shopping all the time for new toys or clothing, redoing their homes or buying expensive cars. Trying to light up the darkness – but unbeknownst to them you cannot light up a dark arena with a candle. The claustrophobic armies will attack and they will prevail. An expensive car can only go so far in lifting ones chemical imbalance. Boots made with the finest leather and craftsmanship in the world have nothing on the power of depression.
People need to finally understand that a bad mood sometimes is more than just a bad mood. People who are around the depressives usually cannot understand why they just cant “Snap out of it!” or “Stop being such a downer!”
Depression comes in many shades of blacks and blues – “anxiety attacks” and its older brother “panic attacks” can lead to a feeling of restlessness which can cause someone to lock themselves away forever. To hide away as if to avoid revealing the part of oneself they deem ugly or weak.
“Relax!” they are told – “Tell me whats wrong!”
The problem with these admonitions is that – we cannot “Relax.” and we do not know what is “Wrong.” We just know the walls are closing in on us and we need to run to stand still.
Some people will self-medicate with alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana but this just exacerbates the problems. When you have a bullet wound you cannot cover it with a band aid and hope for the best.
Depression is a bullet – and until you are able to recognize the issues of this disease you will never be able to avoid the darkness or escape from the room with the walls closing in.
The good news? (I know people who are depressed tend not to want to believe any good news but there is some good news.)
Its treatable and the treatment will help you see the world in more colors then the blacks and the blues you have decorated your life with.
Cognitive therapy combined with medication can work wonders as quickly as one session with the correct therapist.
Parents, spouses, friends, siblings and anyone else who witnesses this depressive behavior must be able to communicate patiently and point the sick in the right direction to help.
Just like any disease the correct direction is a Doctor who can help determine the extent of the depression.
Until then you need to be able to not try and “Fix” the moods. Just tell them you are there – hold them, let go when you are asked – be patient. By being proactive and helping the depressed person know that you are there – no matter what or where – that is the best you can do.
I do not have the answers – but there are Doctors who do – do not hesitate to contact a Doctor ASAP. It can never be too early to confront this disease. Unfortunately and we should never know from it – it can be too late.