Depression: It Is Real
Today has been a day that I think most people found to be pretty shocking. I have to say myself, when I read the news, it was nothing more then sheer shock. In the event you have not heard.. Robin Williams left the world today. He was an amazing spirit, comedian, actor and so much more. This post.. this post is about so much more than that. This post is about the evil and ugly thing called Depression.
Many people look at depression and think that it’s not real, or that people with depression should just be happy. It’s not that easy. You can have a very funny sense of humor. You can be loved by millions or by few. You can have no friends or millions of friends. You can have everything you want and then some.. or you can have nothing. None of that matters. Depression is very very real and it’s victims come from all walks of life. They can appear happy and be incredibly unhappy.
For years I suffered with depression. The first time was about a year after my first child was born. I was thrilled to have a beautiful, healthy, happy baby girl. I was thrilled to be planning a wedding to marry my best friend. Still there was this thing. I wanted to feel happy. I truly wanted to, but something inside me was dark and it was pushing to the surface. No matter what I did I was engulfed in this darkness and it would find it’s way into my happiness. I would smile and laugh through it in front of people, but deep inside I knew. I talked to my doctor and they gave me anti-depressants, but they never followed up. At some point I stopped taking them. No one knew and no one cared. The doctor never asked why I wasn’t calling for refills. I *thought* in my heart the depression was gone. I went on to have another child. Shortly after I had him I lost a very important role model in my life and I felt that darkness. I also had a very sick child that no matter what I did, the doctors refused to take note of the seriousness. It killed me that my child never slept.. He’d lost 2.5 pounds of his small birth weight of 7 pounds 7 ounces. He was down to 5 pounds 1 ounce and I decided I couldn’t watch this. He was going to be in serious distress. Nothing he ate stayed in his stomach. I took him to Children’s Hospital and while we eventually fired things out, emotionally that took a deep toll on me. Not knowing how to help my child was probably a very dark time in my life. I wanted to take his place. I was so afraid. I couldn’t lose my baby after this other traumatic loss. The depression grew deeper and deeper. I began to talk to the doctor about it again and was given the same anti-depressant I was on the first round. Part of the reason I stopped the medication was because I felt it wasn’t working. I’d told the doctor a few times, but he really didn’t seem to put too much thought in to it.. so neither did I.
That was 10 years ago. Since then, we’ve had out big accident, in which I suffered from PTSD and so much more. Depression engulfs me from time to time. It’s not every day, but it’s often enough. It’s hard. Depression is ugly. It really is. If you’ve never dealt with it, you can’t quite understand. You may think some of what I said above. I have so much to be happy about, how can I be sad. It doesn’t work like that. Depression is hard wired. It’s not because of something I have or don’t have. I go through periods were I am fine and then I go through periods that I feel the need to step back and look for a way to take control. I recently again stopped medication because I just don’t feel like it works. I think I need a new doctor, one who has a different outlook on the picture. I need to do that. I need to do it soon. Depression is very real. Depression can make you irrational and in a moment you can do something that is forever irreversible. Depression can cause death.
Please reach out. If you have depression, reach out to someone.. find someone who can relate. There are SO many people out there that CAN relate. I can relate. I would rather spend an hour talking to a sheer stranger then find out that depression won over yet again. I’ll close with one of my favorite Robin Williams quotes in his honor:
You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
– Robin Williams
Your spark is your light. It reminds you that you are not alone. Stay strong!