Friday, June 24, 2016

Depression


It is not easy for me to "own" my story and share it, but I do not want one person to feel alone or ashamed about their depression.  I have struggled on and off with depression for most of my adult life.  It wasn't until recently that I realized that a number of my dear friends have struggled with depression at some point in their life as well.

My first diagnosis came right after college.  Since then, I have been on some form of medication.  I have seasons that I try to go without it, but usually that dark cloud seems to find its way back to me.

My depression is not circumstantial.  I have a loving husband, two beautiful children, great family on both Clint and my side and the sweetest friends a girl could ask for.  We have a beautiful home and live a good life.  It is just that every once in a while, a season will come upon me that makes it almost painful to get out of bed.  I just want to go back to sleep and not wake up for hours.  My mind says, "You are not needed today......the world will go on just fine without you."  But, I drag myself out of bed, put one foot in front of the other and go about my day.  Usually, If I can get out the door, I perk up and I am fine for the day.  Most people are shocked to hear that I struggle with depression, as I have a fairly happy personality.  At my worst, I just stay in.  I cancel plans.  I "lay low".  I do my very best to keep my girls happy and entertained.  It is not hard to love them or Clint when I am depressed, but it is hard to love the world and get out in it.

I often struggle with the fact that I am a strong Christian and I still struggle with depression.  I pray every day.....I have a quiet time of a devotional and music most mornings.......I read my bible a few times per week.  So why, do I continue to struggle with depression?  I do not know why the Lord has not taken it from me.  Lord knows, I have prayed.  I just think that it is part of my story, it is part of my life and life is not perfect on this side of heaven.

What I can tell you is that:
Medication helps.............It is not for everyone, but I don't know that I would be here today if it weren't for the different medications that I have taken over the last twenty years.
Therapy helps.............We could buy a lot with the money I have spent on therapy, but it is worth it.
Support helps...............I have family and friends that walk through this battle with me.  They love me through it.
God helps................I know for sure that I would not be alive today without the love of Christ.  I have hit some lows in my life and the only thing that has picked me up off the floor is knowing that I have a Creator and someday, I will be in Heaven with Him.

Depression per the Anxiety and Depression Society:
Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. When these feelings last for a short period of time, it may be a case of "the blues."  But when such feelings last for more than two weeks and when the feelings interfere with daily activities such as taking care of family, spending time with friends, or going to work or school, it's likely a major depressive episode.
Below are some depression statistics from National Institute of Mental Health:
An estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least 1 major depressive episode last year. People of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience depression, but it does affect some groups of people more than others. Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18–25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older. 
If you need more information, I would be happy to talk to you, talk to your doctor or visit this website:  http://www.nami.org/depression


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