Thursday, December 30, 2010

Depression is Real

No I am not depressed, but I have been. There was a time in my life when I was about 22 years old that I went through an overwhelming depression. I don't usually talk about it. It was religious based. I believe some of it came from questioning my faith but for the most part I don't think God had a thing to do with it. God wouldn't put a person through what I went through. When a thought begins to implant and starts to fester....it grows. It persists and eats at you. It consumes you. Then it is very hard, if not nearly impossible to dig yourself out.

Do I believe prayer can help? Sure. However it's just not that easy. Why is it so hard for people to believe that our brains can be just as sick as the rest of our bodies? If someones kidney fails, you don't question them and tell them just pray it away do you? No. They may pray but they also take medicine for it, dialysis or maybe even a transplant. Sometimes our brains don't always work just the way we want them to. Sometimes things go wrong, or fire the wrong way, or perhaps there is an imbalance (yes that is real) and there is no amount of anything that's going to just instantly fix that. If you cannot understand it, that does not mean it isn't real. A person can even be a Christian (or any other faith) and still be depressed. YES. This is possible. Why? Because our brains are just organs that can in fact not always function just the way you tell it to. I grew up and realized that it's not always just as easy as just telling yourself to change and doing it. Sometimes it may take more than that.

I worked this semester in nursing school with a lot of depressed patients. You may think of a depressed patient as a 23 year old girl who maybe hates her looks, or broke up with her boyfriend. What about a 74 year old woman who has all that she could want? What about an 8 year old boy? It doesn't always fit who you think it will fit. Sometimes depression hits those around you that you least suspect. They can't just stop and get better. It may take time. It may take medicine. It may take therapy. It CAN however get better. It's not an instant fix. It doesn't mean you aren't trusting in God either. It just happens sometimes. I wish at the time more people had understood me...because more than anything that is what I needed.

10 comments:

Kay :) said...

Wonderful post :) I too wish that people understood it more. I denied that I had it for many years until I saw a commercial that opened my eyes. I, like the woman in the commercial, had it all & could not figure out why my mind spiraled into deep depression. It felt as though my soul were in pain...agony. I could be going about my day being my happy, cheery self and something would trigger me to feel completely worthless. I wouldn't wish depression on anyone but I do wish that people who don't understand it could experience it for 5 mins...Just to know what it's like. If they were to feel it then no one would dismiss it...ever. I hope you are feeling well! Sorry so long...You just tugged at a my heart a bit w/ your post. Happy New Year!

Sandi said...

I appreciate your comment Kay. It affects so many people yet still people still think you can just basically change if you want to. If it were that easy, there would be no such thing as depression at all. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for why we feel down. Sometimes it's just there. It's very real. I think I learned even more this past semester working with patients who lived it every day. They wanted so much to live a normal life. Their mind kept them trapped. I do believe though that it is possible to heal...much in the same way you would from any other injury. Time....maybe medicine and you can get better.

Orions Mom said...

What a great post, totally true and I too wish more people understood that depression is real and sometimes exercise and getting off the couch is not the answer. My husband is one who believes it's all in your head, not the way it really is in your head, he views it as something you can change by changing your way of thinking. When I started taking meds for my depression he said they only worked because I believed they would work, not because they fixed some chemical imbalance in my brain. He just doesn't get it and probably never will. Your post helps me remember there are people out there who do understand, so thanks :)

Kay :) said...

You are so right, Sandi...there is no rhyme or reason. Lots of times when I feel myself spiraling downward in negative thoughts the rational part of my brain is like, "this is nuts. don't feel like this. why do you feel like this.. suck it up." Then when I can't I feel so much worse because I couldn't stop the downward spiral. It's unreal. Meds do help me a lot (pros/cons to that).

Orions Mom, so sorry your husband is not on the same page as we are with this. Depression is such a hard thing for people to understand as you cannot x-ray/mri it or check your blood to see if it's getting better w/ meds. I think if more mainstream people, athletes, whomever came out & discussed their experiences w/ it then more people would believe it. Maybe he could talk to your Dr. about it? Also, I saw a great show on Depression (I think it was a PBS special)? I related to most of the people but some had even other symptoms that I don't have (like physical pain). Maybe watching that would help him too.

It's definitely your meds and not the thought of your meds that helps you. I really don't want to be on meds & have seriously tried stopping them but I have way more "episodes" without them.

UGh! Again...sorry for rambling. It's just a subject I'm very close too :) Happy New Year to you both!

Kay :) said...

P.S.

Here is the link to the PBS Special I mentioned before...

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/takeonestep/depression/

MaryAnne said...

Depression is real, I've seen it in several family members. Thanks for writing this - and I'm glad you aren't depressed anymore.

Dawn said...

Following you here, too! :) My hubby was diagnosed this year with depression. I saw it creeping up. It took a couple different medicines and several months. His medicine is now regulated. His doctor was great and worked with us during the summer. Happy New Year !

Just Plain Tired said...

Depression can hit anyone and can sneak up on a person before they realize it. I know I block out certain things in an effort to avoid it myself at times.

Here's hoping you and your family have an awesome new year... and stuff!

Posh Totty said...

Happy New Year Xx

Karen said...

You are so right. Depression is not something that can be swept under the rug. I cannot understand why it is such a stigma to take medication for depression. Medicine has saved my life.