Depression. I think that word conjures up many things for most people. Maybe you have depression. Maybe you know someone that has it. What’s worse…you may know someone that has lost their battle with it.
I’ve seen depression in many forms. I’ve been touched by it through people I know and the stories of famous people that make headlines like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, and on and on. Recently, someone I consider a friend via Twitter and Facebook, Sam, lost his son to depression.
Like any loss due to depression, I always feel like I have lost a team member…a family member. Why? Because I too deal with and live with depression and anxiety. Every single time I hear of someone losing their battle with something I carry, I wonder why I have not yet. I wonder if and when my time will come.
I’ve been close a couple of times. I also used to cut myself. I still have faint scars on my upper left arm from that. It’s scary. I know it has worried some people in my life. Some days I am afraid of it…other days I don’t care and I urge the depression to do what it must.
The interesting part of it for me now…is being a father to a two year old. My bigger concerns are him. I hope he does not have what I have. This is one of those things you hope to not pass down. I hope he can live a life without this sometimes crippling disease.
One thing I have learned more than anything is that talking about it has helped me immensely. Sure, it can be difficult to find someone that you feel comfortable talking to about depression and all that goes with it but it is invaluable. It can also be tough to even begin the conversation once you find that person. For me it’s my wife.
Having that avenue to express myself without ridicule has allowed for my good days to far outnumber my bad days. And even my bad days aren’t so bad anymore. It’s not that depression goes away but I, with my wife’s help, have found little things that help me escape the big bouts of depression. For me, things like working out, going to the beach, writing, talking, and accomplishing some things on a to-do list really help me avoid a more serious episode.
My biggest hope for those that have depression is that they reach out, find someone…realize that even in the darkest moments there are people that love you, need you, and would do anything for you. My biggest hope for those that do not have depression but live with someone that does…just be there. Try to talk to them, listen. Learn the signs.
Depression is not a choice. It’s not something that most of us can “get over”. Believe me, we would if we could. I strongly urge anyone with depression to get help. Just like you have a fire escape plan for your home, having an escape plan when depression hits is really important. If you feel you have nowhere to go, contact me and I will see what I can do.
Here are some links to facts about depression and to suicide prevention:
In Canada: http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/