Hello dear friends.
I am going to attempt to write a piece on something very close to my heart.
It comes from many experiences from those around me, both past and present.
It comes from my own experiences.
I have battled with the decision on whether to write about this or not, for a few days now.
It will not be correct to many, but it is to me.
The death of the very famous Robin Williams has rocked many of us.
He was like the "uncle" you wished you had.
He was kind, a genius in comedy and someone that appeared to love everyone.
He made everyone laugh with his humour.
It is like we all knew him.
He is the LAST person to have depression......surely?
He had all the money in the world, a beautiful family and a successful career that any actor would dream of.
Surely he could fix his depression with the rest of the world at his feet????
These past few days, I have read many things that made me question whether people really understand depression.
I am talking about REAL depression.
The one that is with you for life and not brought on by hardship, a difficult situation, a period of time that will improve.
I want to talk about the one that means that your brain is incapable of releasing the happy hormones on a daily basis.
The depression where the chemical imbalance in your brain means daily life is a struggle.
For some people it can be for short periods at a time....others longer periods.
As with everything in life, each individual, with depression, is different.
Some people seek therapy and this can sometimes help.
Some learn to create their own coping mechanisms.
Some just keep putting one foot in front of the other to try and continue the daily grind.
A lot of people with depression always have a smile and function at what is considered an acceptable level.
You may never know that your best friend suffers from it.
What is incredibly interesting is that most "outsiders" would never know what these people are dealing with.
It is who they are and many have learnt to "mask" a difficult period.
The difference of long term, or life long depression compared to a shorter term depression is these people know it will come back again.
When and where is impossible to determine.
You just know it is there.
There is also the "situations" that can cause depression like anyone else.
A double whammy so to speak.
For outsiders to say "move on", "get over it" or "cheer up" is not helpful.
It is the brain controlling it through the release of hormones.
Medication can help but it is also a matter of finding the right one and the right balance.
The best quote I read this week was from another famous actor... Ricky Gervais.
Telling people with
depression to "just snap out of it" is about as useful as telling people
with cancer to "just stop having cancer".
Society and individual people in general are confused about how to handle people in a difficult period.
I cannot answer how myself.....
except to say be there.
message even if they do not repond.
call even if they do not answer.
do not pressure, just say you are there and you care.
be non judgemental and show them that you are.
understand that they are still a person who is worthy of your time.
show them that.
Depression is quite often hidden from others due to the silent negative stigma towards it.
People look at you differently.
People treat you differently.
People are wary.
Employers are hesitant to treat you equally.
Friends think you may not be as much fun.
To search for the positives in every difficult situation is paramount.
"oh. I am tired....... Maybe my body needs to rest so I can function better in the future".
"Tomorrow is a new day".
"We will stay home today. It will give me some time with family or catch up on movies, TV shows or sleep".
There is a positive affirmation in everything.
Lots turn to alcohol and drugs.
The endorphins they bring, even though short, are a welcome relief.
A feeling of happiness, being numb and in a different "head space".
But that only exasperates the depression.
It adds to the feeling of sadness when you come down off them.
But it can be hard to get to the point of realising this.
I can only guess what it must be like when you get to the stage where suicide is the only answer.
Some call it "selfish" or being a "coward".
I can only imagine it is when someone is at the bottom of a deep, dark well and can see no way out.
They have tried so many options.
Had so many negative interactions with those around them and possibly see themselves as a burden.
The feelings of pain within themselves for not only themselves, but those around them must be overwhelming.
People live with depression everyday.
It is not a contagious disease.
I have had many people get cross with me or criticise the different facets of my own depression.
A lot of us "joke" about the things that actually personally upset us.
Subjects we just cannot move on from.
Sometimes you go through a positive phase of thinking and then BAM the negative kicks in.
Depression can make you say and think things that are not sensible.
My weight gain would be my own personal example.
I hate my body.
That is just something I have grabbed hold of and cannot let go of.
I do not know all there is to know about depression and some may disagree with what I have written.
I am just grateful that we live in a house where people know they are welcome to just come and talk.
We are lucky to talk about depression with those around us suffering from it.
It is not all negative talk. A lot of it is humour.
You have to laugh about it sometimes!
I am accepting of my own depression and having those close to me just being there when I am sailing through a difficult patch.
Now to plan my 40th Birthday.
It will be at a massive trampoline warehouse and everyone has to wear superhero constumes.
It will be hired out just for me and those I love and care for.
That is sensible thinking.....right ??!!