Still Got the Blues....

At Eternity's Gate - Vincent Willem van Gogh
Gentle readers,
Last week, I acknowledged publicly something that I don't even discuss with those closest to me: I have Major Depressive Disorder. I did this to bring awareness and, I hope, understanding on behalf of the millions of people who struggle with this daily.

Yet there's another part to my story. You see, I didn't even know I had depression when I had my first "episode" sometime in 2000. I thought I was just under a lot of stress, which I was. Three teenage daughters - one of whom was completely out of control - an overwhelming amount of work at my job (but they did give me a personal assistant, quite a luxury!), and my marriage had taken an unexpected turn that would affect our entire family and my future. So I didn't feel sad or what I thought of as "depressed," but even the tiniest thing would set me off. I had the "angry outbursts" form of depression. Plus I started getting really fat! I looked like the person who ate Colette.

Our family counselor recognized it for what it was and suggested I go to the doctor and discuss getting antidepressants, (I really just wanted Xanax), but he agreed with her assessment, and the meds made a huge difference. We weaned me off of them about 18 months later, and except for the occasional bout with the blues, I was fine. Until I had a major episode in 2007, and it was nothing like my prior experience. No anger - just guilt and darkness. After my third episode a few years later, it was settled: I would have to remain on medication for life, just like a diabetic.

The point of my story is that sometimes you might not even recognize the signs of depression in yourself, which is why October 10th is National Depression Screening Day. If you think you or someone you love may have depression, use this link to find a place in your community, or Click Here to take an Anonymous Online Screening. I have included a list of symptoms of depression from the Mayo Clinic below.

Please: Tweet and post these links or this blog so that as many people as possible will be made aware of the resources available to them.

As you know, we are having a 99¢ book sale benefit to raise awareness and support the non-profit organization TWLOHA (details below). You will receive for your contribution of 99¢ a trio of vignettes entitled Alicia Embracing the Dark, which is intended to share some aspect of the authors' experiences with depression to further understanding, but I have selected this song by Moby because (once you get past the weird pictures and into the lyrics) for me, nothing else so perfectly encapsulates the emotions, the loneliness when what Churchill referred to as his "Black Dog" arrives uninvited.




Throughout the month of October, all royalties from a trio of vignettes entitled Alicia Embracing the Dark will be donated to TWLOHA, a non-profit organization that focuses on hope and relationships, in order to raise awareness, benefit the organization, and highlight National Depression Screening Day

A Special Edition of this short collection is  now available only from Amazon for 99¢ for Kindle or Kindle apps for any device.

Alicia Embracing the Dark expresses some aspect of depression as experienced by each author at some point in her life. It is published collectively under the name of a fictional character suffering from major depressive disorder and suicidal thoughts in the wake of her collapsing marriage in her own story, in which depression is a primary motif.

Please repost and retweet, get the word out, help others learn about mental illness, bipolar, and major depressive disorder. Encourage others to make the 99¢ contribution in support of TWLOHA. Let everyone know about National Depression Screening Day so someone will hear that there is help and there is hope.



Comments

  1. Omg you just described Mr to a T... I hate this. I'd rather any physical disease that the disease of the mind and soul... A never ending and dark demon no one can see and no one really knows how to fight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. For me it is like being consumed by a black wool blanket and I can't get out.
      Don't give up: It took over 15 months to find the right combination of drugs, and I still occasionally have what we refer to as my "sad days," but it changed my life.

      Delete
  2. I've struggled with severe depression for a long time. My entire Navy career, the higher ups thought I just didn't want to work and the military doctors kept telling me that I was just a little blue because I was so stressed. When I got out, I went to a civilian doctor who actually wanted to listen to what I had to say. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and RTS-PTSD. I'm in therapy and will be on medication for life. I'm doing much better now, but I learned that sometimes it's hard to ask for help because you're afraid of the label it will put on you if you do. I'm more open about it now but if it were for the support of my friends and family, I might never be comfortable admitting to anyone that I have an issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand. I know there are still many people in my life to whom I will never discuss this.
      I still cannot believe the number of people who think that we can just force ourselves to get up and function like everything is normal and just not think about it. OMG - if it were only that easy! Even with meds and therapy, I still have my "sad days" where I go spiraling down so deep that I don't believe I deserve to feel better, and that guilt and self-loathing keeps me buried in the black wool blanket as much as anything.
      Can you imagine someone saying to a person on dialysis, "Just force yourself to get up and feel better and put your illness out of your mind."
      These are the people that have never dealt with true depression, have never had the overwhelming compulsion to cause themselves personal harm or injury, have never hoped to die in their sleep.
      We can only hope that through campaigns such as this perhaps we can spread some understanding.

      Delete

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