Clinical depression is not an emotion
November 11, 2018
Some days I have regular old situational depression.
My old dog died a month ago. I’ve been sad.
I have a chronic illness that will never go away and promises a lifetime of pain. That really sucks.
And with the empty nest we have now, it gets kinda quiet and lonely sometimes.
These are all normal; I don't need drugs for that. As much as that makes me sad some days, I welcome it, I don't shy away from emotions. But sad terrifies me.
The battle against depression is a long one. Every variety of depression looks a little bit different than the next. For me it’s crying. Just crying. If you asked me what was wrong, I'd have no answer.
When life itself was miserable, depression just felt ordinary. But I knew I needed help when I had everything I could have ever dreamed of, and I still cried every day. Literally every day. I am currently responding well to my meds, and I have been for over a decade. It took a couple of tries to find the right one for me. That’s where a good doctor can help. I still feel a full range of life's emotions. But without the weight of the beast that is depression sitting on my shoulders.
I have achieved personal and professional success. I still have depression. It is not situational.
Luckily, my depression does not come with the despair and hopelessness that so many others feel. However, if not treated, I can see how it could go there quickly.
I have found great success with a good doctor and good medication. If I was not that fortunate, then I could totally see where self-medication would be a welcome relief. This is how many many addictions find their way into the lives of people you love.
If you need help, please get it. It is a sign of strength to get that help, not a sign of weakness. Find a doctor that will step you thru the process of finding your way out from under the weight of depression. It is exhausting to pretend to be ok when you are not.
If you know someone that needs help, help them find that help. If you don’t know what to do, ask someone (like me) for ideas.
If you are reading this, know that I will be there for you. I am happy to be your 3am phone call when the tears just won’t end.
I am not ashamed. I should be ashamed if I didn't seek treatment or if I hid behind a diagnosis.
Most days I win. Some days the demons win. I am fortunate that my battles are small ones.