Sometimes it Feels Like This.. Self Care Sunday

Like a bad ride you just can't get off

Today I had planned to talk about something super important like brow grooming or the proper use of a Pumice Stone but instead have decided to talk about depression.  So if you want to bail now for something lighter and happier I will understand. But if you would like to stick around grab a beverage of your choice and settle in.

I am no stranger to depression, my family tree looks like an ad created by the Prozac company. Over all I have been lucky to skip the deeper impact of this silent and painful condition but did seek help and used medication in the years after our son died when it seemed the best way to help on the road to healing.  I firmly believe that medication in conjunction with therapy can be the saving grace for many who suffer from depression, but many people still suffer from the inability to talk about it or to get help. I talk about this today because we just found out that we lost a dear family friend to an apparent suicide yesterday, and we are heartbroken. His loss makes me all the more aware that we don't always know who is struggling with painful thoughts and feelings and the need to be more aware of those around us.

As I mentioned, my family tree is loaded with members who suffered from depression, some lightly and others such as my mother to the deepest depths. And like the other joys of my family heritage ( pale skin, tendency towards diabetes and colon cancer) depression has every chance of touching my children just as much as myself. For that reason we try to keep a very open dialog around here about such things and that if we are feeling bad that there are people to talk to and medicines that can help. These can be tough conversations to have but there is little to be gained and much to be lost when these subjects are taboo due to misinformation and long held social stigmas.

The numbers vary but for children it seems that about 1 in 33 children suffer from some sort of depression and that number becomes 1 in 8 when you are talking about teens. The rates of depression for adults hovers at about 1 in 10 but seems to be growing.  Talking is the start and  education on the matter is key. I suggest this ARTICLE about depression in childhood and from those of us who are a bit older, this is a good OVERVIEW about depression in adulthood.

I encourage all of your to know the signs of depression for both yourselves and for your family and if you see them think of them like any other health issue and seek treatment. Our bodies are full of biochemical wonderment,these fantastic reactions fuel our cells and guide our path but at times they get knocked out of function by events or heredity. The good news is that we live in a time where there are medications to help and people to talk to. 

Thinking of each of you... always,



Gene Black said...

I know only too well what you are talking about. I have been in depression before that required medicine and counseling to climb out of. I encourage others to seek help. There is help out there, life is worth living. Things do change.

Thanks for talking about this "taboo" subject

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Maddie, for your thoughtful comments on this hidden disorder. Medication and therapy are wonders for helping me thru a couple crises. We just need to TALK about depression more to reach more people.

BTW: I read your blog regularly. You are truly a wonder woman.

And what a beautiful family.


Robyn of Coffee and Cotton said...

Thank you Dear friend. My family of origin, myself included and now many of my children fight this battle. I have shied away from publicly sharing because I had a very close (and what I thought life-long) friend abandon me during severe clinical depression. I allowed myself to feel shame for that. Never again. Depression still rears its ugly, dark presence but I now know how to recognize the warning signs and how to care for myself. We have openly discussed this with our children and have helped them to pay attention to symptoms and warning signs in their own lives. There were 7 "successful" suicides in my birth family and 2 attempts. I think they could have been prevented if the victims could have sought help and talked and been accepted in the midst of their illness.
Didn't intend to hog your blog but I needed to speak up. Thank you again! <3