Thursday, October 20, 2011

Depression isn't just for the suicidal

12 Things I Didn't Know About Depression....Until I figured out that I had Depression

I want to predicate this post with just a few thoughts. I do think that untreated depression can spiral out of control to fatal outcomes. I am thankful I haven't seen that kind of darkness. For me personally just getting to a point of recognizing there was a problem took a very long time. Maybe even up to a year. Tracking feelings and behaviors was a good start. Having a loving husband and supportive mother willing to help sort things out was and is key. I personally had a lot of preconceived notions about what "depression" was, so for a long time, I wrote it off as not being applicable to me. This post is just about that: addressing my own preconceptions about Depression.

1. You don't have to have suicidal thoughts to have depression

2. You can still think things are funny when you have depression

3. Depression and Anxiety are good friends and like to show up to the party holding hands

4. You don't have to sit on a couch and talk about your parents with a guy in an ugly cardigan to be treated for depression.

5. You can have a perfectly sweet life and still have depression

6. Depression isn't something to be ashamed of, even though it is really hard to talk about

7.  Feeling angry can be a symptom of depression/anxiety

8. Being told you have Depression is depressing, but telling people who love you about it creates a necessary support system

9. You don't have to figure out the "source" (if one even exists) to begin to move out of "that place"

10. There are times when drugs are better than hugs; seasons of depression/anxiety are one of those times.

11. Depression / Anxiety does not feel like that bummed out lady in the commercials that just walks around under a rain cloud so much as it does a really tiring wrestling match.

12. Keeping even a semi-clean house is virtually impossible with untreated depression. (Surely there's a study out there that can confirm this for me.)

My hope for you friends, is that when seasons come into your life when things are a real and constant struggle, that you be honest with yourself about how you are feeling. That you not let scary labels like "depression" and "anxiety" keep you from seeking the counsel of friends, family, therapists or medical professionals. 

"Oh God, grant that I might feel your strength this day. May I have the courage to face what is before me. Keep my heart light and filled with love. Amen."


  1. It is so funny that you posted this! Because with everything that is happening in our lives I just called my Dr to see if we could chat about this issue. HUGS NOT DRUGS. LMAO. That is a dumb phrase right there. Although I think lindsey lohan might need a hug...and to lay off the drugs..but that is a completely different topic. Thanks for keeping it real once again. And I think it might be the kids keeping you from being able to have a semi-clean house. Or at least that is another theory I have.

  2. This is something I have been struggling with for years but have seldom (for long) used medication because I HATED the way the meds made me feel (plus I do have some medical conditions that present as depression if undertreated so it gets confusing). Poor Jeff, Laurisa and Cameron just had to endure the struggle. It wasn't until recently that I finally went on a med for depression that actually seems to help AND not make me feel bad! I am happy that you have seen it for what it is now and are getting help. I think meds are better now and doctors know so much more. And I agree with LA about the semi-clean house...hard to keep up with kids OR animals (even if the animal in question is your husband!)

  3. Thinking about you friend. It is awesome that you do have such a great support system. So great that you are talking about it so others can be educated too. Hugs.

  4. MA and LA- I'm always so happy to see when you two chime in. It's nice to know folks on this road.
    and TJo, if anyone understands a daily struggle, it's you sister, so thanks for the thoughts and virtual hugs.
    And the clean house...yeah, I think I can feel pretty confident in pointing my finger right at those two hooligans.
    Thanks for the love friends.

  5. Well Cousin, why am I just now finding out you have a blog? I went back a couple of months and found out that you are seriously talented. This one hit home on a personal level and I'm here to tell you we don't need no stinkin' study to confirm the neatness level of depressed people's houses. I'll just go ahead and confirm it as a confirmed depressed person. It's true! Glad you have such a wonderful support system. I can't wait to read more, thanks.