I'm a dreamer at heart and often I like to fly by the seat of my pants.

I suffer from depression and have for most of my life. I am no longer willing to stay silent about it. My hope is to share with others about this disease so they might understand it a bit better.

"I dare to believe!"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Depression: "Depression Sucks!"

First and foremost let me clearly state: “I am not a doctor or a physiologist, I speak from my own experiences and research. If you or someone you know is severely depressed or suicidal please call 911, seek professional help. Their life may depend on it".

Depression Sucks!

How else could I describe it?  Well perhaps that would not be a good question to ask someone especially if they are in the midst of this dark time, unless you are prepared to listen without judgment. I actually did try to think of a ‘proper’ title for this entry, but to be honest, that fits well, no candy coating here.

I suppose I should begin with sharing a bit about myself and my experience with depression.  

I am 53 years old now, I remember as a child and early adulthood, thinking to myself “why do I cry every day?” and “will there ever be a time when I don’t cry every day?”  Eventually that day did come, however that is yet another story to explore.

The constant feelings of sadness always lingered in the background; I thought this was a ‘normal’ thing in life because I never knew anything else.  Sure I would appear happy and chipper to others and I would even experience times of joy and happiness in my life; however the ever looming feeling of sadness deep within me never really left completely.

It wasn’t until I was about 38 years old that I began my journey into understanding depression and dealing with it in a way that would be healthy for me. That meant professional Christian counseling and medication. (Let me add notes here, not ALL so called “Christian Counselors” are truly bible believing Christian counselors. Do you homework or have someone do the homework for you before you go talk w/ them).

“Depression” may show itself in a variety of ways, and may originate from several areas in our life. Sometimes it may originate from the following causes (to name a few):
stressful life events,
Fluctuating hormone levels (Sometimes women who are menopausal will suffer from depression due to the imbalance of hormones during this time of their lives.)
alcohol and drug abuse or misuse,
Other chronic physical conditions. 

Some of the causes listed above last for just a “period” of time, when the circumstances improve the will depression improve. Other causes of depression are more of a “life time” existence. But this does not mean there is no hope!!! There is always hope! 

In my case, the depression I have is due to a chemical imbalance, one that I have had all of my life. It’s probable that I have inherited it through the gene structure of my parents. 

Listed below are some of the signs or symptoms of depression. Please keep in mind not everyone has the same symptoms.  You may have some, but not others.  Each person varies to some degree.
·       Persistent feelings of being sad or anxious
·       Feelings of “emptiness”
·       Feelings of hopelessness
·       Feelings of unjustified guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
·       Decreased energy, consistent fatigue,  
·       Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions  (please keep in mind that becoming overly stressed can also cause these symptoms)
·       Insomnia, or sleeping too much
·       Appetite changes: overeating or weight loss
·       Restlessness, irritability
·       Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
·       Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, like headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain
·       Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts (PLEASE call 911 if you or someone you know is experiencing this symptom).

In future blogs we will talk more about this "Silent Killer".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grudges and Judges

Ok I know... it's been a LONG time since I've posted anything... well to be honest... I've been pondering what to talk about... something that would be meaningful, helpful etc... I wrote this quite some time back but I think I will post it now... soon to come I will begin posting issues surrounding "depression", I will be sharing some of my experience and also facts about this subject.  If you know of someone that would be interested in learning more about this silent disease, please point them in this direction and perhaps they will learn a bit more about these issues.

Grudges (resentment) and Judges (forming a negative opinion about someone)

This issue has been on my mind for a very long time now.  I have both friends and family that just can’t get past issues or differences they have. What a waste of energy and life.  Grudges or resentment eats away at the person who is holding it. You sit there and stew about it over and over. Each time the issue comes up, you begin all the negative thoughts, the negative feelings the judging. Sometimes you even work yourself up so much you get headaches or other physical feelings etc.. Do you honestly think this is affecting the person you hold a grudge against?  They are off living their life as usual, sipping their coffee, going to work, going shopping, fixing dinner, enjoying their friends and so on.
It is you that continues to pay, both emotionally and physically.

So what do we do, how should we handle the hurts, offenses and downright nastiness of those who have betrayed our trust, slandered our name, set their self high on a pedestal thinking themselves better than anyone else? That’s the hard part isn’t it?

Well we could become just as vindictive as they are… setting them up for failure, spreading the word about how nasty or mean they are, spending our lives trying to figure out how to get back at them. Sure… that would work as we slowly lower ourselves to a standard that everyone just loves to befriend or be around…and die a lonely crotchety person full of negativity…. NOT!

I know you are probably thinking “oh sure right, just be nice to them, forgive them yada yada… after what they’ve said and done to me or someone I care about, I DON’T think that’s gonna happen, they need to PAY for what they did!!!” 

I hear where you are coming from, been there done that got the T-shirt.  I didn’t say it was or is easy. In fact it’s very difficult and there are times I still deal with it as it raises its ugly head, reminding me how deeply it hurt me, what it cost me and the old feelings come flooding back. But it’s at that point I have to make a decision ONCE AGAIN to let it go, because I refuse to become another victim of someone else’s doing.

I’m the type of person who feels if there has been a wrong doing then they should sit down as adults and discus the issue. Depending on how deep the wounds, a third party should be involved (someone who will not take sides and knows how to handle these types of situations such as a pastor or counselor).  Keep in mind screaming, hollering, cussing each other out will not bring a pleasant outcome.  Sometimes the person who has offended you does not even realize they have done so and quietly talking about the issue with that person can really help mend your hard feelings.