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!"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Depression: "The Façade of Depression"

Depression: "The Façade of Depression"

As someone who suffers from the silent disease of depression as an ongoing part of my life, I realize there will be times that I cycle through bouts of depression. Sometimes these bouts are shorter than other times. Sometimes it may be more severe or longer than other times.

Throughout the years I realize I have become “the great pretender” during some of these bouts of depression.  Most of the people I come in contact with will not be aware of the turmoil that battles with me during those times. My words, my actions, my expressions become what others expect to see from me. So on goes the mask, the smile, the confidence, and I am the dependable person they expect to see.

When I go through those times I know within myself what I need to do. I need tell someone I can trust. This needs to be someone who can allow me to be sad and cry if I need to do so. Someone who is willing to offer endless hugs of reassurance and not judge. However when in the depths of depression, it is very difficult to reach out and share and ask for help even when you have that person even when you KNOW that’s what you SHOULD do (as I have mentioned in a previous blog post about depression).

Depression frightens some people, they are afraid to talk to, approach, encourage, and befriend etc someone who lives with depression. They may even have a tendency to avoid or to judge others who suffer from this silent disease.

Being in the middle of a bout of depression and feeling there is no one to turn to is a very helpless feeling. Inside we are screaming “hug me, listen to me, and allow me to cry, reassure me that I will get through this and you won’t turn your back on me or judge me”. But all too often we (the one who is depressed) will put on the façade. Yup we will put that smile on our face and be the strong, confident person everyone expects us to be. We keep life around us working as well as we can until we no longer can pretend. When we reach that point we have been depressed longer than most people realize. We have been physically and emotionally exhausted and the façade fades away. This is not the case with everyone who suffers from depression but I do believe it represents a large portion of us.

I do realize that “putting myself out there”, regarding this silent disease make me vulnerable to those who may read this.  Some will keep their distance; some will pre-judge me or label me; some may dare to challenge me or attack me. But hopefully most will learn and open their hearts to those who suffer from depression.

Friday, January 21, 2011

To Nook or Not to Nook

To Nook or Not to Nook

So last fall I decided to purchase a “Nook" from Barnes and Noble. The black and white Nook, not the new colored Nook.  Here is some basic info for you about it.  The screen is non-glare but it is only black and white, like reading a regular book. The non-glare screen is great for reading outside or traveling in a car or a brightly lit room. You can change the fonts and the font size of the book your are reading.  It can go on the web and browse, retrieve email, Facebook, chat etc etc.  There is a small colored screen located at the bottom that gives you a full color look at what you are viewing on the web or the covers of the books you purchase. I can go for days without charging my Nook if I’m simply reading books.  So there you have some of the basics.

What I really wanted to share with you was what I discovered about myself and reading via the Nook. I have NEVER liked to read! I hated it in school and most of my adult life. I have difficulty comprehending what I’m reading and retaining it. I could read a page or paragraph for that matter and then think to myself “what the heck did that say”?   

At this point you are probably wondering WHY I made the purchase of a Nook if I dislike reading so much.  It was mainly the ability to enlarge the font size of what I was reading. I CAN read small print, however for some reason the LARGER print size just kept coming back to mind. So I took the plunge, and this is what I discovered: I now like to read, for the first time in my life!

I began to analyze it “WHY” do I like to read now?  What I discovered was, in making the font size larger I could now read one line and go to the next without ‘losing my place’.  What I never realized was, I was not able track well while reading a regular book. I had to concentrate so much on not losing my place that I could not comprehend what I was reading! Now with the larger print (and trust me I put it on VERY LARGE print), I can not only read from one line to the next without the confusion of losing my place but I’m able to comprehend and remember more of what I'm reading.

So here are some final thoughts on this. I would highly recommend giving the “idea” of the larger print (or purchase of a Nook) for yourself or a child that has the same issues that I have mentioned above: difficulty tracking from one line to the next, difficulty comprehending and retaining what you read because of the tracking issue.  

Another important note is: discovering what type of books you like to read. What are your interests? IE: Biography, Psychology, Religion, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery etc etc etc

It was a process but the bottom line is “I have discovered I love to read”!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hugs Are Healthy

Hugs are Healthy

So I was thinking about the benefits of hugs and through some research found a few things that have been said of the “Hug”.  It seems most of what I found, has been what I have personally known for a long time.  It is especially important when it comes to dealing with those that suffer from depression.

Did you know if a new born infant is left only to be touched when necessary IE: feeding, changing etc. and there is no other physical touch, holding, hugging, cradling, almost always has a failure to thrive, do not grow properly and end up with severe social problems… IF they survive?

It’s been said by some researchers that we need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth I dare to say some of us are endanger of becoming extinct if this holds true.

Below are a few benefits I personally have found to be true.
  • A Hug opens doors to share our feelings with others.
  • A Hug says “you are important to me”.
  • A Hug helps ease the pain of loneliness.
  • A Hug can give strength to overcome fear.
  • A Hug assists in building self-esteem.
  • A Hug helps to release tension.
  • A Hug is portable; you carry it with you where ever you go.
  • The benefits of a hug continue even after the hug is released.
  • You can give a Hug anywhere.
  • You come equipped with what you need to give a hug. No cost involved.

There are some things we need to be aware of and be respectful to. Some folks just don’t like their “personal space” invaded.  If that’s the case, we need to ask permission to give them a hug.

There may be some instances when you truly feel a hug is necessary, tell the other person, “Ok, I just need you to know, I’m going to give you a hug now”, so they are not taken by surprise.

But what if you are not the “hugging” type of person? Some folks refer to it as a “touchy feely” type of person.

There are many people that are not the “hugging” type, if you are one of these people what you need to consider is:

  • Do you love someone who IS the “hugging” type?
  • Is there someone in your life who NEEDS the physical touch of a hug?
  • Is there someone in your life who suffers from depression?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then I would say “If you love them, and you value your relationship with this person, you will learn to share this life giving touch”.  

When you love someone who needs the physical touch of a hug, why would you not learn to share a hug? What is your lack of sharing this physical touch silently saying to them? Trust me on this one, your actions or lack of actions speaks a thousand times louder than your words.

And one last note: “a good hug just plain feels good”!