I covet my writing time. I don’t answer the phone unless it’s the school or my husband and I try to ignore all social media. However, today, I let go an hour of my time to speak to a friend about depression. This disease runs rampant on my matriarchal side–mother, grandfather, uncles, aunt, cousins, and siblings. I thought I understood it. After all, I had so many family members that I knew the ins and outs of it.
Not so much.
I didn’t understand it until I became depressed with one of my pregnancies and continued to experience it until the child was over a year old. Here are a couple myths that I’d like to bust.
- The person experiencing depression knows how bad it is for them. Unfortunately, while in the midst of it, we think we’re handling it–dealing with it. Because of this, we do not understand when we need help. Looking back, I wish my doctor had dug further into what I was experiencing. He trusted me because I’d told him I’d seen it every day of my life for 19 years. It’s different to see it than it is to experience it. I was in over my head and should’ve been on medication.
- We can pull ourselves out of it. No matter how hard I tried, I could not force myself to be happy. Oh sure, I faked it for thirty minutes, an hour, even up to 3 hours, but inside I was miserable and anxious. There were so many basic functions that made me freak out–grocery shopping, going out with my friends, or even leaving the house for a walk.
- The person understands that they need help. I didn’t. I needed someone close to me to say that it was a problem. My husband was that one for me. Although, he didn’t realize the severity of it, he understood that I needed support. He provided it in so many ways, but there is one I wished he would’ve insisted upon. I wish he would’ve helped me get medical help. While his support eased some of the triggers, it didn’t help fix the main problem.