Depression ~ There's a time to speak... You've already been quiet for too long!
I empathize and I'm here to help ~ Ms. Zipporah
Recently, I read an article in Harvard Business Review (HBR), which led me to Morra Aarons-Mele's article-The Anxious Achiever. Morra's goal is to change how we think about anxiety and mental health in the workplace. Since Mental Health is near and dear to my heart, I became a Mental Health First Responder for the same reason.
Morra's segment interviewed the life of Paul Greenberg. "Paul suffered from severe depression -- depression so bad that he had near constant thoughts of suicide from the age of 13. But you'd never know it if you met him. And he has built a successful media career, including stints at MTV and Time, and eventually becoming the CEO of CollegeHumor."
"To battle the depression, he tried some 75 different medications before his medical team suggested electroshock therapy, which he says has saved his life."
"And it wasn't until the deaths of public figures like Robin Williams, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain that Greenberg went public with an op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter."
Notice Paul's comments "But you'd never know it if you met him" - Time to keep quiet..."And it wasn't until...he went public..." - Time to speak...
This, like other inspiring stories about those diagnosed with, hiding, or handling depression, spur us on.
"Each one-helps one." That's not my saying, but I try to my best to live and breathe that expression everyday. I had the wonderful privilege of connecting with Paul and commended him for sharing his amazing story (getting the word out to others). In turn, I share to give the courage to press on, endure, and never give up. There is hope!
In the following excerpt my character Desiree is speaking with her therapist, Dr. Williams.
Let's look in on her therapy session... Dr. Williams begins:
“On the phone you sound concerned… worried. Is there something you’d like to share?”
Desiree sat with her back pressed against the chair. “I am. Well, just a little.”
“A little worried, concerned, or both?”
“Good to know. Let’s start with concern. What are you a little concerned about?” Dr. Williams asked emphasizing the word little.
“Dealing with my problems myself.”
“First, let’s break down the problems. Then, we’ll talk about how to handle them. Even small problems can appear unmanageable.”
“Desiree took a sip of water. The vining plant flowing down the side of the bookshelf caught her attention. It's just like she remembered. She liked fact that some things remained the same. “I guess you’re right. I should have thought about that step before. Maybe that’s why I had to come here today.”
“Do you see this visit as setback?” Dr. Williams asked.
Desiree sat with an eerie silence for ten seconds. Thinking. Reading her face. Why did she ask that? “When you say it like that, I guess it’s not.”
“How do you see it?”
“If I have to ask for help, then I’m not handling the problem on my own.”
This was a snippet from a scene in my novel
~The BROWN Eyes of Avon (coming soon)
*The take away: Don't be afraid to ask for help! If and when you decide to speak to a therapist or take medication, there's a great team of people who want you to succeed.
The article in Medical News Today explained "Some people with depression may try to hide the signs from others, or they may not even realize that they have depression."
If you need help it's available. If you're unsure, this blog will give you insight. If you know someone with depression, here's how you can help them.
Recognize the symptoms
Appetite and weight changes
Alcohol and drugs
*Forced Happiness (eventually the mask comes off)
Less optimistic than others
Loss of concentration
Disinterest in hobbies
Physical pains and health disorders
Being angry or irritable
Low sex drive
*some of these signs can also indicate other medical issues
Common Causes of Depression
Genetics: Depression can run in families. Having a close relative with the condition can raise a person's risk for developing it themselves.
Biological and chemical differences: Physical changes or chemical imbalances in the brain may contribute to the development of depression.
Hormones: Hormonal changes or imbalances in the body may cause or trigger depression. For example, many women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
Trauma or stress: Periods of high stress, traumatic events, or major life changes can trigger an episode of depression in some people.
Personality traits: Having low self-esteem or being pessimistic, for example, may increase the risk of depression.
Other illnesses: Having another mental or physical health condition or taking certain medications can increase the risk of depression.
When you don't bounce back, what can you do?
Coping ~ How?
Reach out to others ~ Don't isolate yourself. It fuels depression. Don't be afraid to reach out to friends and loved ones. Talk. Allow them to listen attentively (and help you).
Get moving ~ It's easier said than done, but exercise has its benefits. It helps alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Eat a mood boosting diet ~ Add those mood-enhancing nutrients-like fish oil and Omega-3. Cut back on the foods that can affect your mood: sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and trans fats.
Find ways to engage again with the world ~ Go for a walk, volunteer, adopt a pet, enjoy nature.
There's a time to SPEAK...
Many people feel depressed, sad, or lonely at times. It's a normal reaction to loss, life's struggles, grief, or low self-esteem. But when support from family, friends aren't enough and these feelings become overwhelming and last a long time, it might be time to seek help from a mental health professional.
Try the following
Therapy ~ A therapist can provide the tools you need to treat your depression from various angles and offer you the skills and insight to prevent depression from coming back.
Medication ~ It can help relieve symptoms of depression in some people, it isn’t a cure all or a long-term solution.
*It comes with side effects and other drawbacks so it’s important to learn the facts to make an informed decision.
Suicide prevention - If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.
***If you didn't already know, I care about YOU!
~ Love Ms. Zipporah