“I need help.”
Sometimes those are the only words you need to say, but those exact words can be the most difficult words to utter.
I’m no stranger to depression and mental illness. I grew up knowing all about it. Seeing the way it changed the moods of those that I loved. I saw it hold the people I loved hostage, and ravaged their thoughts and distorted their self perception, making them see someone completely different than the person others would see in them.
I understand the emotional turmoil that people experience, and it’s not something they can just “snap out of.”
I even had my own issues with anxiety and depression and it affected the way I saw myself and how I made decisions. I sometimes battle difficult spells of anxiety, mostly. And even though depression is something I’m all too familiar with, nothing prepared me for how difficult it would be to watch my child attempt to cope through it.
I know how hard it can be to ask for help. I understand the struggles to admit there’s a problem and I’ve experienced the frustration with trying to get help and all of the hoops necessary to jump through.
But you can’t give up.
I know the process can be difficult. I know there’s not a quick fix and I understand how much of a struggle it can be to even talk about the subject. However, because depression and it’s many sisters are something I’m all too familiar with, it’s something I feel I need to speak about.
You don’t have to suffer alone.
If you think you might be an immediate danger to yourself, go to a local hospital. Tell them how you feel. They can get you the help you need or try to point you in the right direction.Courtesy of the National Institute of Mental Health: Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Change in weight
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Energy loss
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you notice that a love one seems different, reach out. They may seem more fatigued, or sapped of energy. Sleeping too much, or even unexplained marks on their body. Talk to them. Provide them words of comfort and encouragement. If they confide in you, assist them in finding help. Don’t bear that burden on your own.
You can find more resources at the following links:
Anxiety and Depression Association of America | Mental Health America | National Institute of Mental Health
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and speak with a trained counselor
Follow the Day of Light Hashtag ( #DayOfLight ) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or search it on the web. On Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 we will be sharing our stories and bringing depression out of the dark. You’ll notice many of the supporters changing their avatars to a black and white photo to provide a visual to those that feel they are alone. From 12 PM – 12:30 PM EST you can follow the chat on twitter through the hashtag and there will be stories as well as helpful information for those that need it.