Here’s an article that I wrote for BallerAlert and I felt that it needed to be here as well. I, personally am a victim of depression and I am trying my damndest to get out of this cloud/funk/bottomless pit. I want people to know that they aren’t alone and that holding in stuff, will only make things worse.
If your family is anything like mine, you’ve heard, “keep your business to yourself.” “Don’t tell outsiders OUR business.” I’m not sure why it’s all such hush-hush. Things have happened in the family when you were a child that affects you to this day. And since you were “brow beaten” to not share the dark secrets in your family, you just push it down inside and never EVER speak on it again.
Decades later, this medical illness known as depression sneaks upon you and you find yourself sadder than normal. Things that you would never bat an eye about, now brings tears to your eyes. Feeling of being defeated, overwhelmed, just unhappy. Why? Why now? What’s going on? It’s more than being “hormonal” if you’re a woman.
According to Mayo Clinic
Depression is a medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can cause physical symptoms, too.
Also called major depression, major depressive disorder and clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living.
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply “snap out” of. Depression is a chronic illness that usually requires long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure. But don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychological counseling or other treatment.
*BUT* don’t forget “We gotta keep our family business, private.” So we shove all those blues, negative feelings, the sh*t that’s happened to us buried. Buried down inside of us and just forgetting that it’s ever happened. C’mon you know that you’re “Fine”, right? Little do we know that we’re causing more damage to ourselves instead of tackling it head first and talking about it, but again, “I’m fine.”
That, my friends is called Dysthmia Depression.
According to Mayo Clinic
Dysthymia (dis-THIE-me-uh) is a mild but long-term (chronic) form of depression. Symptoms usually last for at least two years, and often for much longer than that. Dysthymia interferes with your ability to function and enjoy life.
With dysthymia, you may lose interest in normal daily activities, feel hopeless, lack productivity, and have low self-esteem and an overall feeling of inadequacy. People with dysthymia are often thought of as being overly critical, constantly complaining and incapable of having fun.
Dysthmia has been known to last for decades. All those family secrets, skeletons are just stuffed behind a dam that you built to keep the horrible times in your life away.
I want you to all know that it IS OKAY to talk to someone about it. Psychotherapy works. I’m such an advocate for therapy. Speaking to a neutral person that knows nothing/anyone in your life, HELPS. Because a lot of black folks are told don’t tell a stranger your business, we feel that therapy is only for crazy people, people who aren’t able to work on their own sh*t. Not a well rounded person like yourself.
LemmeTellYa….therapy, is there for a reason, let all that negativity go. Cry. Let it out. It’s doing more damage being stuffed inside. Being depressed isn’t going to go away overnight, BUT in due time it will.
You never know who is going through some foul sh*t and their only answer is suicide. Depression Is REAL and it can kill. You get in a bad place in your thinking and you feel that ending your life is the ONLY alternative to having the pain go away. That’s not true. Please understand that.
Life IS hard, but speaking to a therapist might make it a wee bit easier.
Here are some signs of Depression (from MayoClinic website)
Depression symptoms include:
Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
Reduced sex drive
Insomnia or excessive sleeping
Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
Irritability or angry outbursts
Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
Crying spells for no apparent reason
Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Please take your health seriously…INCLUDING your mental health. Having good mental health is also a plus, right along with being physically healthy. Therapy *CAN* get expensive, but I suggest you check with your insurance carrier to see if mental health is covered under your insurance.
Self-medication isn’t helpful, trust me, it’ll only make you feel good for a short period of time. It’ll wear off, then you’re right back to where you started…along with a hangover. It’s not worth it.
If you are at the end of your rope and you feel that suicide is the ONLY ANSWER that you can see. Please. Take a breath and contact the National Suicide Hotline.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
If you need to talk to someone and there’s no one who’ll listen, send an email to [email protected] Another coping method is just write. Write every feeling out, good, bad, indifferent. Just write until you have carpal tunnel or cramps in your fingers. Get those feelings out. Someway, somehow. Please.
Depression IS real…and can kill. Take the necessary steps for a better mental state. Thank you for reading.