Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A little understanding if you will

Depression sucks. I've now been dealing with this condition for a year, and it sucks. Several times in the past I've written about my experiences with the disorder I've been handed - Bipolar, but it's the depression that hurts the most. 

Of all the posts I've written, one overwhelming constant from the comments (besides my friends giving me a cheery note now and then), has been people who are suffering from this disease from a depression standpoint. I have also taken the time to read other people's accounts of the disease and how it affects them, in my last post I quoted a book called 'An Unquiet Mind'. Whether you suffer or not, it's a must read. This woman is batshit crazy and made it through life hiding it and now teaches Psychiatry at a major university. It's really an unbelievable story. 

However, those of us suffering now can't imagine getting to that point yet. Hell, sometimes I can't imagine  getting out of bed in the morning. Yesterday I got dressed at 7pm, and that was only because I had to go to the store. I spent 5 hours sitting in my bed staring out a window. I didn't sleep, I didn't think, I didn't do anything except lay there existing. A lump on a mattress. No amount of thoughts - good or bad, would move me from that spot. Kim came home, obviously not happy about it, made Iain and I dinner, and did the dishes I should have have done. After dinner; eaten in silence, I again resumed my place on the couch. Yeah, depression sucks.

Today I'm forcing it. Today I'm forcing myself to get dressed, do some work around the house, have a hot bath, and write this blog. It's not easy at all. I'm pissed off that it has come to the point where I have to force myself to do these things. There used to be a certain amount of joy in these things. Going to work, going for a walk on a sunny day, even cutting the lawn. Not now, everything seems like a chore. 

I'm not alone.

If I've learned one thing since this journey started it's that there are millions of people out there suffering the same thing. Whether it's Anxiety issues, Panic, Depression, or any of the multitude of other conditions collectively labelled under mental illness, I'm just one in a million. My friends all know someone who suffers, some in silence, some are very vocal. I tend to be one of the vocal ones. Yet I feel alone.

There's treatment out there for this, psychiatrists prescribe medication, therapists provide comfort, organizations provide activities, hospitals provide beds for the worst cases, at this point I've seen them all. I think I've been lucky with the care I've had, but reading some other blogs and facebook posts, many are not so lucky. I've often joked that I feel like an American once I got sick because I lost my income and the care is costly. Not the medical care, but the toll it takes on the household. I'm lucky, I didn't get a bill from my 15 days in the psych ward. I don't get a bill from my psychiatrist, Even my therapist is free because I got into the Canadian Mental Health Association. I can't say enough about the work they do for those suffering. But I do feel for those who have lost everything because of an illness that has no signs or symptoms. Only the person suffering can truly understand it.

Depression is a joke in some circles. I've heard it for years - It's all in your head they say. OF COURSE IT IS! And how could someone not suffering from it possibly understand it? Until I was diagnosed Bipolar, I didn't either. All that changed last April. Now I get it. Now we have to understand it from the point of view of someone not suffering. 

Read up on it. Not just here, read other blogs, read medical websites, read anything. Depression is partially controlled by medication, but it's a serious condition that will always be with the person suffering. I don't know what set me off yesterday, but it doesn't matter today. Today I am pushing myself to be better. Tomorrow I will push again. And every day my friends and family will endure this journey with me. The same goes for the millions of others who suffer. It's not just them - it's husbands and wives, children, friends, workmates, anyone who's in contact with the person suffering. 

So consider those around you. Think about whether they are in the club, or know someone who is, and give them a break. It can be beaten, but I know I'm a long way off from that, but hope is a powerful tool. So is understanding and compassion.



  1. It doesn't matter whether you're at the start of your journey or the middle. It's all one damned step at a time.

    It doesn't matter that yesterday was bad, it doesn't matter if last week was bad, each day is a new day to try again.

    The Bloggess said something wonderful several months ago: Depression Lies. We are more than the list of our illnesses and faults. We have worth. We are able.

  2. What Michelle said. *huge hugs*


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