Saturday, May 8, 2010

Depression... Not just another word.

Here it is, Saturday morning and I am ready to write about a subject I have written on many times before.  I write often about it because i believe that in one way or another, it effects more people than perhaps people know. It's out-reach goes far beyond the person that has this disorder. It touches the lives of not only those near by but also the lives of people often not even associated with the inflicted. I am writing about depression, an illness that effects more than 19 million Americans and 1.7 million across the world. I write about this because sometimes I will go to a site that is dedicated to depression and after reading it I feel as if I know little more if anything about what it really is.
 Depression to many is simply a word or a diagnosis. So you were told by your doctor that you are depressed. D-u-u-u-u-u-h. You pretty much knew that when you went to see them. But what does that really mean to you and to those around you?  We all have our bad days or days we simply feel like the world is against us. What separated you from a million others that caused your doctor to say "hey, you are depressed.?" That is really one of the questions that rarely are answered for us. There is still so much unknown about things like depression and about Bipolar disorder. Sometimes I think that the real answers come from the very people that are effected by these disorders.
 Depression touches so many lives in so many ways. I live it daily and feel it almost always. One difference between myself and someone that is having a down day is this. People have down times but their life in general is a happy one. That isn't to say everything is grand for them. It merely means that though they have a bad day now and then, the good days are more common. For myself and millions others, I have the opposite. I have good days but the sad or lost and confused far out weigh the good days. When i am having a "grand" day, I am still fully aware that tears or sadness or the feeling that I simply am not good for anything or anyone is always just a breeze away. Anything small can and too often does trigger those feelings and changes my entire day... sometimes, my week or month.  I don't "bounce back" and go about my daily routine. I carry it with me and as the day or week goes on, I add to it until the weight is too much to carry. Sound familiar? I am sure to many of you, it does.
 People, medical sites can tell you all about the medical effects of depression and/or being bipolar. It doesn't really click unless you feel what they are saying. I don't mean have the symptoms. I am talking about Feeling the very words of someone that has been there or is there. I am writing about those that love someone that is suffering because they too suffer right along with you. To watch you go through battles inside, knowing the very best they can offer you is an ear or to love you often leaves them feeling useless to you. They want to help you but don't truly know how. And how do we expect them to do something that we ourselves have no idea how to do, even for ourselves? And so... we take on that guilt as well and make it our own.
 Being diagnosed, as I said before, is just a term. A simple word that is tossed around so easily today that I often wonder if some even really know what it is. It isn't about being sad for a moment or even fora day or two. Hell, life does that just because it is fast pace and demanding today.  The very best of the Lot feel that. It is the silent, behind the scene feelings that are destructive. The feelings that no one would nor could understand and so we suffer alone, in silence, crying in secret, feeling as if we serve no purpose other than to hurt those around us that separate us from the rest of the world. It is the need to feel and to know why we are this way that drives us. Answers that never seem to come. Doctors and therapists telling us what medically can be done and us, inside, screaming "no thank you!!!!" Fears that no one but those that suffer can imagine, whether real or self induced, fears that are as real to us as the very air we breathe.
  If you suffer from these disorders, I hope you have a good "support team." The safe places we have, few and rare, are the only thing that gives us reason to continue the journey our feet have been set on. Loved ones that really Do care and that truly Do believe that there is something not quite right for you are more important that anyone could imagine. And those that Do NOT believe or that feel there is nothing wrong with you that you can not simply "get past it", can destroy all that you are without even realizing it and sometimes, sadly, without even caring.  They have a way to bring you to places they do Not even want to try and imagine and for certain would not EVER want to follow you there.
 If you are someone that lives with or around a person inflicted with depression or bipolar and you love them as best as you can, then I say God Bless you and thank you for that. You may in fact be a binding tie that keeps that loved one here on this earth. You too have a "power", or perhaps I should say a "gift" to touch and help that loved one survive and function in a world that is mostly abstract and threatening to them.
 I don't know that I have written anything different or new here today. I hope that I have at least caused you to stop and think for a moment. To reach out and grab One thought for a minute, something that for those of that do suffer consider a rare and beautiful moment. Depression is sooooooo much more than just a website that writes about it. It is a way of life for some of us. Rough, sad, scary or otherwise, it is our world and we need You, the one looking in from the outside to believe that it IS real. After-all, who would ever ask to be This way? Ahhhhhhhh, but that is another write all in itself.    Darrel 

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