Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Things i know about of the links between Depression by any name is a rough road to walk down. This is a very real illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things in your life. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. This is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that you can just ignore and hope that it goes away. You cannot merely "pull yourself together" and get better. Without treatment, the symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years.
The effects that it has on your thought process are often brought on by the lack of sleep that often comes with this state of mind. sometimes a doctor can prescribe for you certain medications that will help you deal with the symptoms of your depression. I include here side-effects of some meds as I have written before on long term effects of medications. It is important to know all you can about medications before taking them OR stopping them.
I share with you a story concerning the state of mind and healing. I want you to know there is a positive side to depression. As any of you that have read my blogs know, My Sheila was a very sick lady throughout our life together. We walked through some pretty hot fires together. her depression was very severe and dangerous to her health at times. One such time came to us while she had been hospitalized for almost 7 months without coming home. She mostly curled in a ball and layed still when I visited each day. Her parents lived 600 miles away and as is the case with many people, they could not nor wanted to accept that Sheila was so very ill. I suppose for some it is easier to close it out or pretend it doesn't exist. They visited very rarely and when they did, they had NO understanding of what Sheila was truly going through. I do not fault them as they dealt with it in their own way.
One day, while they were visiting, Sheila's mother turned to a nurse and said "Look at her.She needs her hair done and her nails made up." I was totally flabbergasted at her words. I was trying my damndest to keep this lady alive and to bring her home. I didn't see her state of outward condition. Honestly, I had two babies, 2 and newborn to care for and a full time job to work. There was really little time for me to notice these things. I was livid that someone would even bring this subject up and so afraid that Sheila would be hurt by the notice of how she looked.
I called our doctor and ranted and raved to him about this. I told him I didn't even want them in the room with her. I was in tears from the exhaustion of doing all I could... and it not being enough. When I finished "flipping out" on the poor man, he spoke to me calmly.
"Darrel, I know you are trying to see Sheila get well. i know you are wearing down and that this seems like such a tiny thing right now. Maybe it is but... maybe it isn't. You don't have time to worry about such things. You brush her hair each day and feel it is enough. But your mother-in-law is there. She has the time to see those things. She has the means to perhaps make Sheila feel better about herself. Please understand, there is healing in feeling good about yourself. What harm can come from Sheila having her hair done nicely or her nails done? It is one less thing to be on your mind and that is not a bad thing."
I went with what he had said and thought of my perhaps selfishness at not seeing this myself. A beautician was brought in that completely transformed Sheila back to the woman I knew her as. She was always very conscience of her appearance. Did it work? Oh Yes!!!! I watched over the next few days Sheila responding more to the things around her. She began to try a bit harder to be attentive when I was there visiting. In 3 weeks, I took her home for a weekend stay. We had a huge picnic at a park that my entire family shared in. Sheila's attitude was changing and I was loving it. In 5 weeks... I brought her home to be with us as a family again. She remained there until the next bout with her illness.
But what was learned and now a very real part of me was this. Your attitude and the way you feel about yourself has so much to do with your depression. Allowing yourself to stop wanting to look good, your self-esteem is one of the most powerful healing tools there are with in our reach. It has the potential and abilties to take our moods and swing them from down to an up-beat attitude. Not always an easy task for certain but one that can be obtained.
Sheila's mom showed me that it isn't always the inside of us that keeps us from healing. Sometimes, it is the outside that needs to feel good first. I will write more on depression in my next blog. Thank you for reading this and God Bless you. Darrel

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