Thursday, October 20, 2011

Light in Darkness

In 1990 I was given the twofold diagnosis of breast cancer and Fibromyalgia. There should have been one more diagnosis that was given CLINICAL DEPRESSION. I write it in all caps on purpose. Of all the health challenges I've faced in my life, and they are numerous, chronic bronchitis, allergy asthma, degenerative spinal disease, arthritis, and knee joint disease, to name a few CLINICAL DEPRESSION has been the hardest. I know even as I write this there may be some people who simply don't understand the difference between circumstance driven discouragement and CLINICAL DEPRESSION.

May I just express that discouragement is driven by the circumstances that you are living through. You may be discouraged because your team just lost a football game. Or you may be discouraged because your children refuse to tidy up the house.

This is a HUGE difference from CLINICAL DEPRESSION! Clinical depression is often NOT even related to circumstances. For example Marilyn Monroe, was a world famous celebrity with any possible material things that she could desire yet she suffered from clinical depression.

Clinical depression is a physical disease...every bit as much as diabetes. With diabetes your pancreas quits creating insulin to control the sugar absorption of your body. With depression your body quits creating one or all of the three chemicals, neurepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin that your body needs for you to feel peace. With an imbalance, or deficiency of these chemicals comes CLINICAL DEPRESSION.

What an AMAZING age that we live in where we know so much more of our brain and how it works. I like to think of the brain as the director of a huge play with thousands of actors. Our brain is impacted by the many, many processes going on in our bodies at any one time. In addition our brain impacts the many, many processes going on in our bodies at any one time. YUP, our brain is the director, and all of the things that our body does automatically (like breathing, or having our heart beat) are the many, many actors.

I am NOT ashamed that I have faced clinical depression. Why should I be? Would someone be embarrassed that they had diabetes, or asthma, or allergies?

Another important thing to understand about clinical depression is that it often IS triggered by other physical issues in your body. If you have heart disease, it affects the chemicals that the brain needs to function properly, VOILA, on top of heart disease you are now suffering from clinical depression.

Some people think that someone is BLUE, or DISCOURAGED, because they now have heart disease. That IS a normal reaction to something that radically changes your life. On the other hand there is a BIG difference again between situational discouragement and CLINICAL DEPRESSION. With clinical depression your body has messed up those three chemicals in some way or another and you may need antidepressant medication, and DEFINITELY some time to get the chemicals in balance again.

My beloved nephew Marcus killed himself a week ago. NOBODY knew that he was battling clinical depression. He was filled with light this beloved man. It was known that he had battled with this disease in the past but nobody knew that he again was in it's throes.

It needs to be understood that clinical depression is a POWERFUL LIAR! It tells you, "Nobody cares about what you're feeling!" "You're crazy, you're nuts, there's nothing wrong with you physically, you're just crazy!" "You need to die, you're a burden on your family, your friends, etc. etc." Clinical depression lies to you, and it's extremely hard to battle.

We didn't know that Marcus was battling....many people with clinical depression are good actors...until they are discovered dead from suicide.

Now for the good news....THERE IS HOPE! With a combination of support, from family, and friends, counseling from a professional (and you may need to interview a few counselors to find one that you connect well with, and feel that they understand YOU), and medication you can again feel good about life. You may never be CURED from clinical depression, but if you can find a combination of treatments that bring back color, and joy into your life...what a wonderful thing!

Of the three issues I faced in 1990, breast cancer, Fibromyalgia, and clinical depression, Clinical Depression has been the hardest battle. It's no sissy sprint, it's a marathon. On the other hand, ANYONE CAN survive this struggle!

If you know of anyone battling Clinical Depression DON'T JUDGE THEM. DO LOVE THEM! I have lost one of my favorite people because nobody knew that he was depressed. We need to love more, and judge less anybody fighting the demons of depression.

I will end on a positive note. I believe that Marcus is now getting powerful professional care in the spirit world. I believe that he understands himself, and the demons that were driving him well. I also believe that we will be again together as a family after I have finished this life. Our family will pull closer together than ever. I am eternally grateful to be a part of this amazing family.

In addition if my struggles with this disease and the lessons I have learned, and the success I have had in battling can help even ONE person...I will be grateful. PLEASE if you are battling this enemy GET HELP! Tell someone that you trust, and then get medication and professional counseling! I'm praying for you.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this post! You were able to write so many of the things I feel.
    Last year I 'gave up' and admitted that I was clinically depressed, something I'd been fighting for YEARS but refused to label it because it was a 'weakness.' I sobbed the first day I took the medication that my Dr. and I decided was best for me. I wish there had been someone earlier in my life to tell me it was ok and that it didn't change who I was or my worth as a child of God. I could have saved a LOT of struggling and a LOT of time wasted fighting just to get through the day to day.