Depression – A Psychological Tsunami

The Mind’s Dark Storm

Those who suffer from manic depression will understand my fight. Although the sun shines, the depression engulfs it in a thunderstorm of darkness. There is the feeling of being enveloped in grief that cannot be described. That grief grabs hold of the soul, inserting its manic talons so deep every emotion is lost to its grasp. The episodes plunge a person into to such an abyss that death seems the easiest escape. The victim struggles to regain buoyancy but somehow reaches to surface once again to live another long day. This is the daily struggle of sufferers of manic depression.

Depression is a mental tsunami that, if not diagnosed and treated early, can rip through a person’s mind and soul destroying ever semblance of happiness, hope, and vitality. When the depression tsunami makes psychological landfall, it destroys every bit of humanity in its wake, and if the person survives, it may take days, months, sometimes years to recover. Just like a home that has been destroyed by a literal tsunami, it will be a while before rebuilding occurs. Most of all, recovering from the psychological damage lasts a lifetime, making the healing process long and arduous.

Are You Depressed?

If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression.

  • you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
  • you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
  • you feel hopeless and helpless
  • you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
  • you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
  • you are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
  • you’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior
  • you have thoughts that life is not worth living (seek help immediately if this is the case)

Source: www.helpguide.org

Depression's Unbearable Suffering

Depression is such a long, painful, and slow death that can push a person to the end game, suicide. If you are suffering, please tell a trusted family member, friend, colleague, or your doctor. You do not have to suffer through this disease alone. Many have conquered this debilitating illness with counseling, medication, and support. I do not write this as a bystander. I write this as a sufferer. I write this as a victor. I write this as a person who will forever fight the same demons the late Robin Williams fought. The disease of depression is real. I know because I tolerate it every day with the help of counseling and medication.

Many are strong enough to live a long life but only with the correct counseling and prescribed medication. They are blessed if they have family and friends who accept their illness and provide encouragement and support. However, many who live in secrecy do so to not be labeled ‘crazy’ and shunned. They use humor to deal with their pain. Some self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. These sufferers are at high risk of suicide.

Being strong for everyone else can bring on depression for many women, especially Black women. It's time to heal thyself before we can help others.

How You Can Help

If you know of anyone who is a sufferer, please be empathic and kind. You do not have to have all the answers. Just listen and watch intently. If you are not a professional counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, please do not give advice. However, if you sense your loved one is in critical danger, get help. If you knew that your loved one had cancer and he or she were unable to help him or herself, would you sit by and let them die a long, painful and slow death? I hope not.

Resources for Depression Sufferers

The following are a few resources to help sufferers of depression. This is not an exhaustive list. Use the Internet to find additional information. Always remember, you are not alone.

  • Your primary care physician.
  • Your local health department.
  • Use your employer's Employee Assistance Program fora confidential referral.

As stated, these are just a few recommendations. There are so many resources available. You do not have to suffer alone. If you notice a loved one exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms, do not ignore them. Reach out. You could save a life.

Until Next Time: Depression and The Fictional Strong Black Woman

Video Excerpt

Being strong for everyone else can bring on depression for many women, especially Black women. It's time to heal thyself before we can help others.

© 2014 Clarissa Burton

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