Depression// The Silent Killer

The Storm Within Spiraled Out of Control

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Clinical depression can be the diagnosis for depression if feelings of intense sadness are accompanied by:

feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness that persist for many days and weeks. This individual may be unable to function normally unable to carry out normal day to day activities.

Those who suffer from it may mask their symptoms, mask their feelings, mask the loss of joy so well that others have no idea that you are being ravaged by the silent killer.

DISCLAIMER---I am not a trained psychologist or psychiatrist. I am an individual who has suffered from clinical depression. This account is primarily how it affected me.

Hold On...You Will Be an Amazing New Person

Behind the smile, there was no joy...

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What it is...

  • Depression is a mental disorder that affects at least 350 million people world wide. People of all ages suffer from this disorder.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the leading cause of disability worldwide .
  • More women than men are affected by depression.
  • When depression is at its worst, it can lead to suicide.
  • Depression can be effectively treated.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

Without realizing it, the silent killer had permeated my life. I experienced many of these symptoms and wound further down into the depths of loneliness and sadness further away from those who loved me.

Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A 'you can do it' when things are tough.

— Richard M. DeVos
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Symptoms that may be experienced

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are cues that can be used to identify depression. Depression will occur in an individual if five of the symptoms listed below are present.

  • Substantial weight loss or gain
  • Feeling restless
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide (not a fear of death)
  • Feeling and displaying a depressed mood throughout the day, especially in the morning
  • Have little or no energy each day
  • Feeling worthlessness or being filled with guilt almost every day
  • Inability to concentrate and make decisions
  • Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping almost daily
  • Noticeable lack of interest or pleasure in most every activity almost daily

A Powerful Song That Says It All...You May Fall....but Never Ever Stop the Climb

Patti---age 24.....Patti---age 34....When did it begin?

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MAJOR DEPRESSION
POSSIBLE RISK FACTORS
 
 
RISK FACTOR
POSSIBLE CONNECTION
Gender
women are two times more likely to suffer from major depression
Age
the peak ages are 20 to 40
Family History
three times more likely if a family history is present
Marital status
Separated and divorced individuals are more likely
 
married men less likely than unmarried men
 
married women more likely than unmarried women
Postpartum
possible within six months of giving birth
Negative lfe events
may have possible connection
early death of parents
may have possible connection

Have you ever been diagnosed with clinical depression?

  • Yes. I am currently undergoing treatment.
  • Yes. I have been treated and am no longer suffering with it.
  • No but there is a family history of depression.
  • No and I am thankful.
See results without voting

copyright 2013 pstraubie48 ™ All Rights Reserved

A different experience

According to some mental healthy professionals that I have spoken with about CD, if someone demonstrates these symptoms within two months of the loss of a loved one is not considered clinically depressed.

In addition and equally as important, like with most of illnesses, someone who suffers from this mental health issue may not experience the same symptoms in the same way as someone else. How long the symptoms last, how often they manifest themselves, and how extreme the symptoms are vary from individual to individual.

For me, that helps me to understand why I was able to mask my symptoms as well as I did as I fell deeper into the hands of this silent killer, depression.

This is a classic...when I saw it for the first time, I was recovering from my depression. There were parts of it that shook me to me to my core.

Perfectly imperfect

In November of 1982 I crashed. For years I had felt that I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I felt that I was never doing enough, giving enough, becoming enough.

Being perfect in every way was my mantra. And often I did not measure up. This self imposed vision of who I thought I must be weighed on me each day.

In college I tried to excel in every class, when I earned my Masters again excellence was probably more important than what I learned (in hindsight I think that was probably true although I was not aware that I was thinking that way at the time), and when five years later I earned my Ed Specialist, only the top scores were good enough.

The standard was too high

I had been a wife for nine years and of course I had wanted to be wife extraordinaire. You could have eaten off of my floors as I kept them spotless. Every Satu I got up and stripped the wax, on my hands and knees, and then reapplied wax to make them sparkle.

Every meal was prepared from scratch and in no room could a spec of dust be found.

Not only was I a wife but I was a Mother and this part of my life was probably the sanest. My daughter brought balance and joy to my life. Being the Best Mom was easy because experiencing life through the newness of her eyes caused an awakening within me and has remained so most of our life together.

However, as it sometimes does, the perfect life, the perfect wife, the perfect Mother found herself divorced.

Today there is no room for depression in this life...

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Another layer....

Unwanted things happened that I felt could not be repaired. It was not a clear cut "HE" as at fault. It takes two individuals deeply invested in monogamy to make marriage a success (not to mention all of the area facets of marriage).

I wanted us to work…to continue our lives together but it became a trust issue and parting of the ways became the way to fix it. It was not a cavalier decision. It just was the one that made sense at the time.

However that event was one more layer that sent my life finally spiraling out of control. For weeks and even months the tears flowed endlessly. Perhaps it was the final trigger that sent me further away from the healthy feelings that I thought I had owned for most of my life.

Wishing for what had been or what might a been, much of the joy left my life.

Suicide and depression

Read how depression is an early symptom, sometimes, of thoughts of suicide.


http://pstraubie48.hubpages.com/hub/Suicide-What-Could-Have-Been-Done

The joy was gone...

And while joy did return for a few years somehow the sadness, the emptiness, the feeling that I was out of control would return and not leave.

At the time I did not realize what was happening but this was the beginning of my clinical depression.

The dawning of a new day brought more sadness and more loneliness. And nothing, not even the face of my precious daughter could cause this tunnel in which I was now trapped to release me and allow me to find joy once again.

There was just no pleasure in anything at all any more. Things I had loved like hearing the excitement in my daughter’s voice, walking on t he beach and feeling the salty spray on my face, spying a newly bloomed flower, reading an amazing story…none of these held any interest for me.

Making an effort to go through the day to day activities including going to the classroom I had loved for many years became an albatross around my neck. .

I was unable to return to school and the children I had loved that fall. Sucked further into this hell hole, I was almost totally powerless. Thankfully I was able to return to live with my Momma and Daddy so that my daughter had to be there for her. I certainly was not.

Descent into hell

Finally I had fallen so deeply into a void that left me virtually incapacitated. I no longer ate and my only food source was from the Ensure my Momma practically forced me to drink.

I decided I would move to Pennsylvania to live with my sister thinking that maybe a change of scenery would make this despondency that had absorbed me would evaporate. That did not work. As much as I loved my sister even her smiling face and her joy at getting to know my daughter, it did not stop me from drowning even more completely. So, as suddenly as I had arrived, I departed and headed South to the rural home I had lived in for many years.

By the time I arrived there was no light in my life. I found little reason to go on and began to have thoughts of death. I feared that something horrible would happen to me or to my loved ones. Not realizing that I was dangerously close to some rash decision, I drove myself to a local Crisis Center and checked myself in hoping to find myself once again. And, it worked.

It was not a sudden magical ascent from hell. I remained in the Crisis Center for one week, voluntarily. It was determined that I had clinical depression and my treatment began. I attended private sessions with a psychiatrist daily as well as group therapy. I no longer felt as if I were strangling. The silent killer had not claimed me.

After I left the Center, I attended outpatient care and at the end of six months I was only going in to meet with the doctor once a month. And not long after that I was released from care.

The Return....

The return to me was a journey which I have traveled since those frightening days. I only had treatment with a medical professional for a short time but from the time that I found myself once again I developed a new mind set which I live by to this day.

  • I do not allow myself the luxury of becoming mired down in whatever it is that may cause me emotional turmoil.
  • I refuse to allow anything to pull me into the grip of the silent killer, depression.
  • That does not mean that I do not experience sadness but
  • it does mean that I do not allow it to turn me inside out.
  • Making every effort to find something positive that I can do to dissipate the sadness or disappointment when I face it is how I have reprogrammed my thinking.
  • . Retraining my thinking so that despite the negatives that I may face, I am able to carry on.
  • Is it always easy to do?
  • No but it is a commitment I have made and that I live by.

the Silent Killer

Perhaps you wonder why I have named it the Silent Killer.

To reiterate: I have done so because those who are swallowed up by clinical depression are able to become chameleon-like hiding behind walls that keep their illness a secret.

I became a master at hiding how hopeless I felt.

No one knew. Not even my Mother. I had tried to explain to her how I was feeling but I really did not want her to know.

I did not want to be the source of a new pain in her life.

You will never start living until you've realized that your life is your own unique gift. So, live it uniquely in your own unique way, the way you were created to be; unique! Don't imitate someone else's life, you will only blend in, when you were created to stand out from the rest of the imitators. Live your life, your own way; your life was given to you, not to someone else.

— Geraldine Vermaak

On the Way Back

So hiding behind a new mask every day, I ascended further into the pit that would have sucked the life out of me if I had not sought help.

The difficult part of this illness is that if you are depressed, truly depressed, it is very difficult to accept that you are and seek help.

Too often, those who are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope do take their lives.If you know someone who is experiencing the symptoms mentioned in this article, make every effort to get help for them before it is too late.

I am so very thankful that many years ago I sought help and began my life anew.

Pamper yourself

One very important part of my therapy was learning to put me first. That was totally opposite of anything I had ever done. Everyone else's needs and wants came before mine. That is not that I was this wonderful person. It was just that was the way I thought things were supposed to be.

During therapy sessions, I learned that in order to be the best for others, I needed

  • to be the best me.tTo take care of my needs first and then take care of others.

There of course are parameters for this prescription. When you have children, their needs seem to supersede yours as they do need you.

  • You are encouraged to take some time in every day for YOU alone. It does not need to be a long period of time but it does need to be you time. Women particularly need this time for themselves because we are all things to all people as a general rule.
  • So, a drug free way to keep yourself mentally healthy is to set aside a bit of time in each day to pamper you.
  • Go for a walk
  • Go sit on a park bench and read for a bit,
  • do something to renew your spirit.
  • You will be glad that you did.

More by this Author


39 comments

Artois52 profile image

Artois52 23 months ago from England

Great hub. The more that people understand about depression the better.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Suzzy It was a long frightening journey out of the black abyss into which I was sucked. I thought I may never recover.

My feelings were flat...I felt nothing about anyone or any thing and I just wanted it to stop. I wanted it to end.

But I found my way back...and I have never looked back and I refuse to let that demon grab hold of me again.

My prayers and many Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps


suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

You are a strong woman and I hope to get to know you more through your writing here on HP. I cannot say I am as depressed as you were. I have my days, since my Dear Friend passed away and a week later my Dad had a stroke that has consummed me ever since. I will work on having time for me . A very good mantra for me to have. Thank you.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

What are the answers to the troubling questions you posed? I think that no one trained or not trained in evaluating mental health really knows.

Depression takes hold and locks out all else.

Having walked that scary tightrope I know how it feels but do not know how I escaped it grip. I just know that gradually I came back to ME. And since then have never let anything take hold of me like falling into the abyss of darkness did.

Thank you for visiting Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

What are the answers to the troubling questions you posed? I think that no one trained or not trained in evaluating mental health really knows.

Depression takes hold and locks out all else.

Having walked that scary tightrope I know how it feels but do not know how I escaped it grip. I just know that gradually I came back to ME. And since then have never let anything take hold of me like falling into the abyss of darkness did.

Thank you for visiting Angels are on the way to you ps


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 3 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

This saddens me because there are so many kinds of depression but never is prevention discussed and we are not treated as individuals. The same drugs are prescribed as if we are one - a homogeneous nation of people - but we come from so many different places and life styles.

I do know of a boy of just 15 who was depressed and did commit suicide just as the psychologist said he would. The parents - going though the most brutal divorce preceded by a bad marriage - ignored the warning. How could his depression have been prevented? Drugs? Early therapy? Parents made aware of how their actions affect the children?

Thanks for writing about what is becoming an epidemic.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi DDE

You are so right. It not only affects many teens but also those of other ages as well. And often it is hidden from loved ones sometimes until it is too late to help.

Sending Angels to you this morning. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi DDE

You are so right. It not only affects many teens but also those of other ages as well. And often it is hidden from loved ones sometimes until it is too late to help.

Sending Angels to you this morning. ps


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Depression affects many teenagers problem which are often not noticed by parents.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

It is Victoria Lynn, I know it is. And there are times when I have felt myself slipping down that dark tunnel but I refused and fought and shook it off. So many things have happened that have caused me to force myself to head in a new direction. Not saying it is easy, only saying I have made myself do it.

Life has brought much pain and angst my way and into the lives of those I love but it has been offset by the many exhilarating and heart warming events that followed. I believe the Angels who have walked in and remained in my life and in the lives of those I love and know are a huge part of why I am able to keep on keeping on. Celestial Angels and those precious earthly Angels that we meet as we muddle through each bring us courage and strength. ps


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Thanks, ps, I need that. My thinking drives me crazy at times. ;-) It's often hard for me to shake melancholy.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Vicotoria

Yes, I too am a thinker. I tend to overanalyze everything and to try to second guess too many things. I am better than I was in the past, much, but still tend to be that way. I do not however allow myself to be swallowed up by melancholy.

Sending you Angels to help keep you free from that which may cause you uncertainty. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Vicotoria

Yes, I too am a thinker. I tend to overanalyze everything and to try to second guess too many things. I am better than I was in the past, much, but still tend to be that way. I do not however allow myself to be swallowed up by melancholy.

Sending you Angels to help keep you free from that which may cause you uncertainty. ps


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Thanks for sharing your story. I have done pretty well, I guess, with my melancholy or depression or whatever it is, since I was very young. I do okay, but I wish I had more motivation at times. I tend to be a loner, too, and I think too much. I think what would help me most is to retrain my thinking, but that is so hard to do. I do keep on going, so that's a positive. Thanks again for your encouragement.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks, rajan jolly, for stopping by. Yes, I am so grateful that I found help that really did save my life. It became important to me to share my story so that others who suspect that they may be clinically depressed will seek help before it is too late.

Angels are on the way to you this evening, My Friend. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks, rajan jolly, for stopping by. Yes, I am so grateful that I found help that really did save my life. It became important to me to share my story so that others who suspect that they may be clinically depressed will seek help before it is too late.

Angels are on the way to you this evening, My Friend. ps


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

This is going to be a very useful read to all those needing help with depression. Glad you took the timely step of getting to the Crisis center for help and were able to come out of it totally.

Voted up, useful and interesting. Sharing it too.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks for visiting rebecca

this really isn't a topic that many care to address especially if they have never been clinically depressed and I can understand that.

For too many years I lived with it as it silently ate away at my core. As I have said to anyone who would listen, I am so blessed that I had a support system who helped me through this frightening time in my life.

Angels are on the way to you and yours this afternoon. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks for visiting rebecca

this really isn't a topic that many care to address especially if they have never been clinically depressed and I can understand that.

For too many years I lived with it as it silently ate away at my core. As I have said to anyone who would listen, I am so blessed that I had a support system who helped me through this frightening time in my life.

Angels are on the way to you and yours this afternoon. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Peggy

this was a difficult topic for me so it took many years before I felt I could share it. Having known friends who have not gotten help in time, I just felt I needed to get over whatever issue I had with not sharing it and tell my personal journal.

I am so blessed that I found help and have learned to address the highs and lows we all face and go forth.

Thank you for visiting, Peggy.

Angels are on the way this afternoon. ps


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Thanks for this well written account with your bout of depression. I've never thought of it has a silent killer before, but that makes sense. I am glad you got better!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Two people I know resorted to suicide so this is such an important article to share with others before it is too late. Thanks for sharing such a personal part of your life with us. Hopefully it will help others as they cope with this disease. So happy to hear that you received help in time! Up votes and sharing, pinning and tweeting.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

hi drbj

and actually most call me padi k (that is what is on my license tag..so if you ever see a Honda Fit tooling along the highway with that handle, it is I).

Thank you for your kind words. I do hope and pray that someONE will be helped and find a way around their sadness and back into the sunlight once again. Angels are on the way to you my sweet Friend. ps


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

I have no doubt, Patricia (or would you prefer that I call you Pattie?), that because you had the strength of will and the talent for writing that you possess, that this article will provide immense strength and clarity for those who read it and are suffering from depression.

You are an exceptionally strong person to share your experiences in such depth. I am honored, m'dear, to call you my friend.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Eddy

This article took me many years to compose. I have gone over and over in my mind what I would say but never did. Recently I have had to come to terms with death in my family that was totally unexpected and because I have learned coping techniques that enable me to face each new situation I was able to weather the storm. Others who have had depression in their past need to know that they can live through new challenges. Thank you for visiting... Angels are on the way today ps


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

A great share PS and will benefit many I am sure.

Eddy.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Koffee Klatch Gals

Yes, those who don't know how horrid it is. What the person who is lost in the grips of the silent killer would like nothing better to than to snap out of it.

Your family member is so fortunate to have you and your brother. Sensitivity and seeking help are key to finding the you that is lost for a bit.

Sending Angels to you and to your brother and sister-in-law. ps


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

Excellent hub. The information you gave as to the symptoms was terrific. I am so sorry that you had to experience this and so glad you sought help. My sister-in-law is being treated for depression. It's hard for some of our family to understand what she is going through. They seem to think she should "snap out of it'. I see her struggle to try to act as though nothing is wrong. Thank goodness my brother has helped her get the kind of help she needs. Thank you for sharing your story. Up and awesome.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi wabash annie

I mentioned in one of the comments above that it took many years before I could share this private part of my life. But I believe that if just ONE person who reads this and assesses how they are feeling and it helps that person, then I have not shared in vain.

Thank you for visiting. Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi wabash annie

I mentioned in one of the comments above that it took many years before I could share this private part of my life. But I believe that if just ONE person who reads this and assesses how they are feeling and it helps that person, then I have not shared in vain.

Thank you for visiting. Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Absolutely, Pamela.

It is about rewiring our thinking. I have been told it is a chemical imbalance and meds could be used but I refused to become a slave to meds. I have learned to embrace the joy in each day..thank God for that.

It is so nice to see you today...smiles and hugs and Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Absolutely, Pamela.

It is about rewiring our thinking. I have been told it is a chemical imbalance and meds could be used but I refused to become a slave to meds. I have learned to embrace the joy in each day..thank God for that.

It is so nice to see you today...smiles and hugs and Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Billy

It has taken me this many years to share this most private part of my life. At the time I was diagnosed mental health issues meant loony tunes and lots of whispering, finger pointing, and name calling. So that may have been part of why I remained silent.

Realizing that bringing it out into the open may help someONE ...I decided to do so.

So good to see you today Angels are on the way, my Friend....ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Billy

It has taken me this many years to share this most private part of my life. At the time I was diagnosed mental health issues meant loony tunes and lots of whispering, finger pointing, and name calling. So that may have been part of why I remained silent.

Realizing that bringing it out into the open may help someONE ...I decided to do so.

So good to see you today Angels are on the way, my Friend....ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

hi Faith...

It is so cool to see you using your newly create avatar...awesome. I have been away most of the last week and probably will be so for most of the upcoming weeks ---mentioned in my profile .

I am blessed to be here...this is an awesome community of friends. It has enlarged who I am a great deal.

You are so precious for your kind words. I hope all is good in your world. Angels and hugs and blessings are on the way....ps


wabash annie profile image

wabash annie 3 years ago from Colorado Front Range

Mine is the first comment and I don't know what to say. I'll try, however. I can understand that more women suffer from depression than men do. Is it because we attempt to be all things to all people? Long ago, we called that 'role strain' when we were not very successful. Many physical illnesses are a result of depression. Thanks for listing indicators, for making positive suggestions, and for the courage to write about a very difficult topic. My very best wishes ... Annie


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

This is an excellent hub on depression that affects so many people. I am fortunately rarely depressed. I only had one time in my life where my problems were a bit overwhelming and I had a short period of depression. I feel bad for those that are ,and I made a decision decades ago that misery was only an option. I try to enjoy each day to the fullness andd be grateful for my many blessings. Awesome hub. Sending you some angels tis morning.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Such an important hub, PS! I have several friends diagnosed with clinical depression so I have some idea of the daily struggles. Thank you for writing this. It is so important that we all share our struggles so others know they are not alone and so that they can gain some insights. A wonderful read and a happy ending...my favorite kind of story. :)

Sending hugs and blessings your way

bill


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Oh, Dearest PS,

Thank you for sharing your profound story here and bringing awareness to CD. I am so thankful you are here to share it with us! I am blessed to know you via HP, as you are such a beautiful person who has much love for others.

I have read how CD can be the deepest, darkest hole to someone who is suffering from such, and there appears to be no way out, but I am glad you sought the help you needed and climbed out of that deep dark pit.

God bless you dearest friend. Angels are on their way as always.

Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

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