- Mental Health
Depression the Silent Illness
Somedays I hate adulting, many days I wish I could just stay in bed and binge watch anything on Netflix. There are times I look at my ringing alarm on my phone and think, “OH Lord, Not today!” However, once my feet hit the ground, I am off and running. This is a good day when my depression is not at its peak. Days that my depression is high and I am in full force there is not too much that gets done. During these bouts, I have zero energy and just want to sleep. Medicine does not always work, but withoutit, I would be worse.
I have been diagnosed with Major Depression about 10 years ago, I suffer daily with the way my mind and body deals with this disorder. It is hard to understand, sometimes. I have studied psychology for many years, my husband has PTSD, and my oldest has bipolar and anxiety and I still do not totally understand where it all came from and why? There is a history of depression in my family and the whole nature versus nurture is a highly talked about subject. I am not one of those professionals that are strictly nature, or strictly nurture. I have always been on the fence, I feel it is a combination of the two. I feel genetics play a huge role in behavior, yet at the same time, I feel that the environment that one is raised is a helpful factor as well.
It took me a long time to admit that I have depression. It was always excuses like, I will feel better once we get settled, I will feel better once the baby is born, I will be happier if, if,if… Nothing seemed to make me totally happy. I played it off most of the time, I hid it from most people, but even though I had a smile on my face, I was dying inside. The day the love of my life, my husband left for a year tour overseas for the fight on terrorism was the day that I feel began my true journey into the dark abyss. I was left alone for the first time with a 3 ½ yr old, 18 mo old, and a 7 mo old. We were stationed at Ft Riley, Kansas and I was 1200 or so miles away from family and I was forced to grow up. From this point and before, though I was married and had three children, I really was mature to a point. I always had my husband. Most of the time we both were just winging it. I am not saying we were bad parents, all I am saying is we did not totally know what we were doing. This goes for most all young parents.
I watched my husband get on a bus that was taking him to a plane and I was unsure at that moment if I would ever see him again. I had to be strong, I had three little people that needed a strong mommy. Through the first few weeks of deployment, I found a new gained respect for single mothers. Now please, do not take this the wrong way; I am not comparing deployment to single parenthood by no means, it is just I understood the hardships that they make on a daily basis. Military spouses are similar in the ways of single parenthood, with one major exception; the money factor. We (or most) did not have to work and take care of the kids at the same time. We still had our spouses income, so that stress was lifted, however, it was taken over by the worry factor every day. That time in my life I saw changes in my moods, but I chalked it up to stress. Besides, who has time to go to the doctor with three kids? Whatever it was would just go away. Guess what? It did not go away, it intensified through the years.
Stressful moments in my life was blamed. Returning from Iraq, though was exciting, was stressful at the same time, my oldest having behavior issues, and having two toddlers in diapers was enough to make anyone mad. Life would one day settle down and would be calm inside and feel normal again. The sad thing was I could not truly remember what normal felt like. I just put on a happy face.
I am not alone with the way I feel, there are over 350 million people worldwide suffer from some type of depression. It is a daily struggle. Depression is a serious illness, and it does not discriminate against age, gender, race, or ethnicity; fortune and fame does not stop it either. Depression can target anyone, anytime, and anywhere.
As stated in the above paragraphs, depression can be caused by many factors, there are the genetics factor. There are some people that are already precondition to get depression, while others can develop because drug and alcohol abuse, or dealing with serious illness and chronic pain can all cause someone to become depressed. One big question is, can it be cured? The answers vary as well as the causes. There are many forms of treatment that help reduce the appearance and helps the individual cope daily. As for being 100% cured, there is no known cure. Therapy and medicine regimens allow more normal life and allow the individual to experience happiness.
Another misconception about depression is that Christian does not experience this illness. There is nothing true about this statement. Just because someone is a Christian does not mean they cannot be affected. Christians are human and they experience illnesses and sickness. The Bible even talks about depression extensively, Moses, (Numbers 11:1-15) he became spiritually and emotionally distraught. David (2 Samual 12:15-23) was troubled and battled deep despair, Elijah (1Kings 19:4) was discouraged weary and afraid, Job, (Job 2:9) suffered great loss, devastation, and physical illness.
Do not feel as if you are alone in this world, there are many people that suffer from the same invisible illness and God is always there anytime. Turn to him in all things.
Depression is not a curse and it is not contagious, it is an illness. Do not be afraid to get help.