Depressed ? You are not alone
Majella singing with Cliff Richard.
Depression is no longer a Social Taboo
Until recently depression was seen as a social taboo that was not talked about in society. However it appears that this has changed and now many celebreties appear to be using it as an opportunity to gain attention.
On the 14th March 2011 Majella O Donnell the wife of Daniel O Donnell revealed during an interview on the Late Late Show how she had battled secretly for years with depression. She needed the help of social services to look after her children and every time she felt better she got sick again. Majella is now married to Daniel O Donnell an internationally renowned country singer and she too has also recently started to sing on stage. What a story of hope!
This was followed a few weeks later by an announcement from another prominent Irish Star Mary Mc Evoy that she too had battled for many years with depression. Mary told how she filmed episodes of the popular TV drama Glenroe while taking tranquilisers! Mary has recently written a book in which she tells the story of how she lives with her ongoing depression.
It is amazing that a little scratch at the surface reveals a list of smiling, well put together people who have battled with this illness for many many years and who have all come forward to speak about it in recent years.
David Letterman, the star of Late Night with David Letterman (US), Fiona Philips the star of GMTV's morning show and many more.
It would be easy to say that the many celebreties who have begun to come forward and discuss the difficulites of depression are simply doing it to boost their careers, or their latest books. However I grew up in a time when depression was not discussed. If you went through a hard time after you had a new baby you did not have an option but to 'put on a brave face' or to get on with things. If you felt low, you may have had a drink. Many peoples lives were destroyed because the condition was not recognised or talked about in public.
In today's Society help is available. There is no longer the need to hide how you are feeling.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression?
If you feel five or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks you should talk to your doctor
- Do you feel sad, anxious or bored
- Do you have low energy, tired or fatigued
- Are you under or over sleeping?
- Have you poor concentration?
- Have you lost interest in your normal every day activities?
- Are you experiencing feelings of guilt or low self esteem?
- Are you experiencing aches and pains without any physical cause?
- Have you lost interest in living or are you experiencing thoughts of suicide?
Hope for the Hopeless,
"For I know the thought have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future". Jeremiah 29 verse 11.
This verse has been my mantra during some of my personal 'black days' when there appeared to be no future. Sometimes it has only been years later that i've been able to see how friends and even people I didn't know were there to support me in the 'dark days'.
A recent WHO study revealed that at least one in five people will suffer from a depressive episode at some stage in their lives. If you are feeling any of the the symtoms above for a prolonged period do not be afraid to talk to somebody.
Your family doctor is often a good place to start as there may also be a medical reason for how you are feeling.
For more information and support groups try www.aware.ie