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Major Depression, I suffer...Do you?

Updated on July 8, 2013
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Depression can make you think that the smallest thing is the end of the world and nothing will ever be right. It can make you think you are a nothing, no body and have nothing good to bring to this life. It can make you feel like you are not worthy of love or good enough to be a mother, father, spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother, sister, friend, employee, neighbor or even just a human being. Worthless. It can make you think that you shouldn't be around anyone, maybe it'd be better if you just died so everyone could be better off without you. I have felt all these feeling and then some, I cannot explain the inner battle I have every day when sadness over comes me, and hearing my children's laughter in the same instant. It's a war you want to win, but seems impossible.

Major Depression or Clinical Depression is the constant state of despair and hopelessness. It’s something I have had since I was a child and wasn't diagnosed with until I was 18. With the help of medication I can live a normal happy life, and no, I am not ashamed to admit that.

Major Depression can make it difficult to concentrate on work or school; you may lose interest in people and things you used to love to do. It can make it difficult to sleep or eat because you feel sad most of the day. Everyone experiences sadness at one point or another, like after being laid-off from a job or with the loss of a loved one. However, if no life changing event has happened recently and you have these symptoms for at least two weeks, you should seek a professional opinion to see if you may have Major Depression.

Clinical Depression affects as little 6.7% of adult Americans. It can affect the elderly, teenagers and kids but often goes undiagnosed. Women are twice as likely to develop Major Depression, mostly because men are less likely to talk about what they are experiencing. The risk for women may increase due to hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, and menopause. Other risk factors are increased stress due to home or work environments, balancing life and work, caring for an elderly loved one or being a single mother.

Having any form of depression is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Depression will weigh you down until you feel like the world is resting on your shoulders. Getting help is the most important thing for you and your family.

Major Depression

Symptoms
Feelings
 
Difficulty concentrating
Hopeless
 
Loss of interest in things you love
Helpless
 
Loss of Appetite
Despair
 
Difficulty sleeping
Despressed
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Source
Source

Personal Experience

My 6 year old step-son told me he wanted to color after dinner one night. I pulled out the construction paper and he said "I want yellow please, I want to draw you a smiley face". I handed him a piece of yellow paper and some "encouragement" stickers with cows on them and went to do the dishes while he worked on his masterpiece. When I came back this was the result:

He had drawn a smiley face on one side with some of the stickers I gave him and a skull on the other. He held it up to show me the smiley face and said in a serious tone, "Jesse, whenever you get sad I want you to look at the smiley face side, so it will make you happy," he said with authority, "and whenever you get mad you can look at the skull side, because it's angry." I told him he did a wonderful job and to go hang it on the refrigerator. He replied with "No, I want to put in on your desk so you can look at it everyday." So I pinned it up on my desk, and I do look at it everyday.

None of my children know what depression is, nor do they know I have it. I try my best to keep my dark monsters away from them and although it's difficult at times, I don't ever want them to see me like that. When he drew this he could not have possibly known how I would interpret his drawing or the effect it had on me.

My Interpretation of the Smiley Face: "When you are sad I want you to look at the smiley face." I have taken this to mean "When you are sad, think of happy things". With the encouragement stickers, (really meant for children in school who do good on their spelling tests) gives me confidence to say "Yes I am a good mother, spouse, sister, friend, employee, neighbor and human being. I have a lot to contribute to this world, especially in raising my children to be exactly how I think they should be raised (kind, loving, respectful, fun loving, carefree, happy, open minded, unique and individual thinkers).

My Interpretation of the Skull: "When you are mad, look at the skull face" I have taken this to mean "When you think nothing is going right and your depression has taken over, this is the effect." You can take this is a literal form, as in you may take your own life. I've chosen a different route: When you let depression take hold of your life, you feel dead inside. You feel hollow and empty, only adding to the worthlessness you already feel making it way worse.

Genius?

He is a genius. No, I'm not biased, think about it. When you are depressed, the best thing to do is do something that makes you happy. He gave me something to be happy about. He drew a picture. For me. To help me smile through my tears. He loves me. He wants me to be happy. This is unconditional love in all it's purity. Everyday while writing on this site, I glance up at my smiley face, knowing that on the other side lies certain death. It helps me to remember that there are plenty of things to be happy about, and it gives me confidence in myself to be the best I can be, to show them that nothing is beyond reach.

This picture is not the solution to my depression but it helps. If you find things around the house that make you happy just by looking at them, surround yourself with them. Put them in places that are easily visible, someplace you will see then every time you walk into a room. It may be a picture of a loved one, or a souvenir from a trip you took and had a wonderful time, or in my case a drawing from a 6 year old little boy who means the world to me.

Other Forms of Depression

If you think you may have a different form of depression, or are just interested in the topic, please see my other hubs:

Seasonal Depression

Chronic Depression (Dysthymia)

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Blues & Postpartum Psychosis


Knowing the signs of depression can help prevent it.

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    • Jesse Mugnier profile image
      Author

      Jesse Mugnier 4 years ago from Jersey

      It's been a roller coaster, let me tell ya.

      I have an idea, I will email you and you can just hit reply. I'd love to answer these questions, but it's not something I am ready to post on Hubpages so I'll email you.

      Talk to you soon :)

      - Jesse

    • profile image

      Joan Grace 4 years ago

      Wow! You've been through it! Im not computer savvy, but I've got to email you! I really want to talk. How long did you have suicidal thoughts & when did they go away? What kind of work do you do? Does it involve writing, I hope! I work in a food prep facility; dull but it's decent money; on my feet constantly; hauling, lifting. Help me!

    • Jesse Mugnier profile image
      Author

      Jesse Mugnier 4 years ago from Jersey

      Joan,

      There are many things that can trigger depression. Do you also have anxiety? I do, I will be writing hubs on that as well. Anxiety is a form of depression, it can even escalade the depression you have now. I am on two medications: Zoloft for depression & anxiety, and Xanax for anxiety attacks.

      I am in a similar situation, although my children are little, I have to stick with my job just to pay the bills. Its a vicious cycle; work, get paid, pay bills. There's no wiggle room in the budget for anything and that is very depressing, hating the work you are doing will make this even worse.

      I was born with depression and anxiety running in my veins. My life was one devastating event after another and I was on the verge of suicide until I decided to get help from my doctor who prescribed me my medication. I feel happy now and I don't stress over everything. My daughter spilled grape juice on my white carpet? Oh well! The car broke down? It'll get fixed.

      I'm not saying it doesn't creep up every once in a while, but going on those medications has helped me more than I ever thought possible.

      What I have done to help myself, beyond taking my medicines, is taking steps to fix the things I dont like about my life. I've starting a savings account to stop the vicious cyle. I may only put $5 in a week, if I even have that, but at least it's something. I try to look at the bigger picture, as in I say things like "I have this, this and this, and that's good" instead of saying things like "I ONLY have this, this and this". I guess you could say I count my blessing, even though I am not particularly religious.

      Writing helps me more than anything else I think. I have deep dark demons that lurk around me. Writing helps get rid of them, helps me fight them off. It's the only outlet I have found that works better than anything else, even therapy.

      I wish you luck and look forward to talking more about this! If you ever need anything, head over to my profile page, click fan mail and in the top right corner there is a button to email me, don't be afraid to hit that button. I'm here to talk if you ever need to. :)

    • profile image

      Joan Grace 4 years ago

      Jesse

      What do you think is the "thing" that triggers your depression? For me it's often work and not being able to see my children as often as I'd like; feeling trapped and tied to a job I hate just to pay my bills. Ive tried therapy & I'm considering meds; I'm hoping writing helps; seems like it did for you !

    • Jesse Mugnier profile image
      Author

      Jesse Mugnier 4 years ago from Jersey

      Thank you Petra. I believe you have made a very valid point. When I feel depressed that's when the best creativity comes out. That alone is depressing but, whatever works.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      The "good" part about depression is that it allows both the mind and the spirit to explore the deep places where "regular" people do not usually go and as a consequence art (in all its forms) is created

      Most artists, of all times, have suffered from depression and, while this personal struggle made their life miserable, humanity enjoyed the benefits.

    • Jesse Mugnier profile image
      Author

      Jesse Mugnier 4 years ago from Jersey

      Thanks ahorseback, I'm doing better. You're right, medication will help but they aren't the only solution. Therapy, in some form is needed to get out how you are feeling. I'm planning on going back to see my therapist, in the mean time, writing is my therapy.

      I hope you are doing well too :)

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      Hi Jessee , I experienced this as well , for all of my life , in my fifties I finally admitted and saught help . The meds help although the adjustments are tough. As a man though I'm not sure I understand "men are less likely to talk about what they are experiencing "......I think thats what got me started in depression ! great hub and I hope you are doing well now . If our experiences can't help each other , what will !.......:-}

    • Jesse Mugnier profile image
      Author

      Jesse Mugnier 4 years ago from Jersey

      Thank you Liz, I hope so too :)

    • Liz-reviews profile image

      Eunice Elizabeth 4 years ago from Vancouver, BC

      Hi Jesse

      Thanks for sharing your personnel story, depression is something that is very hard for some people to share. The fact that you are sharing hopefully will encourage others who read your Hub's to possibly seek help.

      Voted useful & voted up

      Liz-reviews

    • Jesse Mugnier profile image
      Author

      Jesse Mugnier 4 years ago from Jersey

      Thank you for reading and kind words!

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 4 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Good Hub, there is power and healing in 'coming out' as a survivor of depression.