Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Depression: They Just Don’t Get It

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve learned in 12-step support groups that if you decide to share something important with a loved one, or try to amend a broken relationships, you should do so without any expectation of a response.

I wish I had followed that advice the day I sent a family member an incredibly personal piece that I wrote about my severe depression (suicidal thoughts and all), and the first moments of dawn, hoping that it would make us closer.

Her response was one word: “Thanks.”

I felt like Princess Leia in “Star Wars” when she cries out to Han Solo (before he leaves for some empire war): “I love you!” And he says back, “I know!”

But part of my disappointment was my own fault.

I sent the piece to her with an agenda. This is what I wanted to hear: “You’ve been through a lot. I’m so happy you’ve come through to the other side.”

And when I didn’t get that, I was upset. I assumed she “got it”–the whole depression thing. I see now that this involves two mistakes (actually just one really big one): an assumption. ALL assumptions are termites in a relationship, and ESPECIALLY with regard to depression. Most people just don’t get it. Period. And I should stop expecting them to.

My mom keeps teaching me that lesson. Over and over again. I just now hung up the phone with her. Her last words: “People don’t get it. Remember that. And you’ll be less disappointed.”

I was venting to her just like I did the afternoon, fresh out of the psych ward, when my friend Liz told me that she thought antidepressants suppressed a person’s emotions, insinuating that I’d do well to pitch the happy pills and tough it out like the rest of humanity.

“No one understands, Mom. You and Eric. That’s it. And a few friends. Everyone else thinks I’m weak for joining the droves of Americans on Prozac.”

“Who cares?” she asked. “Why do you need their approval?”

“Because I’m not weak and it’s unfair to be labeled that way,” I explained.

“I don’t think you’re weak. Eric doesn’t. And you have several friends who believe in you. If you don’t want to be constantly frustrated I suggest you lower your expectations. Assume that people won’t understand, and you’ll be less disappointed when they don’t.”

Just as seasoned parents say “Just you wait!” to the pregnant lady in front of them at the checkout line, a person can’t begin to appreciate the harrowing darkness of depression unless she’s been there.

William Styron wrote his memoir, “Darkness Visible,” as a response to the public’s reaction to the suicide of Primo Levi, the Italian-Jewish writer and chemist who had survived the Holocaust. The scholars who admired Levi wondered how he could have endured years of torture by the Nazis yet break under depression. “The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it,” Styron wrote. “To the tragic legion who are compelled to destroy themselves there should be no more reproof attached than to the victims of terminal cancer.”

Like Styron, I was both enraged and saddened that friends and family were shocked to hear that two doctors sliced me open–before full anesthesia kicked in–to save little David’s life in an emergency C-section. Yet when I voiced the desperation of depression–which made the knife cut feel like a knee scratch–they often brushed it off, as if I were whining to win some undeserved sympathy votes.

But I should know better. Most people don’t get it. And the day I get that through my head I’ll be less disappointed.



  • Richard McKusic, Sr

    You are a real sweetheart, Therese. What a blessing God has given us all by your openness and vulnerability. Hope that you and Eric can do something really spontaneous this weekend and just have fun!

  • Wendi

    No, they don’t get it. And they probably can’t handle it, because they don’t get it, and they don’t understand what they’re dealing with. I no longer write much about depression on my blog (which means that I can’t write much, period) because the lack of, or completely inappropriate or even critical, responses were just too hard to take. I’ve struggled with depression for 30 years, and I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve actually trusted to tell over the years, let alone expect to respond in a helpful way. That list does not include my parents, my co-workers, or most anyone I deal with on a day-to-day basis.
    But there are those few people I don’t have to pretend with, and for them I’m grateful. A couple because they’ve been through it themselves, and one or two who have no idea but try really hard to understand, and care about me no matter what. That’s just the way it is, I guess.
    That’s why your blog is so important, and why I think your honesty is so wonderful. Because *we’re* out here, and *we* get it. And it’s such a relief to read your blog and know that we’re not alone. You’re doing a good thing, Therese, and you’re educating the ones who don’t get it in the process.
    So, try to do the things you write about: take care of yourself, and lower your expectations of people, especially those who don’t really matter. Your husband matters, and your mom, and your kids, and your angels, and they get it. And remember that people you don’t even know really do get it, and we’re pulling for you every step of the way. Mental illness is a difficult path, strewn with rocks and traps and bridges, but like any journey, all you have to do is take one step at a time. :) :)

  • Babs

    My first reaction is, listen to your mom. All of it.
    My second is this: sometimes there is more than one component to a response like you got to your “incredibly personal” email. The first part is what you said, “I don’t get it;” the second is, “I don’t want to hear it;” the third, “Your confession makes me uncomfortable with myself.” I’ve experienced all three, and I imagine if you think back, Therese, you have, too. One or all of these components can be in a response of “Thank you.” There are probably a good number of other interpretations, as well, such as a person not knowing *how* to respond to an emotional outpouring in an email. I’ve gotten more cautious in expressing myself in emails because things can be misunderstood and a whole new can of worms opened. Almost as bad is dead silence as a response.
    I think that we also have to be prepared to accept that some people don’t care much about anyone else’s situation, whether they have cancer, mental illness, or any of the unpleasantries of life.
    So here I’ve listed a bunch of reasons for the response, none of which may be right. When there is an estrangement such as you said, perhaps the other person is waiting for you to ask what is wrong, let them express themselves, and have their hurt acknowledged. Who knows?
    Therese, it takes a lot of guts to write all this in your columns. There is almost always a moment in reading one of your entries when I can nod my head and say, “yep, I’ve done that.”

  • carryonwalker

    I truly understand, I’ve had the same problem with E-mails. I’m a very deep and sensitive person. I finally came to realize that emails are a “major part of my problem.” It helps me avoid the person to whom I’m speaking with. But also many are confused with my emails and my bouts of depression. Sometimes it’s hard not to go back to those old feelings and insecurities. You were lost in them for so long. But your getting there and so am I. you’r taken a chance with your blog, that is hard. But your doing what many are afraid to do. keep up the good work. I understand.
    I need this blog!
    carryonwalker.

  • ?

    They don’t get it. That is why I am trying to be honest here. (I have never had an internet connection, spot, blog whatever until this month.) My husband left this morning with golf clubs in hand (for an after lunch game) and hollered “The cat’s in the garage!” That’s the only words I got. How can I be angry or hurt when that has been the pattern for 39 years.
    I need to change my life “style”! So…step 1: I searched for a spot to be the real me…actually only the hidden part of me needs a chance to get out. I figure it is the part that goes with the rest of me and makes the whole me…the me that only God really knows better than I know myself.
    Thank you Therese for my step 1. I need to heal and it is lonely in the process. I am not your responsibilily..just you being you helps me.
    Since I am not using my real name I am switching from Liz to ? because so many times I live the question.
    Thank you all!
    P.S. I’m even “afraid” that I am a “turn-off” to people here….Ouch!

  • Penny

    I have never posted before, but felt compelled to comment. You are all correct that most people don’t “get it” as regards depression, but I believe that some of these are also afraid that they might be stigmatized by association with a person who has confided a mental or emotional illness. It is tragic that mental disorders or illnesses are placed under such stigma, even in the “enlightened” 21st century.
    I heard someone on the radio blithely say, following the Virginia Tech mass murder, that “surely the person who shot those people could have gotten some help if he needed it. It just isn’t possible that the mental healthcare system in this country could be that flawed.”
    Unfortunately, most of the general public not only don’t “get it”, they don’t want to know how many of their fellow beings suffer daily from emotional and mental illness, and they definitely don’t want to spend any of their tax dollars to treat these problems.

  • Sandy

    What a gift you are in my life!

  • Larry Parker

    What if NONE of your family “gets it” — your mother, your father (who are divorced and hate each other), your sister, extended family — NONE of them?!
    And they know. They just won’t ACCEPT. And “De-Nile” ain’t just a river in Egypt …

  • Margaret

    Hey, guys! I could have written just about any (or all) of your posts. I don’t think there’s any truer application of the old saw “Guess you had to be there’ than as it applies to depression. If you’ve never felt the deep abyss under your feet or heard the black dog howling at your back, you DON’T get it. I’ve stopped trying to explain my tears and instead just tell my sisters, friends and son that they have to allow me to feel what I feel they don’t have to like or accept it; it’s MINE, and i have the right to it even if i’d (gladly) let it go for longer than five minutes at a time! what’s hardest for me is hearing, “But you have so much to be thankful for!”( I survived a major stroke) as if I don’t know that and am not thankful. It still doesn’t neutralize the pain or lonliness of depression. God forgive me, there are (I’m being brutally honest here!)actually times that I wonder if it might not have been better for everyone if I hadn’t survived! I realize how melodramatic that sounds, but deep depression IS melodramatic, and as we all know, it’s a club we don’t seek to join, but one that chooses us. Meds and counseling can and do help, as does prayer, but (at least in my case) they haven’t provided a “cure”since the abyss yawns there constantly, even when i’ve found a bridge to temporarily get me across it. And i’m positive that that howling bitch has whelped a full litter of pups, because there always seems to be one ready to take up the chorus after a respite. What HAS helped me, though is journaling, both prayer journaling and letters to myself. i’ve begun each one with a warning on the inside cover to anyone who might one day pick them up that the contents weren’t written for anyone else’s eyes and therefore might hurt the feelings or sensibilities of anyone bold enough to read the words, since writing things down always incurs that danger and a reader always brings his or her own perspective to the table. I no longer make any excuses; I take my meds, talk to my counselor, and write my heart out to attempt to domesticate the dogs, but I am entiitled to my feelings, and my tears when they’re needed. Maybe those techniques will help some of you; i’ve certainly received support from many of the things you’ve been kind enough to share on this site. Let me add my voice to those of you blessing therese; what a personal ministry this has become, and I, too, am grateful.My personal faith has also been a life raing at times, although, let me tell you, i have a question or two for our Lord when i finally meet him face-to face. We may no longer use snake pits as places in which to ensconce our society’s mentally ill, but i’m convinced that’s what lives at the bottom of the abyss, and I honestly don’t think anyone who has never found him or herself dangling over its maw isn’t capable of understanding the fear or isolation we experience on most if not all the days of our lives. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, just spare me the platitudes. Don’t tell me time will heal all wounds unless you can tell me how much time, and don’t remind me that I have a lot to be thankful for as if I am a recalcitrant child who has CHOSEN this state of mind. Give me enough credit to know that I have received many blessings, and don’t assume that you know what they are; we might see the exact same event or circumstances completely differently. In fact, I can almost gaurantee that this is true of at least some things. and just as you can’t ‘get’ my feelings, I cannot necessarily understand yours either! Everyone out there hang in there, even if it DOES have to be over the yawning abyss; I feel as though you’re all kindred spirits. I, for one, am no longer going to try to help others understand nor will I ever again apologize for my emotions. i’ll keep loving those individuals whom I already love, but I will from now on demand that they respect my feelings as I try to do theirs, even if we can’t ‘get’ each other.

  • Stephanie

    You’re all absolutely right, they don’t “get it”. I’m constantly being asked by my mother who lives in AZ, (thank God), and I live in OH… “why are you always so depressed”… drives me crazy to the point that I quit telling her how I feel, I just say I’m fine Mom, how are you? This has got to be the lonliest damn disease there is. I thank you all for sharing, it makes me feel like I may not be the only person on this unforgiven planet who feels this way.

  • JT

    I have never posted and just found this site. I thank everyone that has posted as I feel so much of those things to be me as well and so nice to know that I am not alone in this lonely cold world where people do not understand or they choose not to.

  • Glenn

    “The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it,” Styron wrote. “To the tragic legion who are compelled to destroy themselves there should be no more reproof attached than to the victims of terminal cancer.”
    THIS CERTAINLY WAS MY EXPERIENCE AS I SUFFERED WITH CHRONIC CLINICAL DEPRESSION FOR 13 YEARS. IT WAS FINALLY SUGGESTED TO ME BY ANOTHER DEPRESSIVE ON MEDICATION THAT I SEE A PYCHIATRIST, AND I DID. HE DIAGNOSED ME AND PUT ME ON PROZAC. WITHIN WEEKS, I STARTED FEELING HUMAN AGAIN.
    THE SHRINK EXPLAINED TO ME DEPRESSION IS A CLINICAL CONDITION, A BRAIN-CHEMISTRY DISORDER THAT IS TOTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD BY THE MASSES. MOST PEOPLE, HE SAID, CONFUSE DEPRESSION WITH “BEING DOWN” OR “THE BLUES.”
    FOR YEARS, PEOPLE WOULD BLAME ME FOR MY DEPRESSION. THEY WOULD SAY OFF THE WALL THINGS LIKE, “JUST GET OVER IT,” OR “YOU WOULDN’T BE DEPRESSED IF YOU DIDN’T WANT TO BE.” AND I WOULD JUST GET SO ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED, I STARTED LIVING IN THE CLOSET. IT WAS EASIER THAT WAY. I JUST SUFFERED FROM THE DEPRESSION, AND NOT THE MISUNDERSTANDING.
    I BELIEVE, WE LIVE IN AN EXTREMELY SHALLOW, IGNORANT SOCIETY. MOST PEOPLE I MEET AREN’T EVEN WITH TOUCH WITH THEIR OWN FEELINGS, SO NATURALLY, YOURS ARE GOING TO PUT THEM ON THE DEFENSE.
    I HOPE THIS HAS HELPED SOME PEOPLE. IF YOU EVER WANT TO CHAT WITH ME ABOUT THIS, YOU CAN REACH ME AT flayoga@yahoo.com. I WILL ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR YOU.

  • ?

    Please don’t go down the path of leaving life…..as screamingly painful as life is! I’ve gone all ways trying to apease that black dog that made me “pain companions” with Winston Churchill. No platitudes but……..

  • Glenn

    I was touched by what you all wrote. And Margaret, you were telling my story. The continuous invalidations with spiritual platitudes or telling me to write a gratitude list has always enraged me. So today, like you, I just don’t waste my time dealing with these ignoramuses — which includes my family!

  • Bonnie

    I agree with you all; most people just don’t “get it”. How can they, they have not experienced it. I agree with you Stephanie about this being “the lonliest damn disease there is”. I am 67 and have been living with depression since I was 18 – probably before that but diagnosed at 18. I have been on the earliest anti-depressants, and the latest ones. Went through 14 years with none. Now for the past two years I am back to trying without any meds and am not making it. I have been doing all the self talk I can find, using all the tools I have been able to gather, (taking walks, short meditations, affirmations,) but just can’t seem to get a handle on some form of peace. I live alone but have three sons living close by whom I am in contact with at least weekly. I take care of my 9 year old grandson during the summer. I have a couple of dear friends who are willing to listen to me whine when I need to. But, remain depressed – some days are worse than others, but all in all even the good days I am depressed; just no drive, ambition, motivation. I have just about come to the conclusion of quiet resignation. I really don’t want to, but don’t know what else to do. During the years I was on some form of meds, I now believe there were too many. I had a psych eval about 10 years ago and there has been some cognitive brain damage that the psych said was probably due to the higher dosage of meds during the earier years. So, my memory; short term and long term, is not good. I have not posted because I cannot remember anyone’s name of what they have been through other than to go back and re-read them every day. Is there anyone else out there that is close to my age going through this? Thanks for reading.
    Support for others? The only thing that has consistently been helpful for me is my spiritual walk. It is hard for me to judge the meds, but others I know are doing well on certain meds. I really think it is so different for each one of us just as we all have different fingerprints we all have different chemical, environmental, genetic makeup and each one of us just has to try all of the positive approaches until we find something that works. Stay away from alcohol and street drugs; find a counselor; find a support group; – easy for me to say all these things but not so easy to do. I live in a fairy small town and the counseling and support group situation is something I have been unable to find.
    Anyway, thanks for taking time to read and I would like to find some kindred spirits someplace.
    Bonnie

  • Citizen

    Can I ask how one discovers if they have depression, and how severe it is? Is there a test that can be taken, and if so, can it be self-administered?

  • Glenn

    Dear Citizen:
    My heart does go out to you. I am 54, and life has been difficult enough for me. I struggled to work up until 5 years ago, then had to retire. Fortunately, I first got diagnosed in the Navy years back, and have a VA disability pension and Social Security disability to live on. Many others are not that fortunate.
    The medications you were on 30 years ago were terrible, with many side effects, but all they had. I couldn’t take them and had to have 21 shock treatments, which only worked temporarily. I also resorted to daily pot smoking for years.
    But in the last few years, medical science has made major breakthroughs with anti-depressants. They have discovered that there are three brain neurotransmitters – unlike their former belief of just one — whose dysfunction can cause depression. The Prozac variety of drugs that came out in the late ’80s and helped so many, can be insufficient for others. Prozac only addresses one neurotransmitter, serotonin. Now, there are medications that address all three. The other two are dopamine and noropenephrin (sp.).
    My suggestion is to see a knowledgeable psychiatrist — not just a family doctor, who lacks the necessary knowledge of psycho-pharmacology, and go from there.
    I am one of these people that needed the kind of medication that I have described above. And it really does work.
    Give it a shot. There could be plenty of quality time left in your life. Please give it a try.

  • Bonnie

    Thanks Glenn
    I am aware of a psychiatrist close to my town but do not know whether she takes Medicare or not. I think her fee is $150. per hour and I’m not sure I can find that $150. let alone another visit. I know it sounds like I am play the “but” game and making excuses but I truly do not know how to address this in my current given situation. I had health insurance until about 10 years ago when I got fired from two different jobs for mental incompetence – that’s when I decided to go for phychological testing. Those experiences were devastating; not to mention a few others in my life around the same time.
    I, too, smoked pot for about 8-9 years but then it got so expensive and the legal part of it was very anxiety provoking.
    I do appreciate your input and I will go to my family doctor to get a referral to the shrink and see if she will take Medicare. The only other option I have to get to a shrink is to go through the county mental health department and it’s hard to have confidence in them due to the past experiences. I’m not saying I won’t try, because job changes do take place and maybe they have more compentency than they did two years ago????? Who knows.
    I do know that living like this is just existing and I know that more is possible than that.
    Where do you live? Can we exchange email addresses with people who post here?
    Thanks again.
    Bonnie

  • Glenn

    Bonnie,
    Virtually every shrink takes Medicare today, and – if you ask — they will adjust their price so your co-payment is reduced. I’m not suggesting seeing the shrink on a regular basis, but just allow him/her to get you on the RIGHT MEDICATION, and then your primary care doctor can take it from there.
    I believe in you and your recovery from this horrendous — as Winston Churchill used to call it — “Black Hole.” And let’s not forget, with no medications at all for depression back then, Winnie had to drink on a daily basis to function at all.
    I live in South Florida, and my email address is flayoga@yahoo.com. If you have Windows or MSN Instant Message, or are willing to download it — it’s free — we can even chat regularly, as I do with others across the country and even in Europe!

  • Sherri

    How do you know when you’ve reached the level of depression and when your just sad? My husband of 20 years left me for another woman and I immediately got into a relationship with someone else to mask the pain, that relationship has now ended and I’m faced with double the pain.

  • Lisa

    Hi Sherri,
    I’m not sure but I too am faced with both. Although I have not been married as long as you have I am having serious marital problems. My husband has had an emotional affair and I’m not sure if it has not gone further. There are days when I’m really sad and other days when I feel depressed. I would say depression can lead to extreme behavior, i.e. not sleeping or sleeping all of the time. Not eating or vice versa but the best way would probably be to talk to a family doctor. I’m actually in counseling. Good Luck!

  • Michael

    It’s always perplexed me how society will spend millions of dollars and put others at risk to rescue somebody and save a life while I’m sitting here thinking that death wouldn’t be all that bad. I fight depression every day. Well, more accurately, every hour. It’s always there. I’m on meds, but they only make the pain bearable. I do get brief respites from the pain, and thinking about that at my lowest helps.
    I understand.

  • pati

    in my personal life, it seems like my husband definitely “does not get it”. he says he jsut wants me to be happy…in other words..pretend if you have to…i always thought it was safe at home and i did not have to pretend, but i do. my husband believes because he is happy with how is work as a general contractor is going and because we live in a nice house…well, what is there to be depressed about..

  • Cyndi

    I am, one of those, “who just don’t get it”. My best friend of eleven years killed herself 37 days ago. She was on medication for depression and was taking it. We spoke on the phone the night before she died and she was crying and upset. I wanted to come over, but she did not want me to, I believe she already made her decision. Although, I did not understand her depression, I did not tell her to, “get over it.” I wanted to help my friend, but I was not able to. I no longer cry everyday. I miss talking to her, laughing with her, hugging her, listening to her laugh, sharing a piece of cheesecake together, and watching her hold old my 5month old son.
    Please be patient with us, the ones, “who just don’t get it.” And, please if you feel that your “deep abyss” is too deep to survive or that the “black dog howling at your back” will never stop, please ask for help. Even though at the time, you may feel that no one cares or that there is no help, I promise you, there are people who care and that want to help. We just may not know how. Give us the opportunity to try.
    Thank you for all of your posts.

  • deb

    WHEN MY HUSBAND DIED- PEOPLE WERE THERE AT FIRST. THEN AFTER A WHILE; THEY WERE MOSTLY GONE. I BEGAN TO FEEL LIKE THEY ABANDON ME. I FELT LIKE I NEEDED THEM MORE THAN EVER AND HOW COULD THEY NOT BE THERE FOR ME? IVE LEARNED THAT THEY FEEL AKWARD AROUND YOU AND DONT KNOW WHAT TO SAY. AND THEY KNOW THAT YOUR GOING THROUGH A HARD TIME AND THEY DONT KNOW WHAT TO SAY TO YOU. SO THEY AVOID YOU DUE TO THE UNCOMFORTABLE FEELINGS AND NOT KNOWING WHAT TO SAY. PEOPLE SHOULD MAKE AN EFFORT TO LEARN HOW TO CONFORT YOU DURNING YOUR SAD TIMES. IT,S GOING TO HAPPEN TO ALL OF US AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER. MAKE YOUR SELF AVAILABLE TO THE ONES THAT ARE GOING THROUGH THIS SAD TIME. THATS WHEN WE NEED YOU THE MOST! WE DONT ALWAYS HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE DEATH–WE JUST NEED THE COMPANY; SO WE DONT FEEL SO ALONE. PLAYING CARDS OR OTHER GAMES WOULD BE NICE. IT,S THE BIG CHANGE AND THE LONELYNESS THAT,S HARD FOR US. A HUG IS NICE TO. SO, THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU STAY A WAY FROM YOUR FRIEND. THEY WILL REMEMBER YOUR KINDNESS FOR ALWAYS. DEB H.

  • CLeo

    OK, been there done that. As much as I hate that saying. Been depressed, still am I think. I harbor the horrific suspicion that once you enter that dark country named “Depression” you never completely leave it.
    People just don’t get it, period. But, OH! how do we want them to ‘get it’, right?” Like Therese, I want people to know that I’m not crazy, a hardened up bitch, or a person given to miserable or dark thoughts that tinge my day.
    I want them to know that I’m sensitive, that I care, that I also hurt and quite a lot. I’ve been married to a ‘man’ that all he knows to do is to blame, me and others. I think this is a worse disease, and it’s hereditary, his entire family is afflicted by this condition.
    I don’t take anti-depressants, maybe I should, but I do want to solve the feelings that well up in me and sink me into this hole of sadness and dispair. Maybe it’s not possible to do that, because in order to solve some of my issues requires that someone close to me “Gets it”.

  • Alesia

    Amazing writing. I toally identify with you Therese. I keep wondering why a person isn’t judged when they are diagnosed with epilepsy, but are looked at like thsy have leprosy when diagnosed with depression. Both conditions are related to chemicals in the brain. Neither conditions are “chosen” by it’s victims. Yet, people don’t see the similarity.

  • Collett

    depression runs in my family, and its the big secret that no one likes to talk about. in fact, most negative emotions no one likes to talk about, so you’re left feeling really alone. so far, counseling helps, but i feel pulled into the self-destructive behaviors that i didn’t realize were a part of depression. the only thing that keeps me through is Jesus, and for Him i am grateful. He speaks and understands when no one else can or cares to. i wish we desired to understand each other better rather than be ostriches with our heads in the sand.

  • Michael

    Just consider for a moment how many people must die each year from suicide. And, yet, depression just isn’t taken seriously. My brother and my sister took their lives. I would take mine, but I know the incredible, permanent pain suicide leaves in it’s wake.

  • CLeo

    Mental illnesses or conditions still bear a stigma. It will take another century, perhaps, for some to view a mental condition, no matter how serious or mild, as they view a viral infection, or an inherited disease or the common cold.
    I also knew a woman who killed herself. She was an alcoholic and nobody ever did an intervention to at least attempt to help her. Funny though, she worked as the secretary for an office dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction.
    She’d many problems, serious ones, and she’d horrific people around her, she was also in awe of the rich and famous.
    When she died I was very affected for at least 3 months, not a day would pass that she wouldn’t enter my thoughts. She called a friend one hour before taking the pills and that friend told her she would call her back. How is one to know when that is, perhaps, the final call, or the call for help?
    Many suicidal people don’t let you know how serious they are about ending it all or feeling like their life has no purpose and we aren’t GOD, therefore we can’t save people from themselves, no matter how hard we try.

  • Lisa

    Until someone walks in your “shoes”, most are completely unable to begin to understand the horrendous pain and helplessness that depression brings into one’s life.
    I had an “episode” in 1990, had to go to a community health clinic as I had no insurance. The so-called psychiatrist was disdainful, disrespectful and completey inept.
    The meds he prescribed for me were horrendous, so I chose not to take anything. I spent one whole year sitting in a chair, reading everything I could find on depression, so read quite a few books on psychiatry, philosophy, and prayed many, many times a day for this “darkness” to end.
    I did have a therapist, also, a young woman whom I liked extremely and who also liked me. She realized that my “sense of humor” was what would get me thru, for no matter how down I became, I never lost the abiblity to laugh, unfortunately, after just nine sessions she told me she was relocating back to her home state. I was devastated by this and did not want another therapist for I knew the chances of ever “reconnecting” with another was highly unlikely.
    So, I continued devouring the books, and praying, praying, praying, somehow I knew that I would get out of this “blackness” but it took me a whole year sitting in that chair, I never went out unless desperate just to go to the corner store, I felt ugly, old and extremely vulnerable, didn’t want to talk with anyone at all.
    Just to go to the clinic was an extrememe effort, I had always suffered from insomnia since I was a child and I had no medication to offer any relief on that front.
    I instinctively knew that even though my mother and sister were very sympathetic towards me, they really couldn’t understand what depression felt like, they were just trying to “humor” me. I wasn’t angry, I just knew that was the way it is with people, not to expect more but just to accept that they loved you even if they were not able to truly, truly comprehend the pain and suffering.
    One day, out of the blue, it just lifted, actually, it was more than a year, I have never forgotten the joy that I felt when I realized I was out of the “dark hole” and could not begin to thank God for releasing me!
    I still had the insomnia and to this day I still cannot sleep more than a few hours even with medication, out of seven children I was the only one who had this malady. I often wonder how I worked for 35 years with so little sleep and still kept my sanity, I had to be “extra patient” with people for no one understood how I could not sleep, that was the one thing I truly “envied”, those who could sleep!
    Anyway, your mother gave you the best advice, she is a wise woman, when we feel this deep depression we become rather “self-centered”, consumed with our pain and lose perspective, we also are more “raw” and cry a lot over our condition and the inability of others to even begin to understand can wreak havoc on our already depleted states of body and mind.
    I had been asked over and over if I felt suicidal, I had to honestly answer that, although I was a complete wreck, I never entertained such thoughts but I truly can empathize with any poor sould who does feel that way.
    I was lucky, and, as I said, never lost my humor, that, along with prayer, was my salvation. I have since had other episodes but nothing as long and horrific and, although I am always tired, I just push myself onward, think of others whose pain is so overwhelming, and try not to dwell on myself too much, for there is so much suffering in this world, in my own family, as all families have, no one is exempt from the pain in this life, finally, there is just acceptance.
    Many members of my family have never understood me, in fact, actually no one but I know that there is a reason for this and one day I will find out the explanation, not in this life, but in the next.
    Sorry to run on so, but never lose hope, for as long as there is ‘Life, there is hope.’ This, too, will pass and one day you will feel the joy of being unburdened, your heart lighter and your mind clear again, you just have to bear the pain but you do not have to accept any blame nor ever be ashamed of just being “human.”
    I’ll keep you in my prayers and all those who suffer from such a terrible indisposition and they are legion.

  • Beverly Lankford

    All I know is that Depression is overwhelming. I’m taking medicine and praying neither seems to be helping very much. I feel so out of place. I’ve had a lot of problems ie: major surgeries, bankrupcies, failed relationships, both parents dying, no closeness with family, lost my job. I could go on for days but what’s the point? My stand is this, whenever a friend needed me I was there to lend a listening ear to fix a meal to visit a sick bed a prison cell to clean a dirty house wash a load of clothes. My return was “YOU ARE SO STRONG I WISH I COULD BE AS STRONG AS YOU” “GOD IS GOING TO BLESS YOU” Maybe I am strong and yes GOD is going to bless me. But he is going to bless us all. If I can understand and stand in the GAP for you, when can I expect someone to understand me? Am I only needed when I have gift in hand? What do I do when I need a strong hold, believe it or not I am not as strong as you think. So I contain my hurt and cry, cry, cry and I can’t say how many times I’ve thought about ending it all. Yes helping others takes your mind off of your problems, but when I get home mine are still here. Thanks for a ear.

  • signif.other

    July 23, 2007
    With the proper therapeutic support/intervention, progress can most definitely be made in this very sad and serious emotional problem, I get depressed too, sometimes I am moribund at all the tragedy I have seen with my own eyes in this life. I urge you to seek therapy, and be encouraged to take any prescribed medicaion. I care — alot. Life doexn’t have to be terrible forever — somethimes one has to start over, and sometimes goood times are revived. It is certainly possible because I ‘ve come full circle in this arena, and now I feel somedays sad, but most days I am flourishing. Help is out there — make the decision to avail yourself of it, and stand back and watch for good things to again occur. Just knowing that it will not last forever, that things will get better, and that others care and want to help you, will make a difference in your life. However, we cannot help you until you make the decision to help yourself, and pick up that phone to access the nearest mental health center. oNCE that is done, you’re well on the way to feeling good again. I care. I love you. MaryLeeNeshyba

  • Jan

    Is it just me that listens to other people’s frustrations but as soon as I express mine , I get attacked and screamed at even though my frustration is not about them? I don’t get it! I suppose I’m still trusting the wrong people and because of their position I ‘expect’ them to get it. It’s all about finding the people that are supportive, not threatened, and strong enough to be accepting and encouraging to others.

  • Jim

    To Therese and all others with comments on depression. By mere definition of this web site ‘belief net’, we must assume that depression is somehow associated to something that has to do with our belief. My heart and compassion goes out to anyone who has gone through this. From a biblical Christian belief, unless depression is caused by a physical injury, most all other attacks of depresion are spiritual ones. The bible has an lot to say on the subject. The main thought on the subject and it’s cure are based on the grasp of forcing the mind and then the heart to focus on biblical docrine. Briefly, that is the work that Christ came to do and complete as the ‘propitiation’ of God. Christ suffered all the causes of depression. The hope He offers to everyone faced with this sickness is what He has done on the cross. Not allowing yourself (your own thoughtds) to speak to you but rather speaking to yourself of what was accomplished on the cross based on biblical doctrine hold the cure.
    May God allow you to get it.

  • Anonymous

    Saint Jude is the patron of things (and people)despaired of. Remember him, take on whatever you need to do, and keep going in faith that you will have whatever help you need.

  • LadyLily

    People who’ve had only brief episodes of the”blues” which last only a few dys or a week or two do not understand and cannot understand the pain and
    hopelessness, helplessness and self dislike that someone who is depressed feels.
    Giving someone a personal diary with those dark feelings outlined, jotted, or elaborately & articulately explained which should be so understandable, even so it will fall flat on someone who hasn’t experienced this pain.
    Sometimes when we are always the strong one, or the older one in the family, reaching out for understanding, help, empathy a loving, listening face of caring – then shock! they rebuke us with “straighten up”, “stop complaining” or “stop whining, pull yourself up by the bootstraps” etc. is so hurtful. In addition to the narrow view of our own possibilities in depression, our weakneuresses & failings loom over us, always visible and imposing their negativity on us. Low energy, feeling like we have nothing positive to talk about, so why go out & seek socal contact, people will not understand & won’t enjoy our company – it becomes self perpetuating.
    Some others know that they don’t have enough to give someone in so uch pain. Others are accustomed to being taken care of themselves – maybe by you! and they can’t handle you being “needy.” It’s happened to me!
    Irt is known that depression can be contagious – that’s why a counselor – someone innoculated aginst the pain can help more than family or friends.
    The cure is in behavior & speech & seeking help.
    Surround oneself with positive music lyrics, or classical music, post positive thoughts for the future on the mirror, get a professional counselor, even if it’s not the ultimate connection at first, to get encouragement and a listening understanding ear. Get into the fresh air & sunshine, walk or exercise and have caffiene only in the AM.
    Stop overeating & stop the sugar & junk. Did you know that people who are gaining weight predominantly have a LOW MOOD! Stop the artificial sweetners & stop the alcohol (both are depressants!)
    There are scriptures which are strongly positive and encouraging – especially in the psalms.
    If you are usually sleeping overly long hours – then go without sleep one night & see how you feel. -Sometimes that can help brighten things up.
    Has anyone had good luck with the light boxes for seasonal depression?
    Many Blessings and prayers. Do Not Give Up HOPE. As long as there is the spark of LIFE, there is HOPE – reason to believe that things will get better!

  • L.Finney

    I believe that if you hang in there in life that things will get better.Things have a way of working out.

  • Yvonne

    The part about “I just dont get it” is the part that I myself, dont get? It seems to me the ones that, so-to-speak, “dont get it” are much to much into only understanding what they allow themselves to understand. They are also, to be quite franc, way to self-absorbed to even want to understand someones expectations, limitations, medications, or whatever it may be. How can someone close themselves off, to the reality of life being tougher to handle, or harder to bare, for some than others? How can a loved one not want to learn or just want to listen to another loved ones, cries, needs, pleads, or just wants for validation?
    Where I’m standing, plain Ol’ “I’m Sorry” just doesn’t cut it anymore. what are they really sorry for… That’s what makes the difference and that’s the part “I just dont get”

  • Lynne

    I refer to depression as paralysis of the will. Something akin to swimming under water towards the surface and running out of air! I never really knew my older brother until he started going to AA and finally opened up to me. It’s amazing the things that go on right in front of us and we have no idea! How interesting that this depression thing runs in our family. I do know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not always a train. Sometimes it’s just some other lost idiot with a flashlight! Hang in there because you might just miss the happy ending.

  • Amanda

    I really needed to hear that. I went through something similar and poured out my feelings and tried to get to the bottom of some issues and figure things out with other peopl. But, they didnt get it. I was actually cursed at by a “friend.” But, because I went through it, I believe in myself more and I dont worry about other people’s perceptions of me. Other people have their own issues, and somethimes we can see thorugh our own issues. Its up to me to love and feel good about me. When trying to mend a relationship, at times it depends on the personalities of each person, or the issue at hand, to whether it work out completely. Once you begin to “ket go and let God,”, let the universe take you by the hand it will all make sense and all that you need will follow, life will take its course. Pray, meditate, be with self, love yourself and smile!
    Peace Luv Blessings

  • Jaye

    This could be really helpful, talking with others without any reason to pass judgment. I particularly liked the piece where thet guy said they were used to counting on us, then we let them down when we turn out to have feet of clay. Life can deal out any number of difficult and overwhelming circumstance, enought to sink anyone and depression is suffered by the more sensitive and most self critical among us. There is hope, but not if suffering is done all alone in the privacy of our own despair.

  • cheryl

    You’re right.People don’t get it.Until they go through it themselves,if they ever do,they all think we need to just straighten up and act like everyone else.Bless her darling heart,my poor mother just went to bed and never got up .It wasn’t that I didn’t understand..I think she just got tired of feeling so bad for so long.She didn’t commit suicide,she just stopped living.Abraham Lincoln once said if all the misery he felt were divided among everyone,we would all be most miserable.They probably didn’t get it when he was alive,either.

  • J.MORAN

    yES, I AM ON PROZAC AND THE COMMENTS I RECEIVE FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE SO SIMILAR it is scarey.But i also know that they dont walk in my shoes and are not feeling the things i feel, so how can they understand?

  • grace

    Love, Peace and Joy.
    Jesus
    Others
    Yourself
    Depression is painful, but with medication, therapy, family and exercise and time.
    With The Good Lord’s Help, there is Light at the end of the tunnel.
    It takes time and work…..
    I do sleep late in the morning and I am not too hard on myself.
    Let Go, Let God
    Many Blessings and prayers to all who suffer from depression, mental illness, etc……
    There is usually a reason, we just need to believe that.

  • Ann

    I have been living with this for awhile now. I am a strong person and can handle alot. One must to remember that they cannot control anything but your mind. You cannot control your feelings but you can control your responses to your feelings. Everyone deserves to be happy but you cannot make any one else happy unless you are and no one can make you happy. You are the only one responsible for your happiness. Sometimes it is a little things that matter the most – like taking the time to pick a flower for someone you love or looking up at the sky and seeing the beauty that god has made for us or feeling the sun on your face. I think if people just stop trying to be happy they would achieve their dreams and just be happy with themselves.

  • Saralise (Sarah) Leese

    I tried a mood stabilizer for my diagnosis. I was watched under surveillance by NPI at UCLA. The thing is this: for me, I am not comfortable not being able to access my emotions, or only having access to the very few that were available to me at that time.
    I have suffered severe depression several times in my life. Most recently when I was unfairly fired from my job, it was a harsh blow. I have found that for me, my depression is situational in nature at this point. When I was younger, I felt trapped in my body, with no way out. I attempted suicide in many ways, but in the end, I was a chicken.
    Now, at 38 years old, after working with many tools and changing several things in my life, to accomodate the depression, I have experienced freedom. I cannot say that every day is a peach, but I have unshackled myself from the depths of despair and the swings and lows are not what they once were.
    I truly believe that the more you connect with your higher spirit, the more you are freed from your shackles, and slowly but surely, if you do what it takes, you can be free from this devastating way of life. There is no guarantee of ridding yourself completely of negative emotions, but there is hope that you can live a life, full of joy, bliss, sorrow, compassion, and understanding.
    Many blessings to every one of you~

  • SuzanneWA

    Oh, Therese! It’s your unbridled EXPECTATIONS that are leading you down the “primrose path!” We, with our mental problems – depression, bipolar, etc. – can NOT expect others to “read our minds” and know exactly what to say that is what we NEED to hear. Eliminating such NEEDS to hear “Hurray! You made it! You’re a survivor!” will help.
    Those without “mental problems” don’t really KNOW the kind words and supportive attitudes that we REALLY WANT to have and need to have to satisfy our beleaguered EXPECTATIONS from them. When we “give up” on this “need,” it’s quite liberating. We get the expectation of someone “getting it” out of the way, and communicate with them on THEIR level, not ours. Even our “angels” don’t “get it,” for as long as we’ve known them, unless they have “walked in the mocassins,” they CANNOT possibly know the pain of the “black dogs” that we go through during depression.
    So – all I can say is – lighten up on your friends. They haven’t “been there,” and they DON’T “get it.”

  • Rocio

    Hi. I’ve been feeling the same since almost 2 years now. I have several health problems and the results of all of them I can bearly walk. I’ve been seen doctors and doctors and doctors and more doctors. My husband divorced me for that and other things. I’ve been thinking in suicide but not anymroe. I am now just and plane depressed. But I’m working on that. Now I am kind of feeling better. Every time I have something on my favour I feel even happy. My bf dumped me for another woman, but..maybe because I am here in Mexico for a year, and I always think that all white has a balck spot and all Black has a small white spot too. And I also tell everybody and even myself that we must look only at that white spot and try to cover the black..that way we are going to encounter happy again. Find your white spot.

  • Gypsy

    I was diagonsed with manic depression and borderline physocotic in 1976. The doctor’s said I inherited it from my mother.
    I have been on most of the medications there are until 3 years ago when I was sent a letter telling me that I probably would never get better.
    Two years ago I was introduced to the Shaman Indian Wisdom…and have found answers to my problems…and have been off of the meds except for seroquel occassionaly for night terrors for the past two years. The Shaman believes that mental illness is a sign of spritual beings…and if you follow their guides you are able to control them.
    I for one…believe that the Indians or other spiritual religions should be used for ones labeled as manic depression…whoops, the government prefers the term bi-polar and labels everyone who has a problem with that…much easier to medicate than to seek and heal.
    Yes, I have depression once in awhile….but not enough to stop me from living or having the desire to hurt myself or others.
    For the first time I am able to open my mind and speak and write; for before the last three years I was unable to speak or look someone in the eye thinking that they would see there was nothing inside of me…just a body with an empty mind.

  • becky

    i know what people are going though. cause am going though it myself. my husband had to put me away. but iam doing okay now. i go to church now. i could not be around people. but now. i have good friends.

  • becky

    there is a rainbow at the end. you will start feeling better.

  • Robin

    I was officially diagnosed with depression in February after having several crying spells for no known reason and when I talked to my Dr. about it she said that it is very common among people like me that have a cronic health condition, it usually occurs soon after the illness occurs but mine did not show it’s ugly face until about two and a half years after my congestive heart failure. But then again I had more fun to foolow that event that probably added to it. I had pancreatitus and the after fighting back from that which was caused my a medication that I was on for the heart condition I developed diabetes. The depression hit me in a time when by all accounts I should have been happy, everthing was under control, I was back to work and loving it, I was feeling good physically, but I couldn’t stop thinking about death and the feeling of pure misery and pain were constant. I have been on medication and in counceling and it has helped some but I have had thoughts of suicide since beginning the therapy, but I was able pull myself away from that cliff, I’m just not sure if I will be able to if there is a next time. Anyways I agree with you about how hard it is to have others not understand what you are going through, I have been met with theperson that I confided in about my problems and my treatment doing everything she can to try and make me lose it. Real nice Huh! and to top it all off she is my boss.

  • cyndi

    I know for me alot of times it has to do with me not accepting myself, feeling I am somehow flawed, I guess we all have a demons. I have to love myself before I can really let other people love me. Sounds so simple but it isn’t, it all takes time. Your mom is so wise. I know for myself I am very codependent and I want others to accept me. I have looked to other for my good feelings about myself most of my life. That isn’t fair to them or me. I totally understant what you are saying because I do the same thing, but I am learning that is it ok to not have everyones approval. Depression is still a forbidden subject for alot of folks, so I think they deny it in or to avoid it and of course nothing in life works that way. I have struggled with depression most of my life. I am 47, but the last few years I have really come to try and accept myself, not trying to change anyone but myself. There are so many thing about myself that I used to look at as flaws that I now see are strengths. I really wonder if there is any one in this world who hasn’t struggled with depression, it seems to me some people admit it and some people don’t. For me accepting that I have good days and that I have bad days helps me alot. In alanon they say feelings aren’t facts. HOpe I am not rambling, but it sounds like you have at least 4 people who understand and care deeply about you just for who you are, that is phenomenal, and that is because you have nurtured those relationships, that makes you pretty phenomenal in my book. Way to go. Bless you for being willing to show all of yourself to all of us. Talk about acceptance.

  • Ellen54

    Believe me, I get it! I’m so sorry that you are struggling with this issue. I just always “assumed” that people simply have no idea the depths of despair a person sinks to when in the throws of depression. I’m sure that they don’t. Personally, my family labeled me crazy. But, at least my doctors know and my counselors knew. One thing that I learned about depression is not to think about what we don’t have but, think about what we do have. It helps.
    Take care of yourself, lots of us know, and care :)
    Ellen54

  • Frances Williams

    I know about depression of all kinds. Lonelyness death of a husband, a child, parents. I’m still not over the deaths of my parents, because I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to either one.For 2 years i would not even go off my front porch, do any shopping, but i’am over that now. the problem with people is there is no patients with friends because their so wrapped up with their own problems.I wish you the best of luck getting over your problem,and keep looking for that rainbow because it’s out there and don’t give up.I always remember that GOD doesn’t make junk and one day you and I will be a diamond. Good luck FGW

  • Suzanne

    Our inner happiness is a gift from God. Be grateful and claim his grace. His WILL is all that matters – his WILL will always triumph over what others want or think.

  • Janine Guida Poutre

    Therese,
    Thanks for this one. I needed this tonight. In a spot that is frighteningly familiar: on the edge of being engulfed in sadness and fear. I am trying to hold on to reality and control the anxiety, but as you know, it’s not easy. Thanks for your words.
    Janine

  • Elaine

    You are ABSOLUTELY right, spot on with everything you have written above. I completely feel for you when you mentioned that your friend did not understand and about expectation. I have made known to a few people (whom I ‘trust’, mind you they are nice people but when it came to understanding depression, they are just clueless) and the result was I regretted even mentioning to them. One started treating me like a little kid and unable to handle my own life. Your article is so timely as I was feeling pretty disappointed with all these comments/looks that I am getting and kept thinking WHY DON’T JUST THESE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. And it is very true that people who have not suffered from depression will never understand the pain, devastation and emptiness that we feel inside. And this is simply because, it is not a ‘physical’ illness like cancer that people can see in plain view but it is actually a soul cancer and killing the suffer slowly.
    Thanks again for this article.
    Cheers,
    Elaine

  • Shelley

    I feel for you all right now. So few do understand. A friend(Guardian Angel) once told me how she looked up to me for how I had grown dealing with the depression year after year. 18 years this September. I was more empathetic, seeing where people were coming from emotionally, none judgmental. Of course most of these revelations come when I’m on an upswing. I try to see this as a gift, to be more sensitive. For those who don’t get it they are missing a great gift. From the comments I read, others have received this gift.
    I just want to throw away the box it came in someday soon.:-) Blessings to you all that you can throw away the box soon too.

  • smiley

    Hello!I feel for you. Sometimes people don’t understand how we feel deep inside because they don’t emphatize.It’s really hard and when we feel depress we don’t need to explain to them our side especially if people don’t like us. I also experiencing depression and entertain lots of negative thoughts which doesn’t help me until now. Thanks for the inspiration you’ve shared in your article. I’ve been therebefore and gone to an attempt for suicide many years ago.I wanted people to understand what I’m going through however, just like you I thought they wouldn’t understand. Sometimes, I feel they are talking about me and observing my behavior as if I’m “crazy”. Maybe what we could do is to prove to them that we can handle ourlives well and nothing to prove to the people who tried to ruin us. And to think that God will not judge us by our appearance but what’s inside us.TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS!!!MSM

  • JEC

    I do believe your mother is right in what she says about expectations and how it can help to not expect others to understand. At the same time though I believe it is sad that so many people can be so uncaring towards others. There are organizations that are attempting to educate the general public to work towards changing the negativity that is directed towards people who are suffering from depression and different types mental illnesses. Also there are really a fair amount of geniunely caring and good-hearted people who do alot to show they care in the general public. They are volunteers, a fair amount of store clerks, business owners, of course the various organizations that are established to help people who suffer from these illnesses in many areas of their lives. There are many caring people in community services,although I concede that not everyone in this area are as sensitive as they could be but they do deal with some difficult people at times which could make them feel like they need to be tougher. I believe that is called stereotyping. Just try to have faith & hope that there are people who are at least caring enough to do their best to be kind and patient when we are out in our communities. It is also a two way street in a way. Those of us who suffer and/or struggle with any kind of depression or mental health illness can begin a journey for ourselves by doing what we can, in small steps, to try to learn to find our inner tranquilty/peace by learning to love ourselves, accept the fact that none of us on this earth are perfect, and begin a journey to accepting the things we cannot change and change the things about ourselves that we can. In most communties there are groups and counselling that are very helpful. There are as well many inspirational, self-help books. One author that is my favourite is Melody Beattie and one of my favourites of hers is “Journey to the Heart” but she has more great inspirational, self-help books. There are “way” more people who suffer at one time or repeatedly with their mental health than alot of people could ever know.They are in all levels of society, income levels, and from every carreer. It can help you all maybe to know that you are not from a small quota of people who have this in their lives and/or those whom they care about. Think of it this way, even stress is suffering when it comes to our mental health. There are many ways to reduce, avoid and cope with stress but I know that we need to first identify what triggers our stress, by the way I took some workshops and am working on avoiding those triggers. Be patient with yourself and don’t expect too much too quick. Begin at a pace that you feel comfortable with in dealing with eliminating and avoiding what triggers your stress, while at the same time not actually slacking off completely either. Write yourself a list of what triggers your stress, this is a must so you don’t get more stressed trying to remember them all. Start with however many you feel you can be comfortable eliminating or avoiding and do make it the ones that are your biggest stessor(s) first. When you have conquered one or a few more, you will feel more confident and at ease that you can handle more on your list. I believe for most people when they see that they can accomplish even one step in the right direction they feel enough of a sense of relief and confidence that the rest is easier to accomplish in all aspects of their life. I hope that this can be of some use to some of you and I wish you all the best in your lives. Take care and remember to be kind to yourselves and I hope you all find your inner beauty and allow it to shine through.

  • Leigh

    Boy do I understand. Look how many of us are logging on at this time of night. I thought I would go off of the happy pills because the side effects are literally killing me. I told my husband that when he saw any sign tell me. He asked like what? Like we fight, I answered back. So tonight we fought for the first time in ages, and the depression cuts to the core. What is life in a fog for? My depression is major and chronic, and the meds are very, very hard to find to regulate it. I get frustrated, agitated and easily made bitter. I have never been one to back down, so when I am depressed I am destructive. Mind you, no one really did anything wrong, but to me with depression it feels like they purposefully threw me in the middle of the road like some woman in early silent films, and then ran over me with a big steamroller. Only with me, I feel steam rolled and mad as fire. I liable to get up, crushed bones and all, hunt down the steam roller guy, and beat the hell out of him for this plan to run over me when the only thing he was doing was his job, and I happened to be in the way. The medicines cause chronic leg pain, lower back cramps and the inability to feel my limbs. They left me on disability in two years, knocking me out of a job that was very lucrative. Not to mention my IQ went from 147 to 100, and I couldn’t think at all. I have a cutting edge psychiatrist who has literally tried everything. She is great, so it isn’t my doctor. It is just the gene pool I was born with plus a childhood that taught me that backing down meant getting hurt very badly in ways most people can’t imagine. I am on all kinds of PTSD medication to help me work on resolving the issues without freaking out. Everything seems personal when life has fileted and skinned my psyche so badly, that I am not thin skinned, I am no skinned. Thank you for writing this article. Tomorrow more life numbing, pain causing meds to keep my mouth shut. Tonight we had our first argument in a long, long time. It isn’t a coincidence. It is just the way it is, and if I weren’t so determined to find a way to live through this life, I would be suicidal.

  • aarti

    all i would say is that your article really helped, its strange, very strange that two people who dn’t know eachother can help one another in such a big way.your mother is so right and i did not realise it when my mother said it.
    take care and god bless.

  • L. L.

    “You can’t make an elephant eat STEAK! Elephants eat peanuts!”, my mother would tell me. Some people can’t deal with the complexities of life. Consider yourself BLESSED BEYOND BELIEF, ALL OF YOU, who are born with the ability to feel and to have passion more than others. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us, but OH FOR THE GOOD TIMES!

  • Margaret

    I sometimes feel like a failure when I remember some of the things I have done in my life. I have given myself up to sin more times than I would like to admit. This is what causes me pain and I hope that I can become more like Jesus so that I don’t have to feel this pain forever. I feel that if I hadn’t made these mistakes, I would not have the depression in the first place. It is my own Hell that I have created. I am living with it because I have made poor choices in my life. I just hope that I can be forgiven.

  • Julie

    Yeah, people DON’T get it! I’ve learned that over the last 8 years after having been abandoned by pretty much EVERYbody. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a mental disorder you have, either, to tell you the truth. I’ve found that having Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia also gets the same response. What is WRONG with people?

  • Juanamie

    You’re right very few understand or even have an idea of what you’re going through. This is something that only someone who walked that same road has even some idea. Although some may walk that same road we all wear different shoes to walk it. My degree of depression, and the source or sources from which it comes can be very different from yours. Because of mine I have a better idea of what you may be going through but it stil different. What’s important is that you have a better understanding of what is happening to you and why! Of how you need to deal, to come out healthy, to have your piece of mind. I know what it is to have someone to understand, but that’s rare and they come with their own pain. Keep in mind that it’s a blessing to have someone who cares enough to be understanding of you. Even when they have no clue of why,what, or how deep your pain goes.
    First find the understanding in you and that’s more than half the battle.

  • linda

    I think people look at you as strange when it deals with any mental health.I have seizures,it took a couple of years after being diagnosed to convince my husband I didn’t fly off of the coo-coo nest.I still can think and function as before the condition if for seizure activity is occurring.Even now I don’t tell everyone I meet about the seizures because of the awkward moment of silence after being told. They just don’t get it. And you know what,thats o.k.

  • Lisa

    The conundrum is, many of us learn in order to get better, we must talk about it. Sadly, those of us who have suffered in silence for too long or wish to mend fences through communication, end up placing ourselves at risk. People just don’t get it. Those 5 words pretty much sum it up, and apparently sometimes neither do I. Thanks for the enlightenment!

  • LadyLily

    It takes a special person to be able to understand & bear the burdens of someone who is actively depressed. Usually either a very good friend who has many positive counterbalancing influences, or a counselor who has the same. Theresa, I agree – “they just don’t get” is a good way od looking at it, especially if it helps us to be unresentful.
    They say that for women, being with another woman & rehashing all of the negatives of recent or past experience etc. isn’t necessarily helpful without constructive direction. There is a term recently used for this “rehashing together” – it’s “co-ruminating”
    At any one time about 10% of the American population is depressed. This gives people a pretty significant lifetime chance of being depressed.
    I don’t think we would want everyone to understand (that would be like wishing they had suffered a depression), but when someone with whom we have a significant relationship doesn’t understand, or labels us with the stigmatizing prejudicial mental construct, then it hurts.
    Hoping that they at least keep the channels of communication open so that understanding can be increased, is worthwhile. It gives them a chance, anyway.
    Communicating is the only way for the stigma to be reduced in the public’s mind and in the minds of those closest to us. If only it weren’t such a “boys must be tough” society. Then more men would understand, and hence more intimate life partners.
    Thanks for your blog. It has been inspirational & interesting.

  • Anonymous

    I get it, however you a so right! I’ve discovered that the least I mention that I have fibromyalgia along with spinal stenosis, the better I am able to deal with people who just dont get it.

  • Anonymous

    The more I try to enlighten others, the more isolated I feel.

  • kathy june newborn

    it is hard for people to understand depression who never had to deal with it. it is harder when you are a christian. just know you are not alone and some do understand

  • Nancy Wrenn

    ONE OF THE WORST THINGS ABOUT DEPRESSION IS THAT YOU FEEL LIKE NOBODY
    UNDERSTANDS OR CARES. YOU FEEL ALL ALONE IN THE WORLD! YOU WONDER WHAT IN THE WORLD CAN YOU DO TO HELP YOURSELF BECAUSE MENTAL ILLNESS HAS A STAGMIA ATTACHED TO IT. YOU ARE TREATED DIFFERENTLY IN MOST RESPECTS.
    I GO TO THERAPY, BUT I SOMETIMES WONDER IF MY THERAPIST REALLY DOES
    UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM FEELING. IT IS SO FRUSTRATING TO TRY TO DESCRIBE
    YOUR FEELINGS.
    IT MAKES IT TWICE AS BAD WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT IS CAUSING THE DEPRESSION
    AND CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT!! lIFE CAN GO ON, BUT I’M SORRY YOU CAN
    NEVER, EVER, COMPLETELY ‘LET GO” OR FORGET!!! THERE ARE SOMETHINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP, BUT IT NEVER TRULY MAKES IT GO AWAY.
    YOU TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME.
    WITH OUR WORLD TODAY IN SUCH A FAST PACE AND DEMANDS. IT IS NO WONDER
    THERE IS MORE AND MORE DEPRESSION.

  • RACHEL D MILLER

    The only person that can understand your depression is you! Not
    family, friends, doctors,or books. No one understands your personal hell but you and your not crazy! Worst than that is to know you are all alone in your pain and suffering. The only thing that
    helps me is taking medication:cymbalta & seraquel , writing a
    journal daily and taking a lot of time by myself outdoors.This is not for all depressed people it works for me. GOOD LUCK!

  • Fawn

    They don’t get it, they don’t care. I hear its a choice to be or not to be depressed. I can lay around and marinate in it. I can get up and go to work with it. Its with me ALWAYS. No I do not want to be your next victim, I am just sad and maybe, I just need a hug.
    I think that depression is my handcap, I lose jobs, have trouble making friends. Never have felt excepted by my family. Serious relationships are really difficult. Stop cleaning my house.
    Well I wrote a poem about depression, maybe some of you will understand it. If you dont get it, guess which side you are on.
    The Sadness
    by: Fawn Alisa Devlin
    The air reeks of sadness.
    Only one, no fear. Petite fingers touch
    the fog, revealing dark eyes,
    “HELP ME” is cleary etched.
    The Good People, sickened by the sight.
    A refusal to engage. Help yourself,
    is their brutal reply.
    One with no fear, to the Good People,
    “I am here to help. What will you do?
    The air reeks of sadness, not her.
    Your brutality, your refusal to engage,
    That sufficates her.”
    Good people, to One with no fear.
    Young fool, the sadness is she to
    her, like it is to you. Stay, help
    and you will sufficate too.
    Petite fingers stroke the fog,
    revealing lightened eyes,
    “Thank You” is clearly etched.
    Together sadness weakens.

  • Richard Henderson

    I am so depression becuase the woman i fell in love with i cant do this rite now i will write to you later

  • Lauri

    Therese,
    I’ve been reading your Beyond Blue articles for a couple of weeks. I too have known the dark pit known as clinical depression. And you’re right! Those who haven’t had the experience of their life turning into a bleak, hopeless hell on earth, don’t understand. I’ve been on Zoloft for 10 years, off and on. I know it works for me and don’t hide the fact that I take an anti-depressant. As far as I’m concerned, there is no difference between my needing that little pill, and a diabetic needing insulin.
    Okay, enough about one of my many soapboxes.
    Thank you for sharing your story, your experiences, with me. I draw strength from your honesty and courage.
    Maybe one day, the stigma of mental/emotional illness will fade away. Until then, we who are in the know, have each other.

  • Larry Parker

    Therese:
    Since you asked me to share some more of my story, I will do so below:
    I’m in an odd situation where I theoretically have a loving immediate family, but they offer me no support whatsoever in my depression.
    My mother has the toughest time with it. She knows I see a psychiatrist and that I take medicine, but I’m convinced she thinks I’m like Woody Allen and just talking out my problems with the world, rather than seriously mentally ill.
    She is in de-Nile with the crocodiles snapping behind her, given her family history. My grandmother had bipolar disorder most of her life and was a source of constant heartache to my mother. I recently found out that a great-grandmother who passed away before I was born was institutionalized for schizophrenia for the last 10 years of her life — during the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” time. I think my grandfather realized he couldn’t care for both his wife and mother, much as he tried. And my mother had a nervous breakdown in 1980 (on the verge of divorce from my dad), and has periodically been on anti-depressants — but she refuses to use the word depression, she calls it “the spells.”
    I guess my mom thinks if she admits my illness, it both admits her own and brings in the possibility that I’m as sick as my grandmother was (clue to the wise: I already am).
    My sister is wrapped up in her own illness — type I diabetes, which is very serious. I think she feels she had no family support, either — her husband is clueless (her frequent, nightmarish blood sugar swings alone, even with insulin, are probably shortening her life expectancy by decades), and her kids are very young. My mom, of course, remembers the time she was diagnosed (age 12), and is sympathetic to some degree. My disease, ironically, has made me much more sympathetic to her.
    But she is so self-focused that she believes my complaints just show I am weak and immature. She thinks if I can’t tough things out like she can (though not entirely successfully, IMHO), I must not have anything “really” wrong with me.
    My dad, ironically, is probably the most supportive — and he’s an alcoholic who has literally tortured me, at least mentally, at key points in my life. (He kept trying to convince the Financial Aid Office to pull me out of the college where I was earning Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude honors because it was too expensive — then he sent spooks after me to try to recruit me into the CIA.) But he’s also relentlessly clear-headed when sober — and is intelligent enough to know bipolar disorder is a real condition and not always 100% treatable, but not completely hopeless either. He remembers my grandmother (his ex-mother-in-law) with more detachment than my mother obviously does.
    Still, he’s both far away — in North Carolina — and still manipulative (he said, for example, he thinks I need to get away from my mother and sister, who live nearby me in New Jersey, and move down near him).

  • Debbie

    Food for thought (though I truly wish they all “got it”
    I too realize no one who hasn’t experienced depression or chronic pain can ever truly “get it”. But if you think about it, we who suffer don’t get it either. How many times have we been floored by the intensity that it can hit? How many times have we asked ourselves if we are causing it? When the meds work, we think “maybe I don’t really need the meds”! I have had depression for at least 35 years and I still can’t predict the bad spells nor can I figure out how to prevent them. So if we who have depression can not truly understand, how can we expect someone healthy to “get it”.?

  • Wendy

    Tiredness. Sleeplessness. Depression. My family who are the only ones aware of my problems talk down to me like, I had a lobotomy. No brain, pill popper, psych talker. Post Tramtic Syndrome happened to me after a robbery at my job as a loan officer. I save my co-workers from bodily harm they exclaimed, like I was a national hero(for that day only). The day after I was a “nut case” “afraid of my own shadow”. Talk baby talk to me. I was now a second class citizen on workman’s comp for a disabling problem that is going into it’s third year. A gun shot wound would have healed by now. A knife cut would have mended into the skin but, my hurt, my pain, my fear….not worth sympathy. I never asked for it and now my family….barks at me with no respect of my feelings. Verbal attacks and talking like I was never in the work force. I don’t understand the “real world” anymore. It’s changed since you worked three years ago. “Oh, stop crying take a valium, a zanax, your cymbalta. It hurts, to lose yourself in the outer world and find no peace in your inner world of family. It hurts.

  • Debbie

    Therese,
    How funny I should open my mail tonight to read your words. I had just written a whole chapter on how people don’t understand depression/anxiety. I refer to it as “weirdo woman on psycho meds” as how the “non-experienced” look at it. Reading your words I think I’m going to change mine because I got a little carried away with the anger and frustration of people not getting it. Your mom is so right. If we would stop expecting people to understand we won’t be disappointed when they don’t.
    I don’t understand how men could possibly forget to lift the toilet seat, why should I expect them to understand my anxiety issues.
    I don’t understand how some women can wear a size 5 all their life,even after childbirth, why should I expect them to understand my depression issues.
    Everybody has their thing in life and not everyone is going to understand it. People who have never experienced it can’t understand it, and as much as I’d like to shake them into getting it, they simply can’t. I’m not sure they would get it even if they read my story, of which I’m sure they would find to be weird and pretty much question why I could just not “get over it.” And the truth is I would never wish anyone to experience depression/anxiety in order for them to understand it.
    So, as long as they don’t expect me to understand why some of them would go on a talk show and announce their embarassing dirty laundry to all of America, I’m O.K. with not expecting them to understand me.
    I love what you are doing Therese with Beyond Blue, and just know there are lots of people who understand you. And although we are people you can’t see, we are real and always here for you.
    Debbie

  • Lisa K

    My husband cried in my therapist’s office the other day because he had to admit that he couldn’t “fix” it. I cried too. How great is that that even though he doesn’t understand fully the depth of my feelings, he’s willing to love me enough to want to fix it. He understands that I feel like i’m not the same person I used to be and he loves me anyway. How lucky am I? And how horrible is it that sometimes I want to through that all away because it’s just not good enough. This is a mixed message. Today, I feel very grateful that he tries and that I can try too. Be happy for those days – they can be few and far between but enough in number to keep you going. grasp at straws. grasp for glimpses of life. grasp for your life. I find that although people I share with often do not fully understand, often times they do know someone else- family or friend, who has a brain disorder like us. At least we can try and find some common ground even if it’s not exactly the same. Ya gotta sift the chaff from the grain sometimes and let it go.

  • Karen

    No most people don’t get it. It is a shame. My sister won’t talk to me because when I get depressed I can get needy. My needs unfufilled, I get a bit nasty. Not at her, at my parents. I needed to be on disablility 10 years ago, but that would have meant being homeless in NYC. Not a nice place to live without shelter. I managed to hold on with some financial help from my mother and my sister. The thing is they are always claiming poverty. My family is not rich but they earn a lot of money. My sister makes 6 figures a year. My dad (who thought I deserved to be homeless) made 6 figures a year. My mom who has helped the most, only made 70,000 a year or so for the last 5-10 years she worked. She had a right to claim she didn’t have it. Yet, she is the only one who really helped. I will admit I am angry. Yet, to stay in a state if anger only hurts me. I love my mom and we talk regularly. My sister will not talk to me because “she can’t deal with me.” I am not saying I am a joy to deal with when I am depressed, but a little support would be nice.

  • Anonymous

    God Bless and keep you all..I am not normally “depressed” but when someone in “my circle” does something hurtful, I do get hurt and depressed.. It seems like everyone is ‘depressed or bi polar’ and their all in my life.. At this point (to protect my own sanity) I have backed away from alot of people..I also have a 9 yr old who has been very hurt by alot of troubled people.. And you cant make a child ‘understand’ the ‘mental ‘ issues. He just knows that people are mean and hurtful..I pray for everyone who carries these demons, and for all who ‘care’ for them..And I am thankful that my own problems come from ‘inflicted’ people , and not from my soul..God Bless You All…

  • mary

    Depression is ,as you referred to it, A demon type feeling that entangles your thoughts and fools you into thinking that you can’t fight your way out of A paper bag even. I believe the human mind can be ticky at times, making what we believe to be “the good life”, be something that has to be constant. As human beings, we all have our own trials and tribulations in life that make us who we are today. I believe the winners are the ones that have been through more than others and have pulled their feet up out of the mud and trudged on to higher grounds. Many people have had to go through harder times to serve A purpose. We may not totally understand why , and it is not for us to be knowledgable of all the reasons that we have had to go where we have been to get where we are now. We call these emotions and some of them get difficult to deal with, but the good ones just have to make up for the bad ones and just keep plugging along like an old mare and we’ll reach our destiny.

  • mary

    Sometimes it takes A special person to handle what you have had to carry. Depression can seem like A demon at times but it is one of the many human emotions we have to endure through out our lives for every circumstance. Some are good and some are testy. If you get your feet stuck down in the mud then pull them out hard and trudge on down the road like an old mare. Think back on the positive emotions and laughter that you have enjoyed and hold on for dear life. I believe we go through trials in life because it is some test we have to be stronger for something else we are facing. God Bless and hold your head up. It gets better and there is always A new day.

  • Shylo

    I understood her story and have lived through several painful moments (putting it mildly) and at the age of 47, I am still trying to figure it ALL out and that in itself can be quite damaging and alot of work. I continue to try and “fix” other people in order that I may keep myself busy enough not to look at myself and make the attempt to be happy and not just feign happiness in order to please others. I smile alot, even when I don’t want to and I do this to make sure everyone else around me is “comfortable”. I tend to isolate alot and comsume alcohol in order to “ease” and/or forget the pain of my daily life. A life in which I have created and yet, do not understand. I was married for 22 years and now find myself lost, alone and confused. I am trying hard to find a way out of “myself” in order to get on with the matter of living a good and happy life. And have not figured out what that life looks like. Thank you all for your comments and I am happy to contribute. Sincerely, Marcella

  • Deb

    Marcella…I can and do share similar feelings about my life, and I too are in my 40’s and just left my marriage of 13 years, because frankly I felt like I had been putting on that smile and fixing everyone else for lack of knowing who I really was and scared to find out…wonder if I really am a selfish, uncarring person…so to prove to myself I am not I do and do and do for everyone else and tell myself my happiness comes from making those I love happy…Now, all of a sudden I don’t feel that way…I want to know what it is I am. So to do this I have moved far away from my family…including my two sons (they are adult age) my mother,sisters,everyone. I feel at peace most when I am laughing…whenever I think of my family I feel bad…about myself and them…its hard to understand how they are so upset at me wanting to find myself and not include them in this journey…they feel abandoned and I feel angry about this because they aren’t caring about my happiness only theirs and the fact that I am not there to make everyones life a little easier like I used to. Any advice or suggestions would be great, affraid to be happy.

  • lady of light

    Years ago, a psychologist pointed out to me that I had often times unrealistic expectations of myself and others and was in some ways “setting myself up for disappointment (and also depression)”. He stressed acceptance of myself and others. I remembered a quote that I like by Psychologist Frederick Perls (aauthor of “In and Out the Garbage Pail” – a book that was popular in the 60’s) He says:
    “I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, you are not in this world to live up to my expectations but if we find each other, it’s beautiful.” You are so right, Therese. You are not weak, but strong enough to reach out honesly to others even though the lonely experiences of deep depression and the suffering can never really be completely expressed to others – we just don’t have words in our language to adequately do the job – but believe that those readers, including myself who have EVER had the experience know and I continue to offer my prayers to you and am glad you are feeling better than you were.
    Lady of Light

  • Always, Hope

    I am so sorry that you have had to experience such a wide range of painful emotions. I do understand due to my own experiences, but for some reason I have always had Hope that there are better things out there for me… there are better things out there for you, too.
    We have to use the gift that God gave us: our brain. We all have choices to make. We all have our own crosses to bear. Almost every human being feels like their experiences, whether they be wonderful or extremely painful, are so much more real than anyone else’s. But, I know that I can not make anyone understand unless they choose to. We do not all possess the same traits; we do not all think in the same way; we cannot push our feelings onto someone else. Having Compassion for others is a choice we make because it is a learned behavior whether it be a conscious one or not.
    I do not know exactly why I was put on this earth, but I do know that God knew me even before the earth existed. He knew my name, what color my hair and eyes would be, He knew the plans He had for me. They are good plans, too. We do not have to be happy all the time… we are as happy as we make up our minds to be. Like I often say, once the day begins we might as well make it a good one because there is no stopping it now.

  • Brian

    I have a 4 cylinder Audi…sometimes an ignition coil fails and it runs on 3 cylinders…it will get you there but it rides so rough and is hazardous on the Interstate and frustrates and angers. I likened my D to that that…I needed to get that “ignition coil” running again. It took months of daily meds but it worked and I stopped the meds eventually.
    Another time a “bird” with very sharp claws landed on my head and dug his claws in…he was unrelenting and allowed no peace and the things that come with it like sleep and joy and serenity.He disguised himself in my brain as a woman I could not get out of my head (I am married) …he made me sick and suicidal and so so sad. I steeled myself for as long as I could stand the pain. I suffered headaches and oh so horrible heartaches. It was over a year and one day the bird flew away. I don’t know why my obsession left. I never acted on it knowing it would only get worse. I went it alone…I wish I could get that year back. Why didn’t I get help?

  • klondike kitty

    Oh, Deb!! I was already soooo agreeing with Therese about there being very few people in this world who really understand what kind of intense pain engulfs a person who lives with depression, and then I read your comment!! My God, you and I are in the same fix!!! I am presently in the process of leaving my husband, whom I have lived with and loved for 12 years and been married to for 8 years, because he just doesn’t get it, because he thinks I should be able to just “get over it and get on with life.” OMG, how I wish I could do that!! I just signed a lease on an apartment and am moving out because I can’t deal with it anymore, can’t do for anybody else anymore, can’t pretend everything is A-ok anymore!! I am a recovering alcoholic on Effexor that isn’t very effective, and I don’t know who I am any more. I can’t be that person anymore who just keeps on taking care of everybody and everything all the time, just so I don’t have time to think long enough to find out what and who I am, what I want, what I don’t want, where I want to be, and WHO I want to be!! God be with you, Deb, and help you find yourself, I pray every night He will lead me out of this everlasting darkness of depression and into His marvelous light!

  • Deborah

    I too take what I call my “Happy Pills” and quite frankly I don’t care if anyone gets or not. Those of us who suffer from depression and all of the other things that go along with it know what we need to do to get through each day. I only happened on this site by accident and I couldn’t figure out (even with the happy pills) why i was feeling so down and couldn’t even put into words what it was. but this Black Hole everyone metions feels like a good explaination to me. I am tired of trying to make sure everyone is ok and being the one to get it done and that everyone depends on. I need to do it for me now. I have a ton of health issues and it’s just to stressful to try to make it alright for others when I can’t make it alright for me. I have had anxiety attacks, panic attacks and no one not even family understands what i go through everyday. Getting out of the bed everyday is a huge chore. But I make myself do it. Most days I sit on the couch and watch TV, (or it watches me), or I am on the computer. I don’t feel like doing anything anymore. I have to have people to help me clean my apartment because I simply can’t handle it mentally anymore. It’s just to much. Sometimes I find myself just sitting and staring off into space with no thoughts at all. This depression stuff sucks..

  • Ms Monique

    They really truely do not understand…..I struggle with that notion everyday because I don’t understand why they don’t understand. I, just as you, don’t like being labled weak when I know how much strength it takes for me to make it from one minute to the next. I don’t want medication because I’ve witnessed the side effects and most people become more spaced out when they’re on the drugs than when they are not and I don’t want that for myself. I have very supportive friends. They don’t completely understand me but they understand that I have a struggle and they bear with me. With their love and the love of God hopefully I’ll make it out all right.

  • Val

    This is the second time that I have read “Beyond Blue” and I am so amazed at how I could relate and certainly identify with Therese’s blog – the part especially was about her emergency C-Section – I too had the same experience eighteen and 1/2 years ago – but it pales with the pain I have been experiencing this past year due to depression and anxiety. The posts by Deborah and klondike kitty could have been written by me -but lately I cannot express myself verbally or in writing – my brain feels like a veil is over it regardless of what I do to take care of myself – praying, exercising, eating right, sharing…etc. – I have tried various meds this past year with no relief, only severe side effects. But I do have hope and I know my God will not desert me – this is yet another trial….I just want to thank you for your honesty and have said so very many times – “he”, “she” just doesn’t get it! I am so grateful to read I am not the only one. I have worked a twelve step program for over 11 years and if not for faith I don’t know where I would be today….thanks for this wonderful site. God Bless you all!

  • diana comer

    depression kills . it is for real ,real people have it .my friend of 27 years has lived with it for most of our friendship . she took her own life last night.was she misdiognosed? dont know we will never know . please seek good help .jesus can help look up

  • So Afraid right now

    I have been dealing with Depression and anxiety in one form or another since I was about 9 years old. Oh there are times in my life when I was not actually depressed but simply let down by the people in my life – maybe they are one and the same. My second husband left me 7 years into my current ‘disABLED’ state and he had a mid-life crisis. I am sure we could have worked through it, but he left me and my children. I was totally devistated when I realized all that had been going on in his life and how he had lied to me repeatedly when asked things. He did have an affair, and lied through his teeth about it. My point in this is that I was walking along in my life all believing in him, and believing him, and then WHAM!!! Out of the blue I was disabled and on my own with three boys still to raise. I suffered for two years until I finally was no longer suicidal.
    This is where my problem now lies. I am ‘with’ a new man now, and he totally gets upset when I ask him questions about if he loves me, or if he has something on his mind he wants to discuss with me. Have I let him down and the continuing insecurities I have. He continues to tell me that everything is OK, but I keep having these PSTD flashbacks to my last relationship and it makes me wonder. I hope someone out there will understand what I am saying and maybe have a word of encouragement for me. How do I let go of the past, and the PTSD from the trauma I suffered at my Ex’s hand? And how do I go about totally trusting this man I love dearly? I have learned the hard way that you can’t always go against your intuition, so what do I do now? If you have an idea for me I would really appreciate feed back, I don’t want to loose this man.
    Thanks in advance for your help!! ~Di

  • Roberta

    People who have never gone through depression will tell you to ‘pull yourself up by your boot straps and get on with it!’ What they don’t know is that you CANNOT. Depression is not a cold that will leave in 7 days. Depression is a chemical imbalance that can throw you so far off course you can’t find your way back. Don’t let them get to you. They really have NO idea. Do what you have to for yourself and to heck with what other people THINK! When you are spiraling down, out of control, nauseated and disconnected, you have to save yourself and worry about everything else later.

  • Susie

    For me, the cessation (I don’t say end because depression is an odd thing, it can creep up on you when you least expect it; life’s like that.) of my depression seems to have come when I found Buddhist classes. I started going just once a week and am one of those people who put up a great front. No one who didn’t know me would know that I was depressed. Happy, outgoing and lively. I could spend days in bed if no one knew or was around. The buddhist way (I’m still very new and don’t consider myself a true buddhist; they are very welcoming of all religions) teaches non attachment. I realized that I was very attached to .. everything. It doesn’t mean that you can’t like to have things or people. Non attachment means that you begin to realize that life is always changing; nothing stays the same. The things that you think are so important and so real, are transient. The man you love, the children you raise, all have journeys of their own to make and if they are meant to be with you they will. In the end it really is only God who is with you always. Having expectations is another big way to get let down. My teacher would say at the beginning of every class “If you have any expectations, please don’t forget to leave them at the door, I can’t possibly meet all of your expectation. I wouldn’t want to let you down.” So many of us have expectations of one another that we don’t even mention when starting a relationship. We just expect the other to know this. YOur reality is only yours. It is not the same as everyone’s. Your reality is based on your experiences to date, your karma and we all have our own reality. When you sit in a room with four people, you have a certain “relationship” with each of them. They in turn, have a relationship with each person in the room. It can never be the same relationship. We all know and experience each other from a different place.
    I have found the whole aspect of looking at life in a different way to be truly exciting. Meditation is a huge part of my life and I have even taken my Reikki 1. I have always been a spiritual seeker and feel that life is full of (as Deepak Chopra likes to say) potentiality. See it and it will be.. eventually. Only you can change. You cannot change or make someone else be any different than who they are. It’s up to you and your desire and ability to find a new perspective. Tough as hell I know. I’ve been there for many many years. I’m still going through a divorce that has gone on for five years (with five years before that of depression). Understanding attachment, expectation and trying to find the capacity to see the good even when there seems to be none… has truly helped me on my journey. It’s not over yet but it does suddenly seem to make sense.

  • Margaret

    Although I am not depressed, I am very sad because I can not help my daughter who chosen to distance herself from our family. I now believe she has been in a state of depression since she was a teen. For years I had tried to be supportive even though most of the family thought she was over-reacting to minor stresses and being extremely sensitive to criticism. Despite many attempts to connect with her, she still choses to be on her own. After too many nights of worry and days of hopelessness mixed with guilt, I am looking for answers. Can I help in some way? What should I do or not do? Is her distancing a wise choice given the lack of empathy demonstrated by the rest of the family? I do really get the chemical aspect of the depression.Regretably, I also know that most people have very little interest in any detail of someone elses life. If you expect people to “get it” they may try but they are much too busy with the details of their own lives to care about yours…be it joys or pain. Depressing statement but if you expect people to care you will be disappointed .

  • Lisa

    I’ve never been diagnosed with depression but, I have all my life been helplesstodoanythingtohelp as I watched,encouraged and sad to say, been frustrated at times with my mother for being so negative and down as long as I have known her. Growing up and until recently as I have moved with my parents, 88 and 89,(mother pessimist, father optimist). I never understood the blank stares, the day(s), the weeks, months…of nothing but a stare or a cursury word. Growing up, I always thought she just didn’t like me…or didn’t have anything to say to me.
    I became a body language watcher as a result the expressionless looks and would try to decode how people felt based on what there expression were. It never did add up. I learned to ask people how they were, then, I learned people really don’t tell you how they really feel. It took me a really long time before I figured out that people facial expressions don’t have to effect how I feel. I remember my children telling me my face didn’t match how I really felt. So I started checking my expressions to make sure I always smiled when I saw them. Smiles seem to put anyone at ease.
    As I got older I realized that she was so severely depressed that for her it was a place she was most comfortable. She would encourage me to not get excited about anything or hope for something because it might not happen. Then, I wouldn’t be dissappointed, which I guess was very hard for her to deal with maybe. In her way, she was sheltering me from all the bad things that might happen to sadden me. Yet, I realized that was like suppressing life from happening and hence, missing the joy too!
    She is so giving and loving and would give you her shirt if you needed it. Yet, she denies herself any bit of joy life might bring to her. I suppose for fear that the joy would not provide her something better. Do we become creatures of the survival mechanism we have created to shelter us from the storms of life? It seems easier for her to be sad because it it more comfortable than the alternative. My father would tickle her just to get her to smile…I just wish for a little while or a whole day that she could just giggle, laugh out loud, or just cry, skip or sing. Just to be who she was meant to be, just as she is, her wonderful self. It is hard for me to understand, yet, I try. I just hug her so she knows she is loved even though she won’t allow herself to love her back.
    There has been so many times that she just wanted to die and didn’t understand why she was still here. I have always told her that God has a plan that she doesn’t understand but, she is meant to be here. I believe we are meant to be here as whoever we are with all our faults and frailties because God knows that there is someone who needs us exactly as we are. Just as we are…because He designed us uniquely and individually. After each one of us was created, He said, “this is my finest creation”! and then broke the mold.
    I just wish that all who suffer with saddness could really know what a joy they are to those who are looking from the mirrors point of view.
    I say that because last year my mirror just feel off my windshield and every attempt to reattach it failed. One day in reflection, I realized that God wanted me to stop looking backwards and start just looking forward. Our heart is the mirror of our soul. It reflects what is within. Make sure it reflects the love God has placed in you. Next time when you look in the mirror, if you think that what you see in the mirror is really what is true, try smiling at it and I bet it will smile back at you too! God Bless!

  • Elise

    Hi hun , I am there know but alone , i just got divorced, and i also have 3 boys of my own and a step son that moved back with me . I deal with sadness daily but i keep walking and preying that it will go away , i live alone , and iam not looking for a man , do to my kids and there age , i don’t trust men, for what i have also gone threw. I loved my husband very much , but i also relized that i needed to get to no me inside and out before i started anther do to what this man has done. you and i have to get over and heal before you go on. And just think of you boys. Its hard for kids now days to get threw life much less having to deal with the stress of your new boyfriends rules and the way he lives. We don’t need a man to go on with life or to make us feel whole. We have our kids for that. Ptsd i have , and i have anxity and panic atts also. Need to talk just email me hun .

  • ELois Poole-Clayton

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. A word of advice was given to I as well, at an early age and now, I’d like to share it with you all. My mother always told me to “just make sure you’re doing the right thing”. Now I see even moreso why people just don’t get it because so many are so wrapped up in finding someone else to blame. That’s why the older we get, the stranger they look to us for we already know that we’re not responsible. I guess they have to have someone to vent there anger on, but I’m about tired of it myself, so I’ll just keep concentrating on what mama said. Keep looking up!

  • DJ

    You are so right, people just don’t get it.
    I suffer from Major Recurrent Depression, worst episodes are brought on by deaths of close loved ones.
    I have alineated myself from my family since I was in my early twenties, and my dad was the only one I felt any real connection to.
    I was in my teens when I begin to feel like my step mother did not want me around or care about me, There are memories I have,I was told I twisted in my mind, I have also been told that I do things that make people fearful of me,when I am told what I did, it is almost like it was another person and not me.
    Phase One
    When I sink into that black nothingness called depression, my emotions run the gamut. Sometimes I become grandiose, and feel I am 10 feet tall and bullet proof. I feel most attractive when I am like this and my inner flirt comes into play. I am also easy to get along with and
    more humorous.
    Phase Two
    I become very talkative, some would say I talk 90 to nothing and don’t give the other person a chance to get a word in inch wise. This is when I misplace my trust in some people and tell them my deepest thoughts and feelings. Not a good thing at all.
    Phase Three
    I become very quiet and withdrawn. I become very defensive and intolerable of everything and everyone around me. I focus in on what they are doing wrong and it drives me crazy.
    Phase Four
    I began to feel hopeless, thinking why do I bother no one cares maybe I should just kill myself. The only problem with that is I am a great big chicken.. So, I become agressive and bold and start saying and doing things to try to provoke someone to hurt me. When I am in this phase, even the thugs in my apartment complex steer clear of me.
    Phase Five
    I don’t feel like getting out of bed, all I want to do is pull the covers up over my head and cry. I become increasingly intolerant of myself, my family and want to lock myself away from the world.
    I have missed three days of work in one year back to back when feeling like this.
    It is ashame, with all the information that people don’t understand, nor do they wish to.

  • Anna

    I am one of those people who is Bipolar. I deal with depression everyday. Yes, I take meds for it. And the only friends that I have is my Husband, & My elderly mother. I had gotten sick 2 yrs.ago, and now cannot work. I deal with feeling incomplete as a person. I did have friends, or thought they were my friends, until I got severly ill. Then I started to get better.Because I won’t give up. I’m a fighter, and realize, that I only have one life to live.But the ones I thought were my friends, and that I bent over backwards,to help them in different situations.Made me realize, that they weren’t really my friends. And I don’t have anyone,visit my home, or call me to see how I’m doing. So, after my husband goes to work, I cry alone. So, I won’t bring him down. Because he deals with alot of stress, because of his job. But I’m here for him, and he’s here for me. So, I do still feel luckier than some, who have no one.But I do feel,that the Government needs to be more aware,of the help people need in medical provisions.

  • Arlene P Pope

    I fell into deep depression 3 yrs ago when my mother past away.Then my dog and cat past away. At first everyone cared about me and tried to help and comfort me, but this quickly wore off. I am single and these were the ones I turned to when ever I NEEDED to talk to someone. A few weeks after my mother past away, I was really down and really needed my dad, who has been divorsed from my mom many years, He told me to stop it and just get over it. When my friends ask how I am doing and I try to explain how sad I still am they say you sound better I glad your better, and I wonder how they got that from how I was telling them I’m still so sad. So I have given up on trying to tell them and I usually just cry myself to sleep everynight. I’ve seen counslers and psycatrists, been on many anti depressions, which none work, so I have now quit taking any of them. I feel that it does not matter how many pills they shove down me It will not change my life, my mom will not come back, my beloved pets will not come back And as you say no else gets it I’m just alone and want to go be with my mom

  • Anonymous

    I certainly understand each and every one of you who have written their story. I have suffered from depression for the past 6yrs. I know that feeling of lonliness, hopelessness and that feeling of despair. However, there is help out there no matter what you have to do to get it, get it !!! It is out there, you just have to keep searching until you find something that works for you. It took a few years to find the “right one” for me. There were times when I started a new one, because the old one didn’t work anymore, that I really felt that I would never be myself again. Well, that would have been the case had I not insisted that there had to be one out there for me, there had to be one that would work. Oh sure the others had worked for a while, 9-10 months at a time, and then lo and behold it would stop working. I think I went through more meds than a laboratory mouse. Well, finally after about 4yrs of on and off meds, myself and my Doctor, finally, found one for me. I have now been on the same medication for nearly 2yrs and I have found myself again. It truly is a wonderful feeling to finally have found one that “works”. Of course during this period of trial and error I was also getting phych counseling, again working with my Doctor, Therapist, and myself. It is hard work and sometimes I just wanted to hang it up, but I continued and today, I Praise God for the help and knowledge He gave to the Doctors’ to assist people like you and myself. Don’t give up !! Ever !!! Keep on going until you find what works for you. For me it is several things such as, working, plenty of sunshine, exercise, diet, sleep, medication, therapy and friends. One of the most important things is free, it is “laughter”. Laughing releases endorphins (feel good hormone) and “don’t it feel good” ????????
    I am praying for each of you along with myself that I continue along with good health.
    P.S. One last thing, I almost forgot, I am also on a combination of 2 different meds in combination. One did not work without the other, they compliment each other and they certainly compliment me !!!! Praise the Lord !!!!!! God Bless you all !!!!!!
    Joann

  • melissa

    I have finally been diagnosed with bipolar recently though I have been suffering from it for the last 30 years. My trigger for major episodes has always been the death(s) of family members. In 2003, I lost 10 family members in a 14-month span beginning with my father. My father was a source of relief for me, understanding, caring, and comfort. According to my mother and sister, he must have also been bipolar as he was different people at different times. I don’t know if he was or not, but was never diagnosed with this dreaded disorder. He certaining knew the pain that I went through and never judged me for anything that I did or said. Now that he is gone, I have been forced to move in with my mother to financially care for her. Though this is a poisonous situation for me, it was necessary for the situation. My treatment began a few months back when I verbalized my intentions to commit suicide to my husband. He immediately took me to the hospital where I spent 6 weeks in treatment for depression and another 8 weeks following that before I was diagnosed with bipolar. I have tremendous support of my husband, 2 children, and 3 friends. I lost many people in my life that I thought were true friends. I am also active in a support group. I recently got a new job as a waitress after working for a local school district as an executive secretary for 17 years upon which my employment was terminated when I returned after my initial 6 week treatment due to past poor performance while going through a manic episode. I have a new psychiatrist after my first one told me that I no longer needed therapy just needed to take my medication and get on with my life. Knowing what I now know, I know that there is a treatment plan that has to include medication, psychiatrist, therapist, support, and activity on my part to be successful. I know many of you are experiencing things that I myself go through. It is hard to deal with and impossible to deal with alone. You are not alone, there is help out there, you just have to reach for it. Good luck to all.

  • tamara

    Peace & Love to you all
    xo

  • Lisa

    I never thought of telling someone if they are suffering from depression to not worry about what others say. alot of people just don’t understand- and i have heard so many say “get over it”. I don’t have depression but my husb. does and he takes his meds. yes there are days he has the depression and I usually know which subjects are off limits so i don’t bring those up. this is a good site.

  • lori

    no, people dont get it. And its not about feeling sorry for yourself.
    I am at the giving up placd again and it feels comforting. Seems theres always something you have to take care of first.
    If I have the guts to just change everything that I am doing, reduce the stress of trying to be the professional I use to be, and can barely keep it up today, maybe it could work.
    Feels easier with my other plans.
    I’ve met a few people that get it, I just dont really feel like explaining right now. Too much energy.

  • velda

    wow!! i really don’t know where to start but i’ll give it a shot. depression and bi-polar run very deep in my family…and i’ve been dealing with depression and meds for about 20 years. i can identify with many of you dealing with the loss of a dear family member, my grandmother was and always will be my hero though she’s been gone for 6 years now. my first husband and i have been divorced 17 years after only being married 10 years. i was a single mom of 2 for 12 years and have now been married to my 2nd husband for 6 years. before i remarried i dated a wonderful man for 4 years and he was absolutely the love of my life. he was my “rock” and the “calm to my storm”. i caught my first husband with another woman and then my “rock” had started seeing someone else and i had no clue anything was wrong. my divorce broke me but the break up with the “rock” shattered my world”. so comes the terrible, deep depression. i was on medication for depression but now it really wasn’t working so i turned to alcohol and pills and after a year i landed in rehab for 30 days. after my release i went to work there as a secretary and bookeeper. 4 days into the job an old high school sweetheart was admitted to rehab. and you know what came next. he’s my husband now. what a mistake. his drinking never stopped. he’s an abusive, nasty and hateful drunk. he’s been sleeping on the couch for about 8 months now. after i go to bed he brings his bottle in and gets drunk during the night and often i have to wake him up for work because he doesn’t hear his alarm. yeah…i’m still with him because i am now disabled and can’t financially take care of myself. but i’ve recently graduated to new antidepressants, lithim and welbutrin, and they have helped more than anything i’ve taken for all these years. they say i’m bi-polar but very rarely am i manic. i’m still depressed most of the time but i doesn’t stay as “deeply” depressed as i used to. yea…i’ve taken meds that worked great for 3 to 4 months then they quit working. i also felt very hopeless much of the time and i still do but not quite as hopeless. i do the meds, the therapy, and the physciatrist. luckily my friends and family understand my condition. some sympathy is good…but too much sympathy helps “us” to have more of a reason to feel sorry for “ourself” and can give us reason to “not get up and try” and to continue to feel sorry for ourselves. they say “some attention of any kind is better than no attention” no matter what we have to do to get it. look i’m not “knocking” anybody’s problems because i have my own. it takes GREAT effort to make “ourselves” get up and make an effort. most people with depression are “co dependents” and yes…i’m co dependent too. we live our lives thru other people…depending on others to make us happy and fulfill our life. we can’t do that…we have to be happy within…no one else can truly make us happy. gosh i need to stop my preaching. one more thing…pray. God is the best medicine i’ve used yet. love and blessings to you all.
    p.s. to Therese (author of the article) honey..i know where you’re coming from about the emergency c-section to save a baby’s life. logan, my son, was delivered this way too. the anesthigist lived 20 miles away (from the military hospital). he was en route to the hospital but the dr’s didn’t have time to wait. the surgery had already started when the “drug man” got there. y’all…we are talking some VERY major pain. when i tell people…they look at me like i’m the “boogie man” and i’ve just scared them to death. physical pain hurts for a while…emotional and mental pain are another story but often can get better if only for “one day at a time”

  • Deb

    You are right when you say people do not get it. Unless you have had depression yourself, you can not fathom the pain associated with it.

  • Leonora

    Yes. They don’t get it. I am 60 and have finally accepted that, after 45 years of depression. When Iaccepted I couldnt
    do it alone, like the AA first step, I got help and began meds. Thre have been problems with that recently, but all in all, they changed my life for the better.
    Regarding the new boyfriend and Post Traumatic Stress, I would find a therapist who specializes in that.
    These are quetions I have asked myself and they helped me get more clear in my thinking.
    Sometimes the answer is so absurd, it makes me laugh.
    1. What would he have to do (and how often) to make you believe he loves you/you can trust him? Is there, really, anything he could do to reassure you?
    If we have expectations that are unrealistic they will not be filled and that hurt can be a step toward depression. That is a call to correct the thinking which a therapist can assist.
    2. Are you letting your life center around him? When we lose ourselves that way, we are in for a slide down. What is YOUR life about?
    3. Who do you talk with who understands? If you have no one, find a support group. They are out there even if online like this.
    4. We all know about the power of prayer. When I drift away from trusting God (and it can be hard to trust God if you can’t trust), I forget how much I need my daily dose of inspiration — prayer, meditation,
    2. Is this a loop that keeps repeating and, if so, what can I do to stop it? First, I need to recognize the loop ahs started and disengage.
    Obviously, in the midst of depression, none of this may be useful. Sometimes, though, it is.
    Prayers are with you.
    Leonora

  • BEVERLY

    I’M SO GLAD I FOUND YOUR SITE, I’VE DEALT WITH DEPRESSION FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS AND LOTS OF BEING MISUNDERSTOOD. RIGHT NOW I AM KIND OF ON THE BAD SIDE OF MY PRECIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. SHE’S SO SMART AND HAS IT ALL TOGETHER AND SHE HAS TRIED TO HELP ME SO MANY TIMES. THE LAST BAD BOUT I HAD WAS A THREE MONTH PERIOD WHERE I COULD NOT GET OUT OF BED OR THE HOUSE. MY FINANCES SUFFERED EVEN THOUGH I HAVE SHORT TERM DISABILITY. I FORGOT TO PAY BILLS OR I PAID THEM LATE AND I DIDN’T CARE ABOUT THE HOUSE AND SOCIALIZING. SHE TOOK ALL MY PAPERWORK AND TOOK MY BILLS AND MADE SURE THEY GOT PAID, SHE EVEN MADE SURE I HAD ALL I NEEDED IN THE HOUSE, DOWN TO A CELL PHONE. I JUST COULDN’T GET BETTER AND I USED MY PHONE MORE THAN I SHOULD AND FINALLY SHE GOT FRUSTRATED WITH ME AND GAVE UP ON ME. SHE IS VERY IMPERSONAL NOW AND WE DON’T HAVE A VERY GOOD RELATIONSHIP. SHE IS AN A-TYPE PERSONALITY, TOTALLY ORGANIZED AND IN CONTROL, BUT SHE HAS A GREAT BIG HEART. SHE JUST BELIEVES IN RESULTS AND I THINK SHE DECIDED I WASN’T TRYING. I WASN’T BECAUSE I JUST HAD NO CONTROL OVER MYSELF. SIX MONTHS LATER I’VE FOUND A GREAT MED. AND I FINALLY FEEL NORMAL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SO LONG, BUT I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO BE CLOSE TO HER AGAIN. WE BOTH LOVE THE SAME PEOPLE AND SHE IS AN EXTROIDANARY WIFE TO MY SON AND MOM TO MY GRANDDAUGHTERS, I MISS HER AND I WISH I KNEW WHAT TO DO. IF ANYONE’S HAD THIS EXPERIENCE OR HAS ANY ANSWERS, I’D LOVE TO HEAR THEM. SHE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN MY LIFE. WHAT CAN I DO?? THANKS, BEVERLY

  • Karen

    When I was first diagnosed with Major Clinical Depression, I felt like I finally had a chance with life. I had a name to put on this “thing” that had surrounded and penetrated my life since highschool. The meds made such an incredible difference,and so fast, that family members were shocked. Even they hadn’t realized how much of my personality had gradually slipped away.
    Things were much better for me,for about a year. Then I started noticing old habits creeping back in. Withdrawal from everything and everyone, isolating myself,avoiding people,not being responsible for my bills and my appearance.
    We decided to increase the dosage on my medication. Things improved,for awhile. That was a year and a half ago and I can sense that it’s coming back again.
    I don’t want to go through the whole trial and error routine again, but the alternative is to go out and eat a bullet. Deffinately not what I want. My living situation isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough to keep me here for a while yet. I have been living alone for four years now, no significant other. On disability because of three bulging discs in my back. Pain meds and antidepressants are constant companions. One source of pain feeds the other.
    Anyway, the point is, I make the decisions about how I’m going to feel in the future. I do not make decisions about how someone else is going to feel! The Budda says “we must release our expectations of man”. We generate our own disappointment when we have expectations of others. Peace to you all and treat yourselves as you would any other unique creature of the world…

  • Katherine

    Noone really understand what I go through day to day. Day and night. My family and husband don’t really care. They just tell me to grow up, and not let it get to me. I’ve been on medicine after medicine, and nothing has worked. So I understand how everyone is feeling. I just don’t talk to them when I feel depressed or I feel my bi-polar kick in.

  • Cynthia

    I have been in a similar place with my depression. Currently not on meds, I try to keep it under control with exercise, meditation, and St. John’s Wort. But it’s always in the background of everything I do. Sometimes, debilitating, it keeps me from moving on projects that are important and on a deadline. But I can’t get past it unless I’m on some kind of roll. To complain to friends just doesn’t work because they do not understand. How can they, if they have not been in that deep dark hole? What can a person do then? Probably keeping busy, being with people, socializing. And realizing that you are not alone! Thanks for this blog, it does a very important service.

  • barb

    Honestly, I think It’s so hard for me to explain what I have been through with my mood disorder.I always thought that I suffered from a very severe form of depression, but then found out-the hard way when I stopped taking medication at age 30 that I had a form of bipolar disorder that was mostly depressive.No one helped me.My family turned their back and didn’t want to see that I was really in trouble and needed help.I finally got myself to a psychiatrist that helped me, after 6 months of sheer hell.I have been on different meds over time with varying results and varying side effects-but one medication has been helpful and I’m finally on a combination at age 38 that’s working o.k.I guess it was hard with me because I hid my illness my entire life,I was able to function, go to grad school, work, etc but inside I was really suffering terribly, I just never talked about it, because of the stigma etc and my family always depended on me to be the strong one.I just want to say, thank God for my psychiatrist at the time, she saw me for a sliding scale because I had lost my job at age 30 because I had gotten so sick and she helped.No one else did.At age 30 after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I stopped dating or even expecting to be in a relationship because I felt then and still feel like no one that I’m dating will understand.It’s alot of stuff.Thanks for the blog.

  • Kate

    I somehow stumbled upon this blog site for depression…I am so grateful I did. Reading through each and every comment gives me comfort.I was diagnosed with severe depression in 1990. I was treated with every anti-depressant medication available but nothing worked for very long. I was diagnosed as bi-polar II in 2005 after I lost my job because I couldn’t function anymore. My co-workers would deliberately upset me, ignore me, and called me foul names get me to cry. I was demoted to a lower paying job because my supervisor didn’t want to deal with my emotional behavior. I’ve tried to commit suicide 6 times, but each time I ended up in a psych hospital where all they do is “babysit” the mentally ill people. My husband of 25 years divorced me and my 4 children refuse to have anything to do with me because they can’t “deal” with my emotional state. I have 8 grandkids I’m not allowed to see. By the grace of God I found a psychiatrist who is helping me to focus on my good qualities instead of my negative behavior. I learned that if someone doesn’t like me or treats me badly even though I try to get along with everyone and be friendly, I need to realize that the problem doesn’t lie with me…I can’t change the way they feel about me, and its not my fault that they have issues with my depression. My choices are to ignore them totally or get so depressed that I can’t function. I have no friends, no relationships, have been called a nut-job by my children, but finding all of you is almost like having friends now. Thank you for letting me read your comments.

  • dbyrd

    I’ve been on Prozac so long (except for one pregnancy) I don’t remember when I started it. I do remember crying in the pharmacy parking lot (on the phone with my fiancee over 5 years ago) having just left a particularly difficult appt with the Doc. He had added Valium to my routine………….I know the STIGMA that goes with that…as if Prozac wasn’t bad enough. My husband to be was so accepting and helpful, though truly he didn’t understand. I am still on that med. It helps my manic self slow down and not have to multitask constantly. It helps me say ‘No’ when I want to, it gives me mental clarity by toning down those emotions that God put in me. I could say I haven’t been diagnosed. Doc’s don’t agree. They just agree treat the symptoms, fine with me. I know high strung emotion women run in my family and I want a hold on it. I could say it’s the Epstein Barr again…..driving me to withdraw, tired, antisocial. But, I’ve been able to face my own weaknesses. Not conquer them, but facing them was so tough and took decades!
    My point is no one could understand unless they’ve been in your shoes. I can say I empathize, because I have similar issues. I wouldn’t have just said ‘Thanks’. But my sister would have, if it’s any consolation. It takes all kinds to make up this world and aren’t we lucky to have ones like this blog provides to share and care, whether we truly understand or not.
    D

  • Vickie

    I’ve never written to a blog before but when I read everyone’s comments about struggling with loved ones and people in general who don’t understand depression or mood disorders, I felt the urge to write and talk about my Bipolar illness. I was first diagnosed almost thirty years ago and I am sorry to say, it never goes away and people never seem to understand or accept it any better as the years go by. The two hardest things for me to deal with are explaining to prospective employers why I’ve had so many jobs and why I have no references, even character references because I don’t have any friends. My one and only best friend who was with me through the worst times died several years ago. I am very lucky to be married to a sweet man who is trying desperately to understand even a little bit but most of the time he is frightened for me. I take my meds religiously and believe we’ve hit on a good combination for me finally. I’m hoping and praying that I can soon resume at least the appearance of a normal life, become gainfully employed again, and hold on to it for as long as possible.

  • Wren

    I really relate to this article and feel better after reading everyone’s comments in this blog. I, too, am at a point where I realize they – meaning just about everyone – doesn’t get it. I’m in a career/job/financial crisis because I job hop all the time. I have very few usable references because my employers consistently use my emotional/mood/psychiatric thing to pick on me. I’ve lost all my close – even casual – friends – because “they just didn’t get it.” After trying to deal w/ the medical profession’s opinions and medication for nearly a decade I gave up using the more “clinical” approach because “they don’t get it either!!!” Now well – I’m surviving. Trying to find better coping mechanisms. Trying to find a comfortable environment in which to live and work. Praying to find a way I can work for myself and finance a home away from everyone so I don’t need to deal with everyone’s ignorance. And praying to find a way I can emotionally support myself better because the rest of the world feels no need to help me.

  • Yvonne

    I’m not sure HOW I came accross this website, but sad to say, this is the FIRST time I’m reading it after it’s been showing up in my inbox for the past 6 months. It is very comforting!
    I have not been diagnosed with depression, but because of having no insurance, I can’t find out for sure. I’ve blamed it on the “mommy blues” having given birth 6 months ago, but I’m not sure if that is all it is from.
    The worst part of everything, ………I TRUST NO ONE! Not even my family. They can be loose at the jaw, and I hate to be the “topic of conversation”, so I keep my business to myself and suffer in my own misery. My significant other has “joined forces” with my family, (as to get them on HIS side)………..I JUST WANT TO SCREAM!
    I go to work every day, and believe it or not, I’m the perky one there! I sell jewelry and cringe when I see a happy couple buying an engagement ring, or a mother buying something for her daughter just because………I can’t tell anyone this because they just WON’T GET IT! They’ll throw their stones about how I must be a horrible person. After all, …….WHO THINKS LIKE THAT?!
    No one knows how your mind races from one horrible thought to another like one, long, continual breath before you suffocate….you don’t TRY to think bad thoughts, but you just can’t help it. It’s almost like you’re trying to be ready for the absolute worst so you can’t be disappointed when it DOES happen. (And when it does happen, it’s like validation of how horrible things can be, but the disappointment is still there.) It’s the feeling of being “let down” over and over that is the worst.
    I guess I needed to vent to people who DO get it……….

  • Lil

    Well you finally put it down right on the button. It could of been written by me but you made it so clear even I could understand.
    Thanks for using your talent .
    Your work is worth keeping and perhaps emailing it to a few dozen people I know.

  • mark gottesman

    thank you!!

  • sept23girl

    Boy how I have learned “laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone”. No one really wants to know your problems, not even people close to you. I told a friend several years ago I was going through a depression and she said “what are you going to do about it?” Another one said about a desease I have “you can’t dwell on it or read about it”. Well, I have to read and write to people who don’t know me because you are right “no one gets it” except the ones who are really going through depression or whatever the problem happens to be. I even had an e-mail buddy one time that simpley didn’t want to hear it. Yep, you guessed it, I dont’ talk about it much to anyone anymore. I just cry in the night when no one can be hurt by it. Thanks for listening

  • Lori

    reading this article and all of these comments bring floods of tears to my eyes at this very moment. i have been fighting these thoughts, this depression so they call it for many years, alone. its almost like im too embarassed or something like i cant admit that something is wrong because ive always felt this way. ive never even fully explained to my husband how i feel and the things that go through my head. ive mentioned things but he says “i wish i knew what to tell you” and thats it! im so afraid that if i talk to anyone else they will say the same thing. for example he wanted to see what i was writing just now and i hid it from him, not caring what he thought i was doing as long as he wouldnt know the truth. it really does mean alot to me to know that im not alone.

  • Gilda

    This is to Yvonne. I understand where you are coming from. You feel that no one understands how you feel about things. You act one way and go home and it hits. I was in a mental abusive marriage for 24 1/2 years. Didn’t start out that way but ended that way. He died about 4 years ago. I am still trying to find my way. There are alot of nights that I feel I could just end it all. I go to work and everyone thinks that I am so happy and everything is going good. But on the inside is all turmoil. I have no one to talk to about all this so I keep it bottled up inside of me. But just know that there is someone who understands and knows how you feel. Since his death I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and diabetes. So it seems things are not getting better, but I am trying my best to stay above the water. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Erica

    You are so right, people don’t understand. They simply think you’re lazy, weak, not trying, when you’re doing all you can to just breathe. And it really hurts when it’s the people you feel should protect and be there for you. I struggle so hard, but it seems I get help from nowhere (doctors, friends – well I don’t have any, my job course, etc. (((((((((L&H)))))))))). Blessed Be. E.

  • Amy

    Your mom is right. I wish I had that relationship with my mom, she just pretends it’s not happening to me. No matter how many brochures, books on the subject, and actual episodes she has experienced of my illness. It’s Taboo and she lives with my husband and I since the death of my father. I also wish more people were knowledgeable on the subject, especially if they are true friends. My husband is now finally trying to understand and read on it and even took a step to accompany me to the Psychiatrist. I have been suffering for about 10 years now – on different meds – ups and downs and also feeling as if “people” I thought I could confide in see me as weak, lazy, and even ignorant, the way they preach to me about the dangers of meds and how I should “get myself out of the rut”, etc… As if I want to be in this state and can do something about it “only if I tried a little harder” – If I could do that – I wouldn’t need to talk to anyone!!!! Then they wonder why I don’t answer the phone when they call or decline invitations – I feel too indifferent to what they are saying to have an all out discussion – it takes too much energy and leaves me drained – so …I just avoid these people. Which leaves me pretty much without freinds. Good Luck to you. I will be taking your mom’s advise.

  • Anonymous

    I am going through something similar, but it involves abuse. I confided in someone who I thought was a good friend, and got no support at all. It is especially heartbreaking when it is someone who is supposed to be a christian. I’m finding out that a lot of christians “just don’t get it” when it comes to abuse. Their attitude is it’s your fault and you have to stay and take it. There is no excuse for abuse and victims should not be blamed.

  • Julie

    Hi,I recently found this site and just started reading it. I dont have any friends anymore so I have lots of time to browse the web. I have chronic pain and severe depression. Your articles ring so true except I am still in so much darkness I cant find the any light just yet.I can relate to the post Amy wrote. Ive had pain and depression since I was 15 years old (Im now 46), I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis. Because of that I was rob of motherhood, had to have 4 major abdominal surgeries and have built up massive scar tissue so that most of my abdominal area is immoblie. It has gotten so bad in the past 5 years that Ive had to give up my active life. I no longer work, do any sports that I use to love, clean my house, even making love to my husband causes a lot of pain. People act like Im lazy and dont want to work anymore and want a free ride! Because you cant see my disability I even have a hard time getting doctors to belive that Im really in pain and not just seeking drugs. Im sooo tired of this, my soul hurts. Do people really think I would give up a life that I loved to be like this? Stuck in this house for days on end not seeing anyone? Having no money and wondering when the utilites will be shut off, how are we going to pay them till the disablity finally gets approved? I forgot to metion that right after I became no longer able to work my husband had a heart attack (at age 41)and was in a coma for 5 days and has some brain damage and can no longer work also. We have both been turned down for our intial attempt at disablity(Im told thats not out of the ordinary) and are waiting for our hearing that can take up to a year and a half.Im sorry i went on so but its getting crushing and i dont know what to do anymore. And then people think I want to be like THIS! Youre right they do not get it and I dont think they ever will.Thank you for this site, Ill understand you not posting this, I just wanted someone out there to maybe hear me.

  • suzyq

    Depression thats a heavy word to me. I’ve been suffering from this ailment for years. Days its hard just to get off the couch and do something, Anything, but I have a terminally ill mother and I’m the only one taking care of her. My sisters who are older, pop in when they feel like it for a brief visit and then leave, never, uttering a word to me as a mere thank you fot tking care of mom. My immediate family don’t even seem to understand, they help when I ask but thats the thing I have to ask, and I don’t ask much when I do need help. I feel like I’m drowning with no air in sight. My depression worsens with each day and I just can’t kick it, I’ve tried the anti-depressent thing just to toss those things out and tough these feelings out, and so I press on, each and everyday, needing someone to just listen to me when I talk, or lend a supportive comment, like hang in there your doing what no one else will do, keep up the good pace, anything, anything positive, but yet I get nothing.
    This is a nightmare to me, living with depression, putting on a happy face while taking care of my precious mother, while feeling totally exhausted, unappreciated, and extremely undervalued. I love my mom and keep going for her sake, its just so diificult to see her go down thst road and for me having to deal with my emotions and never getting the help that I need. I NEED SUPPORT, JUST SUPPORT ME, but I don’t even get any gratitude. I feel alone and confused, is anyone listening? Not just hear my words but actually listening? I see no one.
    This is agonizling, I pray that mother God, father God and the son of God and Holy spirit help me through this journey, its a inward climb and I’m pooped.

  • Anonymous

    I feel all of your pain I would share some of my experiences but I’m not ready to yet
    God Bless all of you!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    i understand the pain of depression, anxiety and loneliness of no one understanding. i don’t have many friends(if any). i am a stay at home mom of 3. i try to explain it to my husband, he understands somewhat, but no where to the point that i need him to. on a daily basis, i get angry,not just mad but ANGRY over small things, i cry, and at times i really go off the deep end and have an absolute raging fit that he has to restrain me from hurting myself. it’s wierd, but i can sometimes feel when its going to happen. i try to avoid everything in hopes that it will just go away. sometimes i can get through it, sometimes i can’t. maybe my husband is right. maybe i am just crazy. i have been taking medicine for my depression and anxiety, but because i could not pay my bill at the doctor’s office,(no insurance) they have removed me from their office as a patient. therefore, they will not give me any refills. i have thought about going to one of these “no prescription needed” websites to get my medicine, but i am not sure that i should. i can’t afford to go to the doctor much less lose any money to some scam. i believe i need them to help me sustain life as i new it before. quiet, calm, and able to deal with things in a more positive way and actually being happy. i just don’t know how much longer i can take it. i pray for healing and guidance, maybe my faith is not strong enough to receive His true blessings. any and all prayers are welcomed.

  • Dianna

    I am bipolar. I have been on prozac for 20 years. Yes, 20 years. I am one of the prozac beginners, I remember when my first doctor put me on it and I was on top of the world! A size 6! and I remember that the doctor was getting some kind of credit hours for putting me on Prozac. I can’t do without it, I don’t feel the top of the world feeling, but when I don’t have it, watch out. I take other meds too, by now and I am in talk therapy and I am really seeing many things these days.
    The roller coaster of life is no smoother, with the ups come the downs, without the bad times, we may forget to really love and appreciate the good times. I don’t mind so much my highs and lows. The only thing is, it is hard for others to accept me as I am extremely emotional. but I love me-as I am a creation of God and He makes no mistakes.
    What I really want to tell each one of you reading this- The Secret. Get the documentary movie and view it. Rent it and view it, invest in it and view it. Even just once. Then take each day one day at a time. It’s all we can do…and we must do this, it is our job as creations of God. He’s the one who will call it quits for us.
    Much love and faith.
    Di

  • michelle montero

    AS soon as I read the title for this, I knew I had to read it. Having Bi-Polar and Depression I definitly can relate. I am constantly thinking “why can’t everyone just get off my back?” and “nobody gets it!”. I now realize I can’t change these things, but deal with them to the best of my ability.

  • Elise

    Talk about people not getting it?!! You should see how my immediate family acts towards me. Like there is nothing wrong with me and yes one child of mine might say ” I know your depreessed right now mom.” Then says some things for me to consider to become un depressed.LOL. Have been on medications since I was 17. Actually the pediactric started me on valium at age 9 for anxiety. Then all types of and on for years of antidepressants. They say I have life long depressuon and anxiety and OCD along with my other illnesses it is unbelievable. I just have to remember that there is always someone else worse off than me. Still that doesn’t help much. My mom and dad are gone and my siblings have all moved away. I would love to have some support. I get an hour of support maybe one time per week and some times not even that. Winter is the worse. I have the happy light and if I do not get up out of bed all day it is of no use. In the summer it is better except that my feet and hands blister when the weather is warmer. I also came down with hypothyroidism at 30 yrs. old and now have fibromyalgia and all the other painful body stuff that goes along with that. Yes. growing up I had ADD and ADHD before they new what it was. I went to summer school a lot. I am also dislexic. My gosh the more I type the more i am remembering what is wrong with me and how others just don’t get it. Take care everyone. Elisa P. S. Forgot to mention that i am almost 50 years old now and it is still a battle every day.

  • Nancy

    I am so glad to read these posts. NO ONE gets its! Sometimes my mother does, until my sister talks to her and chances her mind- that I am just being lazy. Occasionaly I have alittle support from my mother, other wise, it God and the medicine. It’s gotten so bad none of friends even want to be around me. Oh well! I have the problem- I have to deal with. So those of you who have at least one person, be greatful. I can not afford theorpy, and I make just a little to much for the lovely help our govement gives out. God gets me throw.
    But, it is very nice to know, that I am not alone, with the “no one get its”
    It’s difficult, just one day at a time, sometime one min.
    My home use to be full of people and happieness, now it’s lonely, just me and my dog. I go to work and come home, can afford and or can emotionaly make it out anymore than that. GOD it my savior, never give up your faith.

  • spowell6

    Nancy
    May God bless you in your turmoil.
    I suffer from depression and anxiety. I don’t go anywhere, unless it’s to the grocery store or to take one of the my girls to the doctor. If it wasn’t for my husband making me leave the sanctity of my safe, protective, and understanding house, I would be more of a basket case than I am.
    You don’t have to be by yourself to be lonely. I have six people living in my house, and somedays I feel more alone than if I were alone(if that makes since). I know that you feel bad, but you have to make yourself get up. Look at the wonderous things that God has created for you. Don’t give up…..Please, DON’T GIVE UP!!! I almost did, and I thank the good Lord with all my heart and soul for not letting me.
    God has His way of intervening when He is needed and I ask Him right now to interven in your life, May God give you the strength and courage to face every minute of every hour, and the strength not to GIVE UP. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

  • Tracy

    I don’t know if I am commenting or justing letting my own issues out! Christmas is suppose to be so joyous and I get this. I love Christmas for what it was intended for. My issue with it, is that I get more depressed around holidays. My only son, Malik, my baby of 9, died Feb. 2006. I want to go out and buy him gifts, everything a 10 or 11 year old boy would want. I am shopping for nephews and I pick up stuff Malik would love! It isn’t the same buying a transformer for my nephews. I love these boys, but no matter how I look at it, not the same as Malik! Everyone has their kids, I want mine! I would give up all the money in the world just to have him back. I miss being Santa, he use to tell his friends that of course Santa exists, my mom can’t afford all those gifts. But you know what I always made sure he was taken care of. I want my joy back, my peace. I wish I could just get all those parents out there to realize how simply precious everyday is with their children. I wish I could be happy, as happy as I was when Malik was here!
    A sad mommy
    Tracy

  • TickleMeMoe

    Tracy,
    My heart goes out to you. I can only imagine the depth of your pain. I am so sorry for your loss. I feel i need to limit what I say. I’ve only been separated from my kids and that pain was intense enough. I just pray you can somehow feel the agape love Jesus has for you. You must have some Holy strength, I couldn’t imagine even being able to share on here the way u are able to. I did get up and grab my son and hugged him tight and long before he left for school this morning, I do appreciate everyday with him, and am watching him grow up so fast that I feel it and savor every moment I get to spend with him. He is a blessing from God.
    I pray for your healing in Jesus Name, Amen.
    Maureen

  • AFriend

    Nancy, you said it…..NO ONE “GETS IT”. Not unless they have been in a depression, had panic or anxiety attacks, they just have no clue as to how hurtful it is to hear someone say “just use your strength and overcome it”. I also feel lonely even in a crowd.
    I am much better now than five years ago, and I see the progress I am making, but doing it alone is exhausting.
    Know that you are not alone. I have and do have the same kinds of feelings that you describe.
    All I can say right now is that prayer has helped me, medication, and just plain old get myself up in the morning. I laugh a lot more, don’t cry as much as I used to (no sobbing, just weepy….huge step).
    God Bless You and Shine His Loving Light Upon You.
    Patty

  • Phil

    I am so relieved to read these posts because I feel less alone in my thoughts. Styron’s book is amazing and I am studying health communication in graduate school. I manage to hold down a job, socialize, exercise and get plenty of rest. I avoid caffeine and alcohol and yet depression is a powerful force in my life. After discovering this website a few months ago, I have read a lot of useful comments, articles etc. and feel very fortunate to have this as a resouce.

  • Krystal

    I came upon this site by accident or maybe by faith, you see I have always been a well centered person always try to follow the book. Recently 4 weeks ago I was pregnant and had a miscarriage, my boyfriend of 1 1/2 yrs was so very happy, it was his first and my second (I have a 13 yr old, I’m 36) so by no means am I a young nieve individual. My boyfriend left w/ no explanantion, since then my life has taken a spiral downward,unanswered questions from my boyfriend had me wondering what did I do wrong. In our time of need I understand he took a loss as well, but you would think something like this would bring us closer together and we would begin to heal together. Don’t get me wrong he was there for the first day, the next day I came home from work he was gone and his stuff was gone. I had to go thru the miscarriage all by myself, I cried all the time. Unable to get out of bed and go to work, my 13 yr old would always see me in the dark by myself. All of a sudden certain commercials start coming on the T.V that indicated all the signs of depression, I believe I had began to fall into a depression. The loss of a baby and a relationship fallen apart all in the same week (did I mention we got notice before Christmas our jobs where ending)all that is enough to make you want to loose your mind and scream and cry uncontrollably (which i did). During a concealing session (for the miscarriage) I had to take via the hospital they wanted to put me on ani-depressents because I can be in the middle of a conversation and cry. I feel that no one understands my hurt, frustration, unanswered questions like why me, I’m a good person. I’m going continue to go to my counseling sessions in hopes to find me again and get back to my love my daughter. The more I do my research the better I would understand what it is I’m going thru. I just wanted to tell my story and I’m glad they have websites like this. I’m also glad I was able to get that off my chest what I had been Holding in for weeks now since the miscarriage thank you for listening and I ask that you all pray for me…

  • Ellen

    Krystal,
    You may also be suffering from postpartum depression brought on by hormonal changes. Please consult your ob/gyn.
    I also live daily with depression. Prayer, exercise and daily meds help enormously. I had post-partum after both my children and found it to be twice as bad as my normal experiences with depression.
    Take care of yourself and the child you have. You can help each other by explainging your feelings. Your child will prabably blame him/herself no matter what it happening to you.

    Group counseling is also tremendously helpful for women who have experienced pregnancy losses. Much of it free at womens’ hospitals.
    God bless you and I will keep you and all women on this site in my prayers.
    Ellen

  • Christy

    You have no idea how what I just read here spoke to me! I have bipolar and I expect people to understand. Noone does. I mean noone. At least no one who has never experienced the pain and heartache and just plain lousiness of bipolar. I can not tell you how many times my Grams has told me to “Get past it” and my father has told me to “Suck it up” Sometimes..I get so lost..so deep down sad that sucking it up and getting past it don’t even seem real.
    I have warned my past love interests that I have bipolar. I tell them everything about it..or about it and me. I tell them about the horrible scars I’ve put on myself and about the days I can’t bring myself to get out of bed and the weeks I’ll go without sleeping and pacing the house searching inside myself for sanity.
    My sister, she comes the closest to understanding, and she can pull me back from the brink, but it saddens her and its unfair to her.
    Its a unfair thing to everyone. But it was absolutly wonderful to read this to see that I’m not alone in that feeling. Thank you. Today is a very down day for me. I need to read this.

  • SOS

    I don’t know how I found you/you found me…but I have been reading for a year now. I have been in a dysfunctional abusive relationship/marriage for almost ten years and have finally decided with the New Year it is time to move on in my life. I have been soulfully depressed and plagued with a loss of self esteem for failure in this third try at marriage.
    But I realize I have taken on all his garbage that has dragged me down for too long. For much of the time I go into a state of denial that I can make it better if I focus on the high points. Looking back on this year I have assessed my coping skills to include addictive behaviors that I am further ashamed of using to cope. I have been trying to cure the problem with another problem.
    I have decided to file for divorce this week and it scares me to death. I am faced with the prospect of eviction from my home and the scorn of my family for not “hanging in there”. I know they are afraid they will have to take care of me if i get rid of him. They don’t realize he damages me more than anyhing good he can do for me. He is just not worth it to me anymore. I feel as if I have sold myself to the devil if I stay with him. Friends are tired of listening to me. Friends KNOW what I need to do to get on with my life. Take the leap to get myself well…and free of HIM!
    Times are not looking bright for my next few months. I have to find a job that has eluded my efforts thus far. I would like to write and/or counsel and help others to help myself. I wonder how you found a way to express yourself and help others with this website. I wish I could also find my purpose in my darkest hour.
    Thanks for being there for others you don’t even know are benefitting from your struggles and successes!
    SOS

  • Lisa

    Speaking to Christy, no people don’t understand bi-polar disorder. I have been diagnosed for a year now, and I am just now understanding it. I can figure out what is about to trigger an irritiable reaction, when I am about to go into hyper mode, and when my depression is about to kick in. I have joined a support group, see a therapist twice a month, take my meds. My family, mainly my brother, is my support group. Anyone interested in me gets the same explainations I am sure u give, but, no, they still don’t get it. Can’t understand when I am so low I just can’t talk to anyone. Or when I get so hyper I can’t sleep or be still. I have decided I have this disorder, it doesn’t have me. I have and still do read all I can on this disorder, I make myself positve, I have become an environmentalist, which relaxes me, I can spend alot of time outdoors or I can lay right here in the bed if I feel like it. There is a book called “Loving Someone with Bi-polar”, if you can find it, get it and let others ready it. Be patient with this disorder, you will be able to control it and continue on with a peaceful, loving, happy life. Good luck to you. Pray alot also, I swear it helps..
    Peace
    Lisa

  • Diana

    I have experienced depression but I have good reasons. I was adopted, 1949, at the time the orphanages were cold. the belief was not to hold the babies and I was on a very strick feeding schedule. I had a vivid vision of my seld in a white room, stark, white bars on the side. I was screaming for someone to come. I was lonely, panicky, scared, and angry in this vision. Then I saw Jesus come and pick me up. I have never been a religious person and still am not.
    I saw the real Jesus, and still have contact.
    I read a book, “Courageous Souls”, It told about how people choose lives before they come here for certain missions.
    That really opened my eyes.
    I have never felt comfortable with the mass consciousness and have experienced much rejection, both my birth mother, adopted mother and many people outside.
    I have always been considered too sensitive.
    Most people have closed hearts, and are threatened by any weakness. They can also be triggered about something in them they don’t wangt to see. That is why people are cold about ones who have too many emotions. It is very hard, and I have even had people rage at me.
    It is best to go to places where ones are authentically supportive of each other if you can find that.
    My mission is to help others open their hearts and melt the ice around it. E-mail me if you have comments or questions.
    it is also good to have a very good, kind therapist to listen to you.
    Diana

  • Donna M. Tufnell

    Krystal, I understand. I also suffer from clinical major depression with a little manic/depressive in there. My daughter once called me a “pillhead.” I also suffered from 3 miscarriages, 1 ectopic, and one stillborn ( all after I had my one and only baby ) I wasn’t even 21 when I had a c-section to take my dead 10-week old baby out of my body. What bothers me is that at the time, I never thought to ask the sex of the baby. Also, I didn’t grieve for it for a long time, so it’s good that you are. I figure that when Jesus returns for us, we will know the answers, and I will find out the sex of my fetus. Depression is very hard for people to understand if they don’t suffer from it. “Buck up,” right? I feel for you. I wasn’t strong enough for a while in my thirties for my teenage daughter. I am sorry for that. Be open and honest with your 13-year old. My prayers are with you.
    Donna

  • Diana

    I have experienced depression but I have good reasons. I was adopted, 1949, at the time the orphanages were cold. the belief was not to hold the babies and I was on a very strick feeding schedule. I had a vivid vision of my seld in a white room, stark, white bars on the side. I was screaming for someone to come. I was lonely, panicky, scared, and angry in this vision. Then I saw Jesus come and pick me up. I have never been a religious person and still am not.
    I saw the real Jesus, and still have contact.
    I read a book, “Courageous Souls”, It told about how people choose lives before they come here for certain missions.
    That really opened my eyes.
    I have never felt comfortable with the mass consciousness and have experienced much rejection, both my birth mother, adopted mother and many people outside.
    I have always been considered too sensitive.
    Most people have closed hearts, and are threatened by any weakness. They can also be triggered about something in them they don’t wangt to see. That is why people are cold about ones who have too many emotions. It is very hard, and I have even had people rage at me.
    It is best to go to places where ones are authentically supportive of each other if you can find that.
    My mission is to help others open their hearts and melt the ice around it. E-mail me if you have comments or questions.
    it is also good to have a very good, kind therapist to listen to you.
    Diana

  • Sharon

    Lisa, I’d like to say Diddo to your post, people will definitely disappoint us (to me) when they are not even willing to try and understand. But, I learned all to well about expectations of others and the blame game, it all starts and ends with me. And so I try to own my feelings and no longer try to analyze them and just watch and notice the triggers and how I react to them for my PTSD/Depression, something I learned in therapy. I can recall when I first went I would say I don’t know why I can’t stop crying, I don’t know why I’m not further along yet as if I was in full control, NOT! But that was always my lifeline, to be in control because I was looked at in the family as the strong one, taking on responsibilities for me, my kids, my mom and my little brother from very young I started being a caretaker and that’s all I knew and being so busy with everybody else’s lives and drama, who had time for my own issues or emotions I just stuffed them and thought I didn’t have the time or the space in my mind to deal with my feelings. And then I learned later in life how to self medicate, if you know what I mean and that was crazy after claiming my whole life I would never be like them ( the alcoholics in my family) and so I was a late bloomer and But for the Grace of God, I hit rock bottom very quickly and made through to other side. But now I’m suffering from PTSD/Depression which was probably hidden and tucked away nicely and then all exploded and now people are thinkin Her, oh not her she never lets anything get the best of her. That was my attitude and my many, many masks and hats I wore to suit the occassion at hand. So today, I’m learning as you stated and reading up on my disorder and working with it rather than against it one day at a time despite who understands? There will always be those who want to dissect, and diagnose you for as long as we live and at the end of the day who cares, what other’s think or say about me is none of my business, but how I react and/or respond is my responsibility.
    Those who judge don’t matter and those who matter don’t judge and in my case especially family. I have come to know and bond with people in ways on God is capable of like you all hear. And for that I will survive.
    God Bless,
    Sharon

  • TAMARA

    I SHOULD HAVE OPENED THIS E MAIL A LONG TIME AGO YOU ALL ARE A DEFINITE GOD SEND JUST THE FIRST FEW PARAGRAPHS I HVE READ HAVE MADE ME TAKE A BIG SIGH OF RELIEF NOW I DONT FEEL ALONE ANYMORE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS WEB SITE HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL IT IS ALL ABOUT MOVING FORWARD FOR ME NOW

  • Valerie

    I’m just glad I’m not the only person like me. My own children have disowned me. My family doesn’t understand. I now live alone with 3 dogs who love me unconditionally. Mine is a long story, but to cut it short, basically, I now live with horrible pain in my back and neck, I have Celiac Disease from all the stress and depression. I also am Clinically Depressed and it is severe. I’m Bi-Polar and Very Emotional. I’ve never been that way before in my life. The last 2 years have been the worst. I don’t wish the way I feel on another human being. Being 48 and feeling 84 is not in the slightest worth living for. I just keep praying and hoping that one day, just for 1 day, that I will be free of pain.
    If people would just open their eyes and see the hurt in others and reach out, it would be a better place.
    God Bless Everyone and Happy New Year!
    Valerie in Dayton, OH

  • Khang Nguyen

    To Lisa, (above)
    My suggesions to you is to read some of Wayne Dyer’s books.
    My personal favorite is “It’s
    I uote this from his book “There is no way to happiness, Happiness is the way.”
    Another good one for you ” You can’t have a better past, all you have is this moment.”
    “This moment is all there is, all there has ever been, ans all there ever will be.” by Wayne Dyer.
    NNK

  • Sandy

    Hi Lisa, Happy New Year I know exactly how you feel, I have been in and out of Mental Wards for years, groups etc. My own mother is like I don’t know how you and your brother became like this you had a happy childhood. She thinks because we had a happy childhood that we can’t get Mental Health disorders when we grow up. It took her years to admit she had a problem and now takes Wellbutrin and still says the same things about my childhood. Oh well gotta love her. We just have to worry about ourselves and not what people think I did learn something in one of those groups I have attended. I have my bad days and my good days. Oh by the way my sister that passed away 3 1/2 years ago’s name was Lisa. I too would self meditate until about 6 years ago I got real drunk one night, the next day I admitted myself into the hospital and they told me if I took one more drink on the medicines I was on I could end up in a coma so with Gods help I quit Cold turkey and haven’t touched it since. Again I just want to say I hope your year is a better one. I know what ya mean about sometimes you can’t count on family with the way my mom acts sometime even though she takes medicine for depression and my sister in-law who judges and actually needs medicine. Anyway you all have a Great New Year. See ya
    Sandy

  • Darla

    Add one more to your small circle that does understand. At the time I went through depression, religion was the dominant force and people made sure I knew I was evil and needed more of the Lord’s influence. By the time I started receiving drug therapy (amytriptilene) I had lost my husband, children and had tried suicide twice. Even though my daughter has had her own experiences (the genetic form of depression) there is still no forgiveness nor understanding. I am also left with a great distrust of religion and people.
    Appreciate those few who do understand and still love you. Those are the ones who are special and you are blessed for having them in your life.

  • Wanda

    I have at times experienced a little depression but not to the effect of what I am reading about, But non the less just as lonely and painful. I found the only thing that helped me was being as close to God as I could. You see he hears us, understands us like no human being would. He doesn’t alow us to go through more then we can bear and he goes through it with us. If I could speak from both sides of the coin sort of speaking. I think People do care to a point, they just at times get worn as to what to say or do to help because of lack of knowlage or education of the situation. it can be mentaly tiring on a loved one if they do not know how to help the situation and they can not handle it always. As for the part of the depressed person. You feel like the world is closeing up on you and you can not breath at times, Your depression causes physical pain because the feelings have to go some where. Your crying out for some one to love you and understand and to try and help you through your problems. But God is the only one who can, it is up to the person going through the problems to release it to God and hang on his hand. let him bring you out of the depression. Trust him alow his love to fall fresh on you and let go of the torment and let God embrase you as he is the only true friend who will love you and help you as you need. I hope this has helped. I hope I have not taken your pain lightly, I just know God is the only one who can deliver you from this bondage.

  • Jamie

    My comment is for Darla who said she now has a great distrust of religion and people. Please dont distrust what God has done for you. I know its hard and lonely but always, always turn to God first even before you turn to other people. People will let you down but I promise God never will. We all go through the valleys but please rest assured the peaks are there. I too battled depression and lost my husband, house and friends because they couldnt be bothered with my depression. Once I gave myself and situation over to God things started to improve for me. It didnt happen over night as my illness didnt come on over night but with a desire in my heart and a son that I absolutely adore I have made it through my darkest days. I did eventually move to another state alltogether but my son and I are happier now than ever before. I have learned alot about myself and learned to treat myself better and treasure life for what it is and that being temporary. God has a perfect plan for each of us and sometimes allows us to walk through those valleys of despair to strengthen us. Just hold on… better days are coming.

  • sanaa

    ‘bin there,done that’ might sound rude here,but i’m not trying to be.what i may say might not matter at all.you’ll say easier said then done.
    the key is,you’ll have to do it to see how it easy it all turns out to be and you’ll be less frustrated and more in control of your emotions.
    i was taken off my medications because my doctors told me that i was doing so well in therapy that i didn’t need the meds,that the reason i was doing so well was because ‘I’ was doing it myself,the meds weren’t.the therapy was teaching me more about myself and i was starting to see things in a different light,i still do,with everything.
    i used to expect people to sympathize with me everytime i was sad,angry,upset,hurt,i wanted things and expected people to understand and do it all for me,give me what i wanted.but they didn’t get what it was like going through depression and having all these expectations.i learnt the hard way that not everything and everyone will live up to your expectations and i had gotten even more sad,angry,upset and hurt when i was.but when realization started dawning on me,i started to stop doing it.it wasn’t easy at all but you know what,it worked.
    you don’t need affirmations from every other person to feel better.be independent,hold steadfast,be strong.not everything is going to be served to us on a silver platter.
    take care and be good.

  • Rodney Crosby

    Hey I suffer alot with depression its awful terrible thing.
    Yea people just dont get it nomatter what u tell them it is hard to say a thing to them /.
    But thats how things go it seems.
    Godbless you,. Rodney

  • Panda1

    I recall during my extreme moments of depression wondering the best way to “off” myself, with as you said, two kids in the back of the car. The most heartwrenching thing is that they never knew that I was hurting so badly. I felt that I had to be a good mom until the end. So I kept driving them with a heavy heart and a wicked mind trying to figure out how to least discomfort the family (such as not wreaking the family car) when I wanted to die. Fortunately I asked for help before I carried through any plans, but I think people were unaware of how deeply I was in pain. Depression is so encompassing that people who have not experienced it really might not “get it.” I have forgiven them, and chosen to move on. Every time I click my seatbelt, it is an affirmation of my CHOICE to live.

  • joanna

    Some people don’t want to get it, you know. It takes understanding, compassion, truth, love and a willingness to see inside a depressed persons soul. And no one really wants to go there. Because no one likes to change. And believe when you look inside the soul of depression, it will change you.

  • Stephanie

    I am one who knows how it feels, having been stuck in what seemed like a never-ending spiral of depression from the time I was 19 until months after I had turned 20. But before that period of illness I had also been depressed back when I was 15 due to the adjustment to the very socially distracting world of high school and the seriousness I felt to make perfect grades to get a college scholarship like my older sister, while trying to be the life of the party. When I started to show poor grades because the depression had me not caring for myself properly, we had a big parent teacher meeting in order to decide how to make the most out of the classes I had a chance at passing. Well my English teacher(Mark Pearson of Land O’Lakes High School, FL) declared in that meeting that I was just a bad kid that was lazy and that I cheated on homework (which was completly untrue looking at the simple fact that I either did exceptional work or I CHOSE to take F’s for not doing it) and he also said in front of my Mom and the rest of my teachers that depression isn’t real and that I was a big fake. Well he sent me into painful tears because the compassion that I expected to get from my teacher whom I respected was instead an accusing stab at me personally. So I learned that some people are just not caring or understanding of other people’s life struggles and its because of they’re lack of experience and lack of having an open mind and heart. But none the less I got through that time with the love from the ones in my life who didn’t let me think I was worthless. I am 22 now and got through my times of saddness and am on the positive track and I will continue to model understanding and encouragment for all of those who are feeling weak and incapable of being strong at times.

  • Jennifer

    For years my parents told me I would “get over it”. It wasn’t until after my second daughter was born that I finally realized I wouldn’t just get over it. After several different doctors and a half dozen medications, I now have the right therapist and the right meds. My friends still don’t get it. I believe the problem lies with the illness itself. It’s not tangible like cancer or a physical disability. Mental disabilities are often not visible, but that doesn’t make them any less real.

  • E

    My boyfriend is bipolar and I have some milder issues with depression so we’ve worked and supported each other and have a great network together. My mom on the other hand, even though I’ve explained to her what bipolar is all about, constantly asks me why he sleeps so much and why he gets overwhelmed and depressed. “Why won’t he do anything about it?” She can’t seem to grasp that BP disorder is a chronic, genetic, life-long disease he has to manage and sometimes he has some trouble. He’s great with his meds but to others that should make him “cured”. I don’t think anyone really knows about anything until you’re able to see the bigger picture and are willing to put your fears aside and walk in that persons shoes. My boyfriend might not seem like the perfect catch but he has taught me so much about tolerance and fearlessness. He lives day by day and doesn’t have many worries.

  • Anonymous

    Stephanie,
    I literally CRINGE whenever I hear a story about the insensitivity of someone in my chosen profession, and I’m so sorry that you had to experience that. As educators, we need to be constantly aware of the power our positions have to change the lives of our students in BOTH positive and negative ways.It’s an awesome, noble profession when we do so and equally as awesome(though far less noble) when we forget! On behalf of teachers who DO understand and care, please accept my apologies for your former teacher’s insensitivity and hydgmental remarks. It sounds to me as though Mr. Pearson wasn’t worthy of the title “teacher”! I’ve often thought we should have an oath simikar to the one physicians must take and that it should start exactly the same way! (“…first do no harm…”Fortunately, you were wise enough to take alesson from your experience, but that doesn’t excuse your teacher’s lack of compassion or his blatant “practicing medicine without a license” by calling you a fake and stating that depression wasn’t real. and shameon the other teachers present for not challenging his authority to make such determinations!

  • Sandy

    Stephanie,
    I’ve been depressed since I was 24 and on Zoloft since I was about 48. I am now 62 and still on anti-depressants. The funny part is I didn’t even realize how depressed I was until I was 48. One of my friends told me I’ve changed so much for the good, that I used to be uncaring, and had no compassion for other people. I told her I remember being that way with her, but I thought it was because she was a heavy drinker and used to make me so mad for some of the things she’s put her family through. But it wasn’t just her or just that, I realize now that the way I was couldn’t be helped. I didn’t want to be nasty, I couldn’t help myself for some reason and I thought I was normal and ok. I thank God for my Zoloft even now, I’d have never made it through all the hardships I’ve had if it weren’t for God and Zoloft. I’ve tried to get off of meds 3 times already, but always ended up going back on them to keep myself from going insane. I believe I am a good person and a much more caring person now and you know what? I don’t care what anyone else thinks about me except for the people that mean anything to me and care about me. I’ve figured out the rest have the same or more problems then I do and haven’t figured out a way to help themselves yet.

  • Patti

    I’m 52. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder this past August. Seems like some friends have turned on me like this ailment is contagious. When I have the severe depression and sink to my depths I just want to sleep. I usually e-mail my brother and sister asking them to up the prayers. My brother always writes back telling me to hang in there, it will get better and my sister feels like I’m just a whine bag and responds not at all. I’m sure I’m a pain to listen to but sometimes I need just that – someone to listen. My daughter pretends there is nothing wrong. Thank you so much for this site and your kindness at sharing your experiences….Patti

  • JEFF0264

    I had A very similar experience with my ex wife. I went through 4 treatments of peg intron. At the end I lost it. I never hurt any one ,I just stopped functioning.
    A divorce followed. I have trie to reconcile , pray any thing to say I’m sorry I’m sick.
    My family was my life , an ex junkie to a home in the suberbs.
    I have no more prayers or letters to write….somehow I want to believe God has a laregerpurpose ????
    Sometimes I really dont get it.

  • MJ

    I’ve worked (in a field where we get pretty cynical about people quickly and are lied to and jerked around often) with a guy who for years has told me that if I just assumed people were idiots and expected nothing from them, I’d never be disappointed. True, and I set myself up and get disappointed in humanity all the time. But I also wonder, is expecting idiocy all the time the way I want to live? I think I’d rather expect the best (the right reaction, the intelligent response) and be disappointed. At least that way I’m keeping myself on my own toes.
    And you are right – people don’t get it. My own parent still tells me all the time that depression is nothing big and the mental health industry has ruined America so we should never turn to it (and she’s never had any contact with it or anyone in it – this must be something from a crazy radio show). This as I – ever single day – wrestle with wanting to die. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but it is always there and frankly there isn’t a whole lot I’d miss (family certainly not at all). Thanks for the understanding, its so helpful… OK, maybe people are idiots…

  • kathy dingess

    I dont get that nobody else gets it its just not convient to get it,
    I hate to be so sad, everyone says get on with life, I want to really , I cant pray this away, I cant wish it away, I cant rant it away, I just sometimes want to go away, not die just go someplace peaceful, my children do not respect me , two of them are on drugs, Im so afraid of losing more people in my life, so no one else gets it,my granddaughter died six years ago, just a baby why couldnt it have been me,I tried to forget, latley Ive been raising my grandchildren tonight in a rage thier mother took them away, my heart is breaking , so what will I do with myself now, no one to take care of leaves me with no purpose, medicine does not help me,I have tried so many medicines,I got mad at god for taking Kaylee, so now I dont know if he hears me,
    I never stopped believing in god,never stopped loving him just stopped going to him with my problems,so now I pray and am so afraid that it falls on deaf ears,and that only hell is waiting for me, who can I talk to about it honestly if anyone can help I will leave my email address, I cant talk to anyone in my home anymore they are tired of poor depresssed mom, some one please help me

  • Nancy

    I recently had an experience like this. I reconnected with my highschool boyfriend from 31 years ago. He ‘courted’ me, the whole nine yards. When he proposed, I accepted and was on cloud nine. We had a heart to heart one visit, and I told him of my battle with depression. I also told him I was on meds for it and how much it had helped. A few weeks later, he sent me an email telling me that he believed I had depression, but it was a spiritual depression, not clinical. He told me that if I had truly accepted Jesus as my personal saviour, I wouldn’t have this ‘problem’. I was devastated to say the least, he just didn’t get it! I have a disease; just like blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Now, I feel truly blessed that the Lord revealed this man’s true self to me.

  • Nicki

    I just printed “they just don’t get it”. Thanks for your honest sharing!! I don’t know why it frustrates me so much that people as so flip about depression. I know now that if you haven’t experienced it, you just don’t get it!!!! I even wonder if my therapists through the years have truly “gotten it”. They are trained but it is an unexplainable disease. It’s like trying to imagine what something tastes like without having tasted it-it’s impossible!! I agree with your Mom-I am learning to lower my expectations even with my closest friends. I have walked away from many relationships in the last 20 years since I started my cycles of recurring major depression. One thing I’ve learned is “I’M NOT GOING TO WASTE MY TIME EXPLAINING MY DISEASE OR FEELING LIKE I HAVE TO JUSTIFY MY LIFE THREATENING CYCLES”.

  • judykeesey

    thank you for this message board.i am so very deppresed. can;t seem to find any one to help me…..i have no medical insurance.so noone wants to help.need lots of help soon…cant stop crying… sreaming for help…help…

  • Anonymous

    Sad to say, as well meaning as most people want to be, UNLESS THIS IS SOMEHTING THEY HAVE ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED FOR THEMSELVES, then they will not want to deal with it, cannot begin to understand how or what peopel who HAVE experienced this feel and will tend to go for the oversimplistic and highly unworkable solutions.
    For instance, the elected officials who hand out economy stimulus rebate checks like a tip to a valet or a servant.
    A check is a one-time thing!
    WE NEED THE CONSTANT SUPPLY OF LIVING WAGE EMPLOYMENT — WE NEED JOBS -TO KEEP THE MONEY COMING IN!
    WE DO NOT NEED AN OCCASIONAL HAND-OUT!
    WE NEED TO STOP SENDING OUR JOBS OVERSEAS AND STOP THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM!
    You would be amazed how fast depression goes away when YOU HAVE MEANINGFUL WORK TO DO AND THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BESIDES YOURSELF AND YOUR PROBLEMS! I have had a fwe self-destructive thoughts too –like when I couldn’t get a job for THREE AND ONE-HALF YEARS!
    But I did something about it and now I am back in school and have a great part time student job. Older than average but I am doing something and I think that I am needed. Especially since the public schools are not doing jack to educate our kids for the most part —
    I do what I can to help them succeed in a junior college environment.
    WE ALL NEED SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO DO!
    CONSTANT REJECTION, AGE AND ETHNIC AND REVERSE RACISM AND PREJUDICE AND GENDER PREJUDICE MADE ME WANT TO DIE TOO BUT I HAD TO TAKE CHARGE AND TRY SOMETHING ELSE.
    WILL IT WORK?
    I DON’T KNOW HOW IT WILL TURN OUT BUT IT WAS BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING AND SITTING AROUND AND WANTING TO DIE AND ALMOST READY TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE THAT BAD THING HAPPEN TO MYSELF.
    WE NEED JOBS!
    WE NEED STUFF TO DO.
    WE NEED TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE WITH THE DISPOSABLE INCOME FROM THOSE JOBS THAT WE DON’T SAVE OR OTHERWISE SPEND FOR NECCESSITIES!
    And I hope somebody with a voice who CAN influence the political process will hear me and GET SOMETHING DONE ABOUT THE ECONOMY AND THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION WHICH IS BECOMING A NATIONAL DISGRACE!

  • carmen Perez-Febles

    WOW!!! My day.
    Kathy, Im praying for you, feeling for you, understanding you, Keep going girl!!!
    Nicki, I agree with you.
    Judy: Read what I said to Kathy, also if you feel like crying, do it, I do, but don’t forget to put cream in your eyes to prevent wrinkles, so you “kill two birds with one shot” that is what I do, I bet you at least smiled reading this. Go girl, you are not alone!!!!
    Anonymous: I am also sick of reverse racism. Get a grip!! Don’t go political on me!!! Stop blaming others,or things that are and will always keep happening. OF COURSE YOU CAN DO IT, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME AND ENERGY IN ALL THAT BLA, BLA, BLA…Take care of yourself, you are in my prayers.
    Note.- Read the articles and all the comments. Im feeling better already. Carmen

  • lynnemarie1

    ALL THESE COMMENTS I READ ON YOUR SITE, MAKES ALOT OF SENSE. BUT SOMETIMES, YOU CAN WRITE, AND CRY EVERYDAY. THE WORLD WON’T CHANGE. I EVEN TRIED TO CHANGE ME. BUT THERE IS NO DOING THAT EITHER. HA!! I GUESS WISHFUL THINKING. HUH!! THANK YOU.
    P.S. PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND, TELL YOU THE TRUTH I DON’T THINK THEY CARE. I DO TALK A LITTLE WITH MY SISTER, A LITTLE, WE ARE CLOSE. SHE REALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND. HARD FOR HER TO. THAT I UNDERSTAND HOW CAN YOU HELP SOMEONE THAT LIVES THIS EVERY, EVERY DAY. I LOVE HER THOUGH. SHE IS ALWAYS THERE WHEN I CALL HER.

  • Anonymous

    Wow – what timing. I had been praying and sobbing at 4am this morning and it continued most of the day, until I called my teenage daughter’s insurance company seeking counseling for her – my parenting suffers largely due to my manic-depressive struggles. I, too, am without insurance and not on medication. When I’m good, I’m great – I teach feng shui, creative processes, and conscious living classes in the community. I get how life works and how our bodies, minds, and spirits work together. I have published a couple of articles on feng shui, do consultations and have many grateful clients whom I’ve helped move past pain and get unstuck. It is embarrassing to find myself in the pit of despair for no apparent reason. I can be so full of life and love and hope and giving out positive energy everywhere I go, and somehow something happens and I shift and plummet into such despair that it just doesn’t make sense. No amount of positive thinking or repeated affirmations reach in deep enough. Only through begging in prayer does help come – in the form of a “word spoken in season” by someone who understands and who can remind me that it will pass and that I will be okay again; who can caution me not to make any major decisions right now (I can be very compulsive and have made some bonehaed moves when I’m not well), to just nurture myself and wait it out. I have been afraid to get a “real job” in case I find myself in a mess and blow it at work.

  • Agreed

    I AGREED TOTALLY!I AM 28 YEARS OLD AND EVERY KIND OF RELATIONSHIP I HAVE EVER HAD ENDED WITH A DISAPPOINTMENT. AFTER AWHILE IT JUST KEEPS GETTING EASIER AND EASIER TO JUST FORGET WHY YOU LIKE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.AGREED?

  • Marty

    The importance of these types of communities cannot be over emphasized – especially because people really just don’t get it. One real danger is so many people seem to think they do understand and have all the answers.
    Thank you for doing what you do.

  • Valerie

    My husband is the only one who gets it along with my counselor. My adult kids completely don’t see this is very real. My daughter has decided not to speak with me or see her kids until I “snap out of it”. My meds work awhile and then they don’t. I am still on counseling and my husband switched shifts. I keep my dogs close, they seem to help me. Sometimes I actually think I will beat this, so I guess I believe there’s hope which is better than before. I was diagnosed with dissociative amnesia along with my depression and am trying to sort that out. My only advice is keep going, that seems to be my mantra right now. May you be blessed.

  • Teresa Wede

    After reading several comments from others suffering from the same disease, as funny as this may sound, I found some comfort in the feeling “It’s not just me” I too have seen several doctors, been on more types of medications than I care to remember and have made bad choices the majority of my life. I find some comfort in speaking with my daughter who is now a registered nurse and can not only understand my dilema, but offer some comfort and advise. I recently started going to AA meetings since I some times would find myself resorting to alcohol to “forget” my issues and the lack of understanding from the people around me. Thank you so much for the opportunity to see that what I’m going through is “normal” Bless You and your site!
    Terri

  • Debera’ D.

    Depression/Bi-polar/Mania is viewed as contrite responses to day-to-day functions. The more simplistic the task the difficulty is measureable. Getting out of bed is a challenge. Not to mention bathe, dress, and off to work! You are right.
    In a nutshell…they just don’t get it!
    The struggle continues in Prayerful Hands.

  • Michelle

    I agree people don’t understand depression. I have always been told how strong I am. I have battled with depression and thoughts of suicide off and on since I was 9. Everytime I go thru the suicidal phase it’s a little harder to ignore. I’m batteling with it now. My boyfriend that I’ve been living with for the past 5 years just left me for a 26 year old. my delimma is whether my youngest son, 15 1/2, would be better off with me as his mom. The fact that I have for son’s that need me has always been the light at the end of the tunnel. Right now I have no money, no vehicle, no training and hardly any job experiance. Poverty that is what I can offer my son. Or I can give him a chance at having a future if I am not in his life. I know he would be sad for alittle while but I believe he would have a better chance at having a good future without me. I don’t have anyone I could discuss this with because i’m not asking for sympothy. I am trying to waight until school is out so it doesn’t affect him at school and he would have the summer to get passed the grief and use to living with either my ex or a coulple friends of ours. I know he would be better off with either.

  • patty

    Michele,
    I, too, have struggled with depression and have been hospitalized twice and what has pulled me through is my faith in Jesus Christ. You may think you are worth nothing but that is a lie. You are the apple of God’s eye. He has an amazing plan for you dear friend. You make a difference to your sons. These children seek the comfort that only a mother can provide. A verse that has helped through my darkest times is Isaiah 41:10
    Don’t be afraid, Michelle, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you, Michelle, with my victorious right hand.

  • Linda

    I am struggling so much with this depression. It started 2yrs ago. I took my husband back after being separated for 3yrs he is an alcaholic but had stopped drinking. I realized what a mistake I had made when he started drinking again. I want to leave my husband again But I am terrified of starting over alone. I cannot support myself and know I will not be able to afford to live in the same area I live in now. I will have to relocate far away and sell everything. I have gained 20 pounds. I cannot seem to stay on a diet. I have never had to diet and I am so angry with myself. I hate the way I look and it is also affecting my self esteeem. I have children but they just don’t seem to understand or get it. They just feel I should leave all my friends sell all my furniture, everything that is familiar and start over. I am just so lonely and unhappy and tired of dealing with his issues and nastiness and verbal abuse every evening. I am also using alcahol sometimes to get through the pain and fear and panic of starting all over alone somewhere where I know no one. I know I am rambling. I am sorry it is just a bad day today. It is helping to ramble here. Thank you.

  • Marlene

    I just stumbled onto this website. I can’t believe how much I have in common with these people. I can’t wait to read more. I look forward to learning more. Thank you so much for what you are doing.

  • Gloria J K

    Bipolar depression is a life struggle and with my disease, I have the depressive aspect-not mania. Six people in my family have the disease. I have 3 children, and they have been negatively affected. My sons’ don’t want to deal with me, and my daughter has stood by me, but she also gets to the point of frustration (who can blame her – I get that way with myself too). I am now twice divorced (husbands do not want anything to do with these “crazy women”). I’ve lost my nursing career, family, friends, financially (I am on disability — which is in one month, what I use to make in one week) – so I have to live with my newly married daughter (which is not fair to them). No matter how I try to manage, and I do, it is never completely gone. I do not enjoy life at all, and I am grateful for any day I don’t feel like dying. I am 53 years young, grandmother of 3 and one on the way, and I hang on everyday. I have considered EST, and the implant, but then that’s not a guarantee either, so, I depend on God and He has helped me the most. The more I talk to Him, read the Bible and study how his disciples and prophets dealt with their depression, I find more peace then in any other means. Thanks for this article, I e-mailed it to my sons’ but it may be too late. They don’t care and don’t want to be around it. Ironic, they’ve been diagnosed too. All 3 of my children have bipolar and they choose not to deal with it. God bless you all and I pray for you all who live with this disease. GJK

  • Linda

    I stumbled across this blog while researching another topic. While it makes me sad to know that others are suffering to the same degree that I do, in a way, it makes me feel less alone. I’m not sure there is a single person in my life who has any inkling how much pain is involved in depression. I try to explain it, but it is indescribable. So many times I have thought that it would be better to die young than have to live with this all my life. My husband, who loves me very much, simply cannot fathom why I feel this way. Sometimes I take it out on him in the form of anger, and then I hate myself even more for doing that…
    My father was bipolar. I believe that I inherited the tendency toward anxiety and depression, but I also believe that it has been exacerbated by life experiences. I took anti-dpressants for a while, and they helped to a degree. But I hated the sexual side effects. I really did not like feeling “numb” and was not willing to sacrifice that pleasure. My therapist made a sarcastic remark about that, but it is my choice. I love my husband and want to experience the intimacy and ecstasy of marriage.
    Now, my main coping mechanism is exercise. It has the mood-lifting effect that I need and gives me a temporary reprieve from my depression. Yet the smallest trigger can send me into a suicidal tailspin. Is this any way to live?
    People who know me would never guess any of this about me. I have the ability to come across as a normal, happy, functioning individual. If only they knew tha ache in my heart. Even if they knew, they couldn’t change it… Thanks for listening. God bless all the people who truly get it. I’m glad you understand, but I’m sorry you have to. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be one of those people who don’t?

  • TRicia

    More power to all of us for admitting we have a problem. Those that do not get it are in complete denial of their own issues. Admitting our imperfections are what makes us stronger. Keep the faith, talk about your feelings to those that do listen and care. Those that don’t get it, are the weak ones…afraid of their own imperfections. denial.
    I have 3 children – i have struggles with depression for quite some time now and was impacted with post-pardem with my last child. I felt alone until i started to speak up and came to realize so many woman suffer from depression and PPD….they too were afraid to speak of from fear of those not understanding or not getting it. I found out the more you speak up, the more you learn about true friends and you truly start to notice those that truly love and care for you. Those are the love ones that make you stronger.
    I’ve also learned that noone has the perfect family, perfect marriage or perfect job. We all give up sacrifices for more than not to prove to those that don’t get it that we are not imperfect. Accept your faults with pride, by doing so you can’t get more perfect than that. Its how we handle it, and denial is the demon.

  • Tricia

    MICHELLE – Any community clinic will help you! PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS TO YOUR SON. Don’t give him the kind of world we are all suffering from. LET HIM BE YOUR STRENGHT.
    Now there is lots of Docs that are on a sliding scale and will even help you for free. PLEASE PLEASE READ THESE POSTS.
    Even if you call 911 they will send someone over to speak with you for free. Please don’t give up.

  • Ima Lulu

    Depression has haunted me from early childhood, when as I recall I tried and failed to smother myself in my pillow. I think I was more prone to depression because of two things:a family history that included a suicide and my mother’s own untreated bipolar symptoms, and because of the abuse(physical, mental, and emotional)my sick mother heaped on me. The big difference between her and me is that she never sought or got help and I have. I thank God every day for the amazing difference Prozac and its cohorts have made in my life. I never abused my own children, who are now grown with children of their own. I can live an almost-normal life, although usually I have been unable to hold up under any kind of stress and as a result have been on disability for years. I’m very thankful for the help I have gotten from those caring people who have loved me through the difficult times.
    One of the most important aids to my well-being has been the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. From this group I have received education about these disorders, information on all sorts of related subjects, and most of all, supportive and understanding friends. In turn, I have become a resource and support to others, paying forward a small bit of the vast blessings I have received. To all who read this column and these comments, I would recommend getting into such a group. There is no virtue in trying to “go it alone,” when there are others who have plowed the trail before you and who are still on the journey themselves.
    Most important of all, I have developed “an attitude of gratitude.” There is always room for thanks to God, and expressing those thanks seems to multiply the positives and reduce the negatives of life.
    And never, never, never give up!

  • peacelovingoddess

    Thank you for this post! I have been suffering from depression most of my life. It has been exacerbated by a pernicious anemia which is a sever b12 deficiency.
    I had gastric bypass 5 years ago and lost 200 pounds, I though my depression would go away with the fat, I was wrong. Instead I became b12 deficient and it made the situation worse. The sleeping and lack of energy is part of the anemia and getting myself out of bed is as you know…like I am climbing Mt Everest.
    Those who do not suffer will never know the darkness we face. I often wonder why I have been asked to face this in my life. I do a fair amount of public speaking and try to convey the essence of our experience.
    I coach individuals who are working to loose 100+ pounds. The depression battle is one that is faced often with food, or many other addictions. These places of suffering can never be described to another with the fullness of how it affects our every fiber.
    What we go through as individuals, I think is never totally meant to be understood by another. I believe it is the private place of us and our maker. It is that place of relationship that brings, for me the deepest levels of faith to the front.
    I am currently reading a book called The Creative Brain, The Science of Genius by Nancy Andreasen. It is a neurological view of creativity and often the mania that comes with it. It is a great view into the chemistry and structure of our brains and how ways of being are associated with different forms of creativity and often mania. An awesome read if you are interested in the topic.
    A bit rambling, I know, It is good to be in a space that is empathetic and compassionate.

  • Toni

    I would like to relate a few things that many other powerful comments have said. I’m only 20 years old. Struggling with depression has been quite a battle in every aspect of my life. I have always been a stressed out teen, i guess just simply from my parents to do well in school and be a great athlete. Which im still not sure, if any of this had anything to lead to my depression. As time went on into high school, things were just stressed out. I left home to college, which never really bothered me because i had my boyfriend which i was preoccupied with him.
    I think this is where things got worse for 2 years, to today. I started cutting things from my life in which i didnt even realize.Friends, family,myself and the things that were important to me like sports and running.I felt bad i mean unhappy at times which i thought was normal. But, how do you know if its normal or not? so i didnt act on it for 2 years. Drastic changes in my mood and feeling took over. I became someone i didnt even know i was.I was a raging girl, snapping every minute and then feeling guilty and crying hours and hours after. Just a huge bundle of mess within me with no one that understood. which im not sure if i understand it. Then i started getting confused in my own thoughts if i was depressed and if things were always my fault, which my boyfriend said all the time. I was completely miserable, which led to worsening my relationship with him in which he told me he didnt want to deal with me like this and he would leave when i got my crying spells.He wasnt really supportive and couldnt understantd. Which he still doesnt understand y i am still not me really. Meds help but not like creating a new person. It takes work and a lot of time, especially if you dont treat it for 2 years. So, i only had him for social support, because i dont have friends really and even if i tell them that i am depressed its just like ok, whatever. I cant just like everyone else-cant describe the pain, the blanket of cloudy darkness in your head, and how much confusion and chaos in my life.
    So in short, at first to save my relationship with my boyfriend i went to get help. Which i was embarassed about. But, i havent really started with a therapist yet, which i hope to, to figure out my life and what makes me happy again. So im in the process still, in which i just started really. But later, i realized that i shouldnt be there for him, i should be there for me.Meds definitely have helped me out of the miserable rut, but im not who i use to be.
    The previous comments make me feel a bit better that im not crazy, as i feel a lot because im depressed.Its hard as most of u know, and it seems to linger and haunt me.I wish i could just snap out of it and do what i use to enjoy and feel the way i use to. But it doesnt really help when i have no social support, which makes things worse.But i am working with it and trying to separate the depression that controls my decisions and MY decisions. thanks you all, you all gave me some hope.

  • Your Name

    I couldn’t agree more with you about “people not getting it”. Sometimes I wish I had cancer so people would at least give me a break once in a while. I just went through a horrible episode that left me numb. I did get into a great group out-patient program and I learned a lot. But unless someone else talks to you on an on-going basis about your condition in therapy and tries to help you improve, you will never get better. I am taking all my notes from the out-patient therapy group to my therapist and we are going to work on every single item that was discussed in our group. We were held accountable to each other and the leader. Most people never get it. Unless they have been there, they have not a clue to what we go through every day. I only have two friends who have gone through this and also my husband. Which is great. But everyone else just looks at me funny and changes the conversation! Big deal. That really helped!
    Sometimes you feel so helpless. Thank God for you Therese. You are a godsend and so is this group.

  • LAURA

    It is very encouraging to know i am not alone!! I have struggled with severe depression since i was at least 8 years old. Now my seven children suffer from it! It has taken over my decisions, my parenting, my emotions,my thoughts, my strenghth and my life!! I FEEL NUMB MOST OF THE TIME. I GUESS THAT’S HOW I COPE WITH EVERYTHING! I HAVE HAD ALOT OF HORRIBLE EXPERIENCES IN MY LIFE FROM SEXUAL ABUSE WITH MY FATHER AND LOSING MY FATHER TO LOSING MY MOM TO ALCOHLOLISM BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T COPE WITH WHAT MY FATHER DID TO ME WHEN I WAS 8 YRS OLD. AND GOING THROUGH MEN THAT WERE VIOLENT AND MY X- HUSBAND SEXUALLY ABUSING OUR DAUGHTER AT 2 AND GOING THROUGH 20 YEARS OF ANGER FROM HER AND HER BROTHERS BECAUSE THEY GREW UP WITHOUT A DAD! I TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE AT 15 YEARS OLD AND THE DOCTORS SAVED ME. AND HAD A CHILD AT 16. MY CHILDREN BECAME MY LIFE! MY CHILDREN AND I HAVE BEEN THROUGH NUMEROUS COUNSELING FOR SEXUAL ABUSE SINCE I WAS A CHILD AND NOW TO THIS DAY, PARENTING CLASSES, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CLASSES, AND I HAVE BEEN ON MEDICATION FOR DEPRESSION! NOTHING WORKS FOR ME! BUT MY CHILDREN KEEP ME GOING AND I NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!! I KNOW GOD GIVES ME STRENGHTH BECAUSE I HAVE NONE!!! MY KIDS DESERVE A BETTER LIFE, BUT I DO THE BEST I CAN FOR MY KIDS AND STEP-KIDS AND GRANDKIDS!! I NEVER GIVE UP BECAUSE THEY DEPEND ON ME!!! THEY ARE MY FOCUS!!! I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY ADVICE AND HOW OTHERS GOT THROUGH THEIR DEPRESSION!! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU!! MOM OF ELEVEN AND GRANDMA OF SIX.

  • LAURA-mom of eleven

    My email is laura_prts@yahoo.com-For anyone that has advice on how they got through depression!!! Thank you and god bless you all!!

  • Your Name

    the hardest part, is when not even your husband seems to catch a glimpse of what you are going trough…when he sais that he is tired of support the burden that you have become…if you are taking the medicine you should be fine to function, zoloft, wellbutrin, what else could you possible want??? he just don’t get it…and it hurts like hell, because after so many desappointmants, a hole life living in this dark place…i’m feeling that as time goes by, i’m less capable of being “functional” again, and people just don’t get it.

  • frank

    My Dear Therese
    There is no weakness to be found in the true heart that writes the pain and suffering you have endured. Anyone who cares to know you knows that. Anyone who doesn’t know that doesn’t know you. Period!
    God’s Blessings
    Frank

  • Your Name

    No one who hasn’t suffered through depression themselves understands it. I’ve tried sharing with people that I have suffered from depression for most of my adult life, and the response I get is usually non-existant. They act like I’ve said I have a cold. And this usually happens when I am trying to reach out to someone. I’ve given up trying to discuss depression with anyone, because as Therese says”They just don’t get it.”

  • Nancy

    So true. People do NOT get it. No one can possibly imagine what it feels like to be in the darkest dark of depression.

  • Sandee

    One of the hardest things for me is that my mom just doesn’t get it and even though she doesn’t come out and say it, I can feel her judgment and disdain. This just furthers my own negative thoughts making me sink ever deeper into that pit of self-hate. I have worked so hard at this (dealing with depression) for the last 20 years and sometimes it just feels too overwhelming to keep fighting it. But when I come across such courageous and honest people like you, Therese, I am strengthened once more for the journey ahead. I know that God is at work in this world bringing healing one tiny (or sometimes huge) step at the time. Blessings and peace.

  • blanche

    Bad day today. Flu and depression. Husband doesn’t get it. Thanks to all for your comments, they help. Blessings also to all.

  • Your Name

    You are so right. My mom had a breakdown when I WAS 17. I later learned that it was not the first, but it was the worst. She was in and out of hospitals for about two years. Shock treatments and medications. Her psyche DR told her she would never be the same or work again. I never understood why she did not pull herself together and be strong like she always was, until it happened to me. Mine started when I was 50, she was only 40. She had lived such a hard life and mine was not, mine was what I made it. I have had long talks with her and apologized for not being more understanding and asked her how she survived all that she went through. You have to be a strong person to survive, that is what she told me. She also said ” you are a strong person, you just have to find yourself again, and you will. She is 79 this year, and still going strong. I love her more than ever. have a blessed day

  • Beth

    The confusion is created by a lack of interest or lack of understanding. Mild and moderate depression are not the same as clinical depression.
    It was important for me to move out of the 12 atep programs, (lack of empathy and human understanding exists, and I cannot thrive in a patriarchal culture).
    I do enjoy community support and when I left formed my own group called, Eco-Recovery for Women. The group was secular and provided current information, topics or process or a combination of all three.
    Families are still a challenge but … teaching active listening and healthy communication is going to take a little time.
    I think often of my g/f who says, “We all need to be seen and we all need to be heard.”

  • Your Name

    I feel thankful that your posts are like a bridge
    I had/have so much anger for the FIVE relatives that killed themselves. REAL A N G E R that they were selfish
    they were so needed
    even as a voice on a phone
    or an email
    but they CHOSE the easy way out
    I’m getting to feeling less angry and more empathy as I age.
    Just thanking you for helping all of us to understand
    compassion R U

  • Pris

    Today my depression has a hold on me like a mama lion has on her cubs. Depression is something only those who suffer can get. I have a 16 year old daughter and since my illness (HCV) dragged me out of the working force two years ago..Well, she has been angry with me. I so wish she could understand….My prayers are daily with all who suffer this disease that can not been seen but oh so can be felt

  • Your Name

    The years after my youngest son committed suicide in 1991, I spent on retreats and in ‘bereavement groups’. People in grief do ‘get it’. and, oh yeah, GOD ‘got it’, too. My two older boys would read my letters when I couldn’t speak without crying….they ‘got it’. My sister got tired of my grief after so many years, she didn’t ‘get it’ till her son became an alcoholic. I’m sorry she had to learn it the hard way. People confuse bereavement with depression. I love hearing of those living through loss getting together! Ask them all what gives them the will to survive….the opportunity to help someone else. That’s why i love this girl Therese Bochard…her words ring true…and they help.

  • pat

    this is so true, often times doctors diagnose depression as a state of illness of the mind. I have some chronic health issues and depression is a side effect of that. it should be treated as any other health related problem and looked at in a serious manner.

  • Your Name

    Thanks for reminding me. My girlfriend suffers from depression and I wonder what is wrong with her. But, I suffer with depression as well and my depression is accompanied with though8ts of self-harm. When I try to talk with others about it. It seems that no one wants to hear and it fustrates me. But I expect it, then I should show the same respect to my girlfriend.

  • mulberry

    I’ve had ECT, time in the psych ward, months & months in bed, times when I could NOT speak, and you are right: “people don’t get it.” Where you expect people to understand – close friends, relatives, even medical people (nurses IMO are the worst non-believers), you often find a “buck-up like the rest of us” mentality. Best thing to do is keep mental illness to yourself & maybe share with close believers. Some people will recognize problems. Most people have no patien ce with depression. Some state they have been depressed – but the comparison is almost non-existent.
    Thank you for this welcome article. I hope you stay well.

  • Your Name

    While I don’t know much about Depression from a clinical standpoint, I believe it can be dealt with through possible avenues such as therapy, prayer, herbs, medication, counseling, and perhaps time.
    When my dear mother, who was my best friend, died of a sudden heart attack in 1991, I SHOULD have stayed depressed indefinitely. My father and brother, whom I loved, also died unexpectedly in 1987 and 1989 respectively.
    No doubt I probably SHOULD have been in an abyss since 1991. What kept me from staying in a depression was knowing that no one was going to take care of me and that I had to face the world alone and with no one to really help me but the good Lord himself!
    Depression can be dealt with but the million dollar question is “What works for each individual?” You just have to find what works. The same things may not work for eveyone.

  • Your Name

    To Therese, with great admiration for your blog, your sincere words, and also your determination to live a full life, in the face of adversity.
    We all face “adversity” in many ways. The world is a complicated place;life is plagued by challenges, and our bodys are imperfect. Whether it is acid reflux, arthritis, dermatitis, allergies, or the neurons in our brains determined not to work in harmony, we all have some health issue to deal with. When it comes to the brain, we, the ones who got dealt that hand of cards, are affected in a very painful manner. Unfortunately for us the brain controls everything, physical and spititual realms within us. It is more impairing to one that losing a limb, or having heartburn. It controls your life, it destroys your life, you have no desire to live. i cannot think of anything worst, and more real when it happens.
    Depression runs in my family,my mothers has it, my daughter has it, and it was only a decade ago that I begun to take daily medication to keep it at bay. Before, when I was a teenager and later, in my twenties I needed it badly, but wasn’t aware of it; it costed me a lot, and emotionally I had to endure a lot of unnecessary pain…and many bad choices and sad comsecuences. Today, in my early fifties, I have accepted the fact that I am not weird because my neurotransmitters do not fluctuate the way they should. Other people get hypertension, I got depression and anxiety. That’s life. Maybe our generation will get the recognition and general support that mental illneses deserve.

  • Mina

    3-23-2009
    Depressed and living with and constantly around it not knowing how to help is the frustrating, not understanding what they are actually going through and feeling, it’s like they close themselves off from all things, now that is really scary. If we could just have a glimpse of what is going on pehaps we would not be ignorant to the needs. Not knowing how to help in any way can really change your views and open your heart to looking to getting help for yourself so you can perhaps look at depression in a new way.

  • Your NameGloria Jean

    All of the comments above have that same familiar Frain …….
    “Get over it”. Whether said or not said –you know that’s what they ‘re thinking…….The lucky ones. It’s like playing cards where some get the aces and Kings and you get the Joker.

  • http://www.untreatableonline.com/ untreatable online

    Unless a person has experienced severe depression they will never fully understand the impact of this disorder.

  • Your Name

    my depression is mony and not having a job its hard to find a job when dumber then a ox of rocks and one stuipt thing on my record and i have werid sleeping paderls .

  • Janet

    My mother suffers with deep depression, although “happy” pills take the edge off, she still goes into very dark periods. I have come to know a little bit about the things unseen,the spiritual war that is always going on all around us. Although I completely agree that most depressions have to do with chemical imbalances in our brains, there’s also a lot of spiritual war attached to it. I, too, went through a terrible season of depression after my first son was born. Although it was a season for me connected to hormone funk it was no less painful, dark and hopeless. It had been 9 years since that season when I read the book ’23 minutes in hell’. The day I finished it I went head first into a depression. I took to the bed and felt like a lead balloon was on top of me. The irony is I couldn’t remember to pray, remember the joy of my salvation(Jesus). All there was was darkness and hopelessness. My husband came home that evening and asked what was wrong. I had no idea what was wrong, I was completely blinded to every-thing. He layed his hands on me and prayed for the spirit of depression and oppression to leave me. Almost imediately I felt the ‘fog’ lift. I also felt the lead balloon lift. I sat up and looked around me as if I could ‘see’ again. The thing about depression is the enemy of Gods people, Satan, uses everything to keep people in isolation. If we knew the power of prayer we could cry out, “stand in the gap”, on behalf of those who are bound. We could, by faith, go and break their doors down to get to them, to rescue them. We can still be in isolation and be around people. We have to pray for decernment. God is forever faithful. He showed myself and a friend that someone we hardly knew was considering suicide. We knocked on this families door out of the blue, and long story short, he was rescued!! Let us always be aware of the people around us. Because of Gods grace, He will show us who needs rescuing. I know the faithfulness of God first hand and the power of prayer for another. My mother, who lives in Ireland, went through one of her darkest periods, a couple of years ago. I felt so helpless because she was so far away. I felt the Lord ask if I would fast and “stand in the gap’ on her behalf. Again, long story short, she answered the phone three days later (last day of the fast) and when I asked her how she was or what was going on, she said that day “it just didn’t seen so dark”. Prayer works!! And to get back to the article, people “don’t get it”, without unselfishness and discernment, we never will.

  • Your Name

    I get it, but then I am you. Like you said people just don’t get it because they have never experienced it. They haven’t been there, done that. I am feeling very low today and the depression and anxiety really hurts. However, I put on that happy smile and joke because I know no one is there to help. The only thing that helps me through the day is knowing my granddaughter gives me unconditional loves and needs me. She just loves to go to Grandma Rachel’s house.

  • Your Name

    People not suffering from depression or that are not close to someone who is,”just don’t get it”, that’s correct. For the poeple who “don’t get it”, most of them would comment to “just snap out of it”. If it were the simple snap of the finger, we wouldn’t be here posting these comments and depression wouldn’t be the largest mental illness in the world today. However, it is the “most treatable” mental illness they say according to all the books and articles I have read. The key is, from your loved ones, you need support, not criticism, help, not turned your back on. I have had terrible major bouts of depression for the last 10yrs and have been unable to feel “myself” or “clear headed” or “eager to start the day”, for many years.I envy those that do, the lucky ones, and they don’t even know it. Some days are worse than others, some weeks overall are better than others, the dark times are aweful. You can’t see past the next five minutes, nor care if you do. There are medications, finding the right one is key. If you have to juggle from one to the other, mix and match, with doctors involved, of course, then that’s what you have to do. Mix counseling in as well, find the right counselor. That’s as important as finding the right anti-depressant. With the right medication and counselor, along with excercize, which is VERY important to release your endorphins and cortisol, you can find relief, it may not be to the fullest extent, but it will be much better than the dark side. I am speaking from experience. If there is someone out there reading this who is in the depths of the darkness, there is relief. You must be strong enough to find it and have the help of a loved one to help you put the first foor forward doing it. Start by grabbing the phone book if you have to, or word of mouth for doctors and counselors. It is a very common illness that there is some relief for.

  • Your Name

    I am a 61 year old woman who is clinically depressed. I have Major Depressive Disorder. I found that getting a tattoo suddenly pulled me out of a critical depression. Years later, now, I cut myself to relieve some of the internal pain, since I was unable to get another tatoo. In years past I had slashed my wrists, once while in a “safe ward” of the hospital. So this time my curs were little more than scratches and I went to get a piercing in my ear at the accupuncture point for compulsive behavior. I was actually proud of myself because I didn’t do any real damage and didn’t wind up in the hospital. My significant other became very angry with what they called “trauma drama” because I had done it. Actually, this was the same person who triggered the hopelessness in the first place. I had no begavior of this kind for ten years or more. Anyway, after making me wait for five days to “talk face to face” I was dumped. This person has no idea how cruel or devastating this whole thing was. I felt I could really trust them. I think trust is a big issue for al of us and the betrayal of trust is life threatening to a chronically depressed person. They REALLY don’t get it at all.
    The really horrifying part is, this person is a certified drug and alcohol abuse counselor who has complete control over a sober living home. The women in it are ordered like children in what they call an attempt to give them a “family they never had.” I know how toxic this all is. I understand the poison I am exposing myself to, but I am unable to stop because of the depression. Of course now, the whole thing was a “misunderstanding.” Drugs have not helped me very much.
    The reason I have told this story is to tell others that the people in their lives may very well be completely incapable of normal feelings of love, support or compassion. Even those who promote themselves as “healthy” members of society or even as healers, as this person sees themself, may very well be emotional vampires whose payoff ts to simply feel superior to the “sick and crazy” person. They don’t understand and they never will. There must be caring, loving people out there, because I am one. I believe many of you are too. Maybe it’s why we hurt so much. I don’t know, but I am going to go look for some this very day. It may be painful, but remove these leeches from your lives. Your life depends on it.

  • Bonny Blue

    I am Bipolar Manic depressant, I was treated for 10 years. with lithium & stelizean from the time I started taking these meds I lost my creativity for the next 11 years (no longer could I Paint or draw or write poetry or songs,) all deleted with the drugs. Then my psych. ask me to participate in an experimental Drug called Lithabid, I ask if I would get my creativity back. He said, he couldn’t guarantee it but it was worth a shot. So we began, and he changed my tranq. to Respadole. Within 3-4 days I started thinking for my self again. Not scared to voice my opinion, of what I was really thinking and actually knowing that it really mattered what I thought, not just doing what I was told to do or told to shut up, or when I was aloud to talk, or was scared to say to much (for they my put me back at that place again.) They didn’t understand what I had saw so they labeled me as bipolar manic depressant. I had had 5 children 2 misscarrages and my last 2 kids were born 11 months apart. I was suffering from postpartum depression. I asked my Dr. for help with the baby blues. She put me on vitamins instead of something to help my nerves. One night, as I sat at my kitchen table writing poetry. I had 2 pitchers hanging in my dinning room. 1 of Jesus Christ the 2nd of Mother Mary both blessed from the Sacred Hearts. That my mother in-law had given me as a gift,
    the kids & my hubby were all asleep and it was so peaceful and quite that I could really get my thoughts on paper. when out of the Blessed pitcher of Jesus, Mother Mary appeared and spoke to me. Her lips never moved but i heard her voice say, don’t worry Bonny everything will be alright, I felt a peace,calm & comfort. So when I went back to my Dr. (not catholic) She told my hubby I was suffering a nervous breakdown.
    sent me to a facilaty where I was labeled Bipolar M/Depressant. I stayed on Lithabid & Respidole for another 5 years and with the words
    of the Blessed Mother sent from Jesus Christ I was able to give up the meds and cope on my own. when you realy get depressed remember this.
    God’s Watching Over You
    When I’m feelin troubled, and my nerves fall apart.
    I feel a strong presents of God, deep down within my heart.
    and the nearer as he holds me, & my troubles they will clear.
    Tomorrows just another day, my problems will disapear.
    Well, he’s made a big sacrafice, he’s made it for us all.
    and he’s always there to guide us, all we have to do is call.
    And when life is full of sarrow, and you just can’t stand the pain.
    sit down and have a talk with Jesus, For his love will keep you sane.
    And sometimes you wonder, why all these mastakes.
    He’s let you make, It’s these burdens that make you stronger.
    But what a Big Heart acke.
    so when your feelin troubled,
    and don’t know what to do.
    Just Remember Darlin,
    Gods watchen over you.
    Yeah, he’s really watchin over you.

  • Barbara

    Styron’s comment hits the nail on the head. I would recommend his memoir, ‘Darkness Visible’ to anyone dealing with recurring depressive disorder. Like another poster, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this if I were not in company with the ‘Black Dog’. He’s following me like a shadow.
    I’ve heard it all: ‘Just think,____’s life was really difficult and s/he did okay’, or the old, ‘You can snap out of this’. Drivel.
    Today, I’m wondering about the efficacy of my ‘happy pills’. Have they stopped working like the last combo I tried? Or am I to expect this, even when the pills are ‘working’? When all I know is that I want to crawl back into bed for the rest of my life, something’s not working!

  • No One

    Your columns are just the band aid/warm quilt I need this day. This one in particular helps me just accept that people don’t “get it” even we ourselves don’t get it.
    “Life wasn’t always like this.”
    “No, I don’t care to add another drug to my menu, thank you very much – to my Shrink who only lives to find the right combo to medicate away any feelings I have still living, breathing and bleeding.”
    “I don’t want to” to all those who think their opins are the answer to all given situations.
    “And my personal recent favorite – ‘you could be homeless’ – as a ‘friend’ so delicately advised me last week when I whined I really do not like my current habitat in a building I call the Asylum – an apartment complex where the people are like no one I’ve ever had to endure.
    At this particular moment I feel no one believes anymore that I can do ANYTHING………and their lowered expectations come as both a blessing and a curse………but it becomes contagious and on this gray cloudy day I begin to buy into it.
    I’m in a system that insists I play dumb and go for public assistance, when the assistance I need and crave is to have a paying productive position to work my way back into the life I know I can do – not be reliant on public transportation which has been cut back by about 50% further crushing my ability to easily get to appointments, shopping, and job opps.
    The system focuses on getting me qualified for the position that is less than I am qualified to do – so why won’t they help me do what I AM qualified to do before I am of an age when it won’t really matter.
    Drugs and hand outs are not the answer.
    And after a small pity party, and stating this on this site, I will again see if I can find the reins to make different choices. Bless you for this site.

  • http://www.belgraviacommercial.co.uk bridging loans

    I always have depression during my birthdays , maybe not always but last 15 years – I am 34 man :]

  • http://richerlifeblog.com/ Helen Fell

    You’re right, people don’t get it. They don’t get anything mental, they often only just grasp the effects “physical illnesses” can have or an illness that they can ACTUALLY see with their own eyes. That’s not because they’re stupid it’s just that most people don’t get what they have no personal experience of. It’s a shame that people aren’t able to understand each other better or at least to realise that if they don’t understand something it doesn’t mean that it isn’t valid or doesn’t exist.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment karen

    I do get it. I struggle with deppression, do not take medication for it. I wish my family could be more supportive or responsive, but I’ve learned to accept that they just cannot be, and that doesn’t help at all, but it does lead me to find other ways to cope. I belong to small Lutheran congregation where I have made friends and I find peace in getting involved with actvities there. I have a little dog who always knows my moods, and if sometimes it seems like my life is all about finding some kind of peace or contentment in light of my deppression, it is what it is…I no longer try to fit myself into the world, or hold a grudge against it for not understanding me. I just accept it as the imperfect place that it is and try to smile at it all.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment rachel

    crisis…i just wish i could find the right part of this site to chat with someone….i am not doing well…

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  • http://Beingthere Julie

    I agree completely. And finally I have come to terms with the fact that if somebody hasn’t been there themselves then they just won’t get it, this way I feel less disappointed and sad. My therapist is kind and sensitive and she shows empathy. I have a friend who tries hard to understand. And another friend also suffers from clinical depression so we support one another. That’s enough. I don’t expect anything else anymore. It is tough though because when I am in a depressive phase, I already feel so vulnerable and if someone says something insensitive, of course it will make me feel worse. But what can you do? If people don’t understand I can’t make them understand me.

    Most important of all. At least I try to feel empathy and compassion for myself!!! And prayer helps as well. There is a verse in the Bible that says that God is near those who are depressed, I always try to remind myself of that.

  • Pingback: On Separating Yourself from Your Illness « A Blog About Hope

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