Friday, March 25, 2011

Let People Know What's Going On

I've always been ashamed of my depression. Mental health issues have such a stigma that it makes it hard to even reach out for help. I was depressed for years without saying anything because I was afraid I'd get locked up in the psych unit.

One of the best things that happened in my life was to finally tell someone. It was one morning about 4 years ago. I had been crying since I woke up and my roommate told me to call my doctor. I got an appointment to see the assistant. I shrunk down in the passenger seat of the car as my roommate drove me there and I broke down crying when the PA asked me what was wrong.

What could I say? How could I describe the oppressive weight of everyday life, the emotional roller coaster, the crying jags. I didn't even know why I was crying. I just felt horrible and I wanted it to stop.

Everyone at the office was so kind and understanding. They didn't treat me like a leper, but instead they gave me knowing smiles and pats on the arm. With words of encouragement, a prescription for Paxil and the name of a therapist, I left the office with the sense that there might just be a way out of this after all.

Sometimes it's hard to tell people, especially because they start asking "Oh, honey. What can I do for you? How can I help?" What do you say to that? It's not like they can whip out a magic wand and make it go away. I usually end up just asking for a hug, because those always make me feel a little better, even if just for a moment.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I found your blog thanks to
    It was really brave of you to open up to your roommate about your depression, it's got to be a hard thing to say. Sometimes hugs are all people can really do, there isn't much to say when they ask how to help you or what they can do. It's kind of that way for me and my shyness too, if I'm open about my shyness sometimes people feel bad and want to know how to help me feel more comfortable, but that usually doesn't help much. I've been ashamed about my shyness too. I guess we both should try and feel less ashamed, and be open to expressing our insecurities. It's tough though. Take care!