As someone who has battled with depression pretty much my entire life I think it is time to start having some serious discussions about it and other mental illnesses that most people will deal with in one form or another in their lives. So I have decided to write a series of posts on the subject and I sincerely hope my readers will benefit from them in some way.
It is a fact that 100% of Americans will have some form of depression in their lifetime. It is also 100% likely that you will know or love someone who deals with depression. Not counting any other statistics about it – those two alone should peak your interest in the subject. For these posts I will share a little about my own struggle with it, and I will also be presenting material to help you either deal with it, or help you help a loved one who is suffering.
I allowed untreated depression to ruin my military career because I spent years in denial about my feelings and self medicated with alcohol and a ton of other self destructive behaviors. I have sought treatment at various times throughout my life for the more severe bouts I faced, but I never acknowledged to myself that my behaviors were a symptom of my depression and not the other way around. Hopefully, by sharing my story others will be able to benefit from it in some way.
There are a million treatments for depression and a million opinions on how to deal with it. I want to start these posts with some disclaimers:
1. Depression is like a fingerprint – every person experiences and deals with it differently. There is no one right way to treat it; each person must find what works best for them.
2. I am not a doctor. The information that I will be posting is based on personal experience and research that others have done. Do not assume that something I post will work for you or your loved ones. This is merely an attempt to open up conversation and provide some resources.
3. If you choose to comment on these posts, please remember that this is just a conversation and not solutions or concrete recommendations. For instance – If you are 100% against medication; please do share your views on why, but please don’t condemn others who need or want medication.
4. If you are reading this and struggle with depression – know that you aren’t alone, there is hope, and there is help.
If you have thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts or actions and need help RIGHT NOW please call:
1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK