I try to be as honest as I can. Most of the time I don't mind sharing my personal life. I've confidently read poems about family issues and nervously shared poems about the rape. However, for me it is harder to be open on the topic of depression. Our society has such a stigma around depression that I am surprised people don't call it the "d-word." There isn't a day that goes by that I don't count or input at least 10 to 20 antidepressant medications.
I recently read a CE titled, "Advances in the Treatment of Depression: Clinical Implications of Dual-Acting Antidepressants," that provided the following information on the topic that I think is worth sharing with others:
- "Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the world and is second only to ischemic heart disease in developed regions of the world."
- "Ninety percent of suicides are associated with a diagnosable and treatable mental illness and 60% are attributed to major depressive disorder."
- "In comparison with many other medical illnesses, patients with clinical depression may have substantially greater disabilities as well as decreased physical and social functioning." (I know.. sort of common knowledge, but reminders never hurt.)
I have not been diagnosed with depression in any form, but there are a number of people on both sides of my family who have been diagnosed---- and that is what often scares me. Because I am the type of person who envisions the worst case scenerio-- I fear being diagnosed by depression because I see myself being disabled by it. At times I become overwhelmed with the fact I can't seem to finish my degree, in a crappy job situation (underpaid for the quality of work I provide), can't find another job because I don't have a degree, and for the past couple of months my relationship with my partner has been on the rocks (things are much better now). When all of this stuff is able to join together and smack me, well, it smacks the shit out of me. After the smack the fear of depression comes into play, and I waste too much time dwelling on the topic.
It always seems to take me a few days to sort through the krud to realize I don't need to dwell; I need to keep working toward my goals. I have to tune out the people who remind me I am 24 and still working on my undergrad. I know I will finish my degree; I'll only appreciate it more once I earn it since it will have taken me so long. I have to remember that relationships are work too; they don't fall into place.
I have to be cheesy and admit that Dolly's single "Better Get to Livin" was released while I was dealing with my krud. The song didn't hit close to home, it landed on home. "Better Get to Livin" is inspirational and enjoyable. Go to iTunes and download it ASAP-- if you don't enjoy the song in some way shape or form, I will CONSIDER giving you a refund (which really means I won't give a refund).
The day we're born we start to die
Don't waste one minute of this life
Get to livin'
Share your dreams and share your laughter
~ Dolly Parton, "Better Get to Livin"