This is a bit of a different topic for me to write about today. As its been on my mind a lot recently I though it best to get to the keyboard and get some of my thoughts/questions out!
Touch wood depression is something that hasn’t affected me personally in a big way. I mean everyone has down days from time to time. But I can’t as of yet relate to many who have faced depression.
Depression has affected nearly the entirety of my immediate family. With watching numerous family members come on and off antidepressants it has fascinated me. Is it really a genetic thing like some people suggest? Is it a fault in the brain? Why does it affect some more than others? Can you learn how to cope with things better? SO many questions and sadly there are no answers.
A recent thought of mine was why do more and more people have depression and how come its affecting people at a younger, and younger age?
For many years I was very naive about depression. To me it was always mind over matter. These “depressed” people where weak. Feeling sorry for themselves and looking for some sort of label to justify their feelings/depressed ways.
Fast forward some years and I can recognize there is more to it then that. 300 million people are depressed in the world today. (To think that’s only the ones we know of!) Depression is the #1 disability in the world. These are some big numbers and facts. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get some answers to the original questions I had. Why? Causes? Cures, and so on.
This year one of my closest friends brother committed suicide. He had battled with depression for many years and relied on medication. After switching his medication within a couple of months he had taken his own life. Hearing this story was a huge wake up call. One of my sisters relies very heavily on her medication to stop her suicidal ways. This could all to easily have been her story. You never think depression could take someone so close to you away but the truth is it happens far to often. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
My Mum has suffered with depression for as long as I can remember. In some ways she is such a strong women. She immigrated countries with 4 kids and with no family/friends. That in itself shows a lot of strength! However some of my first memories of her where her standing at the kitchen sink doing this dishes, or peeling potatoes and staring at nothing while tears trickled down her cheeks.
If I had to think of a phrase which reminds me of her it would be “I wish I was dead.” For years… and years… 15years? 20years? She would say this weekly. We all hated hearing her say this but after a while it just became normal. I always thought she was being a bit of a drama queen. Then again I suppose we all have different ways of dealing with things.
I like to imagine back in the day my Mum was a happy – go lucky type of lady. Shortly before she immigrated to Canada she had experienced the death of both of her parents, and a divorce within the space of a year. Perhaps that’s where everything changed for her.
How do you help someone with depression? I would love to hear back some ideas/thoughts about this. I find it a little bit hard to relate to a depressed person. I reckon its good to be a breath of fresh air and positivity to those who are struggling with depression? Someone strong they can turn to. I’m not sure…. I feel as though someone very close to me who is depressed needs help, and I want to be their for them but don’t know how to be. Its frustrating.
Depression is a funny thing. It is unexplainable and unexpected. Do you have any experience with depression? Do you think social media is to blame for the increase of depression in the recent years?