The worst thing about clinical depression is not the effect it has on you, but the effect it has on your children. I'm not talking about all the crying and lack of energy and hopelessness you may feel and how your children can be warped from having to experience all that goes with it. I'm fully aware of what that's like. One of my parents had clinical depression, although it was never diagnosed as such. It just wasn't done in those days.
I'm talking about the genetic propensity toward depression in your children.
Did you know there is upwards of a 50% chance you will develop clinical depression if one or both of your parents suffered from it?
I'm all the proof you need. Two of my children (not saying which two) have gone through the cycle several times. One of them got help. The other resisted it as long as possible.
The reasons listed were:
- I'm just SAD. I'll get happy again.
- I don't want to take medication for the rest of my life.
- I am NOT like YOU, Mom.
Finally, this wayward child found the way and followed it. The way to Google, that is.
And Google and WebMD and all the other places stated what I already knew and had tried to tell Wayward Child. And then, because the INTERNET SAID SO, the child finally believed.
And the child is getting help.
Thank you, God.
Family members who don't understand tend to think of depression as something you can overcome by yourself. "Just pull up your bootstraps and get happy!" they say. "Think positive thoughts! List everything you are thankful to have!" And when the depressed person tries to tell them they don't know what it's like and things like "thinking" themselves better just don't work, the advice-givers get angry.
They are truly clueless. Not clueless in a stupid or ignorant way, but clueless in a very, very dangerous way. Since they have never suffered from the disease, they believe it should be easy to "fix" it.
To them, I say this: If you had high blood pressure, would you be able to "think" your blood pressure low? If you had diabetes, would you be able to "think" your pancreas into making more or less insulin?
No? Then why on earth do you believe depression can be cured by "thinking" yourself better?
Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Doesn't it make sense that you would want to put the chemicals back into balance to overcome it?
And here's the dangerous part:
If a family member, friend, or even someone you barely know has this disease, please encourage them to find help. If you have it, don't hesitate to get help yourself.
People are too precious to waste. And that includes YOU.