I’m moved to write of depression, again. Be grateful if you’ve not experienced the depressive state. If you have, know that I understand. My therapist called my bouts; situational depression. I found myself unexpectedly divorced, shortly after surviving cancer while denying the doctors attempts to do major surgery on me. I had all 5 children the first year in addition to the struggle to find me again.
The “me” I knew I had within me; the survivor, the person who could smile and laugh and enjoy life, not the me at that time who could curl up on the sofa in a sea of desolation. Those early years of coping with so much, too much, too many demands on me, and bouts of depression lasting 4, 5 months or more, became a pattern it took a long time to defeat.
I did experience a bout of depression, in late 2009, that I believe was the last. I wrote about it here. [9/1/2009] “It is so damned difficult to deal with my depression. (wow, what alliteration!!!) My older daughter and my cousin have agreed that since I’ve admitted that I’m in depression, I’ll soon be better.”
Shortly after that in another post, I included a letter to myself that said this; [1/9/2010] “…The most recent depression you have triumphantly conquered has proven that you can manage yourself and your emotions. And come through even more of who you can be, given God/good spirits, clarity of thinking and openness of heart and mind to accept, to deal, to grow, to attempt to relinquish the negative in favor of the positive.”
Have I ever shared the story of high school students asking me, their substitute teacher, about depression? Yes this happened. It was an English class the second half of the school year. Some students remembered me from the first half. I’d told a story about my depressions and how I coped. And so I retold it, because I believe we could deal better in adulthood if those with age and experience would only tell us more when we’re younger or in need of hearing those stories. I’ve told my youngest son about signs and symptoms of depression, and he managed his own recently, and beautifully, in terms of doing all that could be done- without medication.
Now there is new information on depression. A study from Standford University with pre-teen girls; teaching them to respond differently [positively] to negative events that could lead to depression. The positive responses act to re-wire the brain, and help defray depression. Neat, huh? I’ll wrap this up with a favorite quote;
“I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
*Agatha Christie, 1890 to 1976, was/is a world renown writer of mystery fiction still popular in books and movies since she began publishing in the 1920’s. She disappeared for 11 days after her first husband announced his infidelity. This event made the news and caused public outcry. I always thought she KNEW what depression meant, as in the above quote.