Blog #649 Dealing with Depression 1

Working with Depression

Depression can be a killer!!!  

After my major aorta surgery in July 2017, I was depressed.  I had no value. I had retired. I had no job. Nobody was really caring about me (or so I thought).  I couldn’t walk two miles. (I tried and had to call for help to get home).

There were at least two real times when the dark thought that I could just ‘end it’ (i.e. suicide) occurred.  All I needed to do was to step off the curb on a super busy street with a speed limit of 45. Cars were whipping around me.  I could time it perfectly – when a car was really whizzing past, just to step out in front of it – boom!!! It would be over.  (Obviously I didn’t do it – but I was down)

Depression also played some mental games on me.  One thing that I didn’t want was to ‘be old’. I wanted to ‘young at heart’ (and I might still be that).  But, my body with a huge scar from just below my throat to my abdomen was ugly – and I was now ‘an ugly old man’.  YUCK!!!!

I know all of us can be depressed from time-to-time.  I didn’t get the job that I really wanted; I didn’t get the promotion I really wanted.  It may be other things – I’m in deep debt. I was fired. My spouse left me (probably with good reason – as putting up with a depressed person isn’t much fun).

So, let’s look at some suggestions about “Living with Depression”

-1 DON’T WAIT

Make a call to a mental health expert.  Most health plans include mental health coverage.  You paid for the coverage, get into somebody who can help you.  Yes, mental health issues are different than physical illnesses.  You broke your arm? You would go to a doctor (or even to an emergency room).  You have broken out with hives? Get to a doctor. Your cough is so bad? Get to your doctor.  

Probably like others, I didn’t want people to know that “I was seeing a shrink”!!!  But, I am glad that I got help.

If you put it off, that is one more day dreading life – and hiding from life.  Too many days of depression will put you in a fetal position on the floor sucking your thumb!!!  (Or, maybe not).

-2 DON’T TRY TO DO IT ALONE

There are a lot of suggestions available online, books, meditation,  and people. By yourself, your brain can make you a recluse.

-3 DON’T GIVE UP

Get medical help – and don’t just settle for anyone.  In my depression, ultimately I saw five mental health professionals.  One did nothing for me (although he was highly regarded by people I know).  One did a lot of work with me – even hugged me and affirmed me as a human being.  

There are also prescription drugs that can help with depression.  (I’m still on one – Sertraline/ Zoloft – that seems to be a mild depression aid).

-4 Build a Social Network Group

This can be your family, or a group of others in similar situations.  If your depression is more of a grief from the death of a spouse or loved one, there are various grief support groups.  Plus get out and meet people. [I’m playing bridge and dominoes with seniors, volunteering at three locations].

So – don’t let depression put you out of life – get up and going!!!

More on this tomorrow!!!

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White

Leave a Reply