Your child has been diagnosed with depression. Now what? You're overwhelmed. You already have a depression diagnosis yourself. How can you cope with both your depression and that of your child's? Take a breath. Relax. Let's walk through this together.
My name is Michelle Sedas, and I am the Author of Coping with Depression. I’m delighted to get to blog for HealthyPlace. As the saying goes, “Write what you know,” and with my history of depression, I can’t think of a blog more suited for me to write.
I love language. I believe the words we choose shape our minds and our world. This is why I choose to say, "I have depression" instead of saying, "I'm depressed." My depression diagnosis is a part of me, but it isn't all of me. Using positive language to describe my illness helps me manage my illness. At times, I definitely feel like I am a walking pit of doom and gloom. I feel so depressed that I literally can't believe I'll ever feel anything good ever again. I wonder, why live when I feel like dying? No feeling ever lasts forever, though. If I wait it out, usually a friend will text me or I'll see a new recipe I want to try. The world reminds me that there is more to me than my depression.
For as long as I can remember, I've felt sad and defective. So when did I realize that I needed help? I didn't always know I had depression. I actually didn't have a clue what it was until after my doctor gave me my depression diagnosis.
The catalyst to my first bout of depression was almost thirteen years ago. That's when the official depression diagnosis was, anyway. That's not to say that I wasn't depressed before that. If I was, I didn't know I was. But that date marked the beginning of my journey to getting treatment for my depression.
We've just turned our clocks back marking the end of daylight savings time. While the nights will be darker sooner, the mornings will be brighter. For a short while. The truth is, with the end of DST comes the season for Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter depression).
There comes a time in your life when you just have to say, “ENOUGH!” There IS something wrong with me. Life isn’t meant to be this dismal… is it? Perpetual sadness, prolonged fatigue, joint pain, headaches, muscle ache, lack of motivation, lack of decision-making ability, lack of focus, indifference, being antisocial, moody, emotional, guilty, having low self-worth, thoughts of suicide, planning suicide… all symptoms of depression.
Parents want the best for their children. So, it’s a sad and guilt-ridden moment indeed, when you realize that you have passed mental illness on to one or more of your children.
Depression, and mental illness in general, has gotten a lot of attention in the last few years. The internet and social media abound with knowledge and support for the myriad disorders from which we suffer. The same could not be said twelve years ago when I received my first official diagnosis for my depression.
Despite my own depression and experiences with anxiety and panic over the years, my knowledge of bipolar disorder was very limited. I knew about bipolar disorder and knew about the mood severities associated with it. But, it wasn’t until two years ago, when Catherine Zeta-Jones came out to the public about her battle with bipolar 2 that I even knew there was a bipolar TWO.