“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
Note: This is a bit longer post, but I believe it is for a very good cause.
I learned of this outreach to those suffering from the many forms of mental illness from Ruby who now takes on the responsibility now from Lulu, the founder of “Blog for Mental Health”,…. of organizing bloggers who would like to write one or more posts about it. The link for this Mental Health Project can be found here.
I live in Canada and each year for the past few years, the major media company Bell Canada sets aside one day to acknowledge and hopefully enlighten many about mental illness and the effects not only for those who suffer from it, but those close to them as well. Their emphasis is four-fold. The first is ‘to reduce the stigma involved; the second is ‘care and access’ to hospitals, related service organizations, universities, and in the various communities. the third emphasis is how it affects the workplace and engaging corporate support; and the fourth aspect is that of research and the grants that are necessary and sought after to implement treatments and cures. I only mention this because it is a positive hope for helping people to understand. This year it is January 28th and it’s called Bell Let’s Talk….
For those who follow my blog they likely are more than aware that my particular mental illness was clinical/reactive depression and I had it for most of my adult life. I’m a senior now but have only been free from this debilitating disease for 5 years approximately.
It’s not that I was depressed for all of those years, but it came and went at will it seemed. I managed to remain married, raise three children and have outside the home employment; however, I never knew when the ‘darkness’ as I called it, would rear its’ ugly head. I have written much about my struggle and it’s one of the reasons I began blogging. The hope was that if someone was going through the same thing, perhaps they wouldn’t feel alone, or that no one understood what they were dealing with. That terrible feeling that you are less than ‘normal’, or that somehow you were unlovable; because that’ how you feel. There may be someone reading this who would like to read some of my struggle, and if so you would find them on the right side-bar by clicking on the word ‘depression’ in the ‘word cloud’.
For many years I saw doctors, psychiatrists and therapists and did take antidepressants but the doctors that I saw, seemed to all concentrate their treatment toward talking of the past. I feel now looking back and because of the doctor that I finally went to, that not enough emphasis was put previously, into looking at the ‘present’, In my particular case I had Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and doing it along with medication, I finally crawled out of the darkness and into the light. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my faith in God, as part of the healing process as well.
Every person is different as is the form of mental illness suffered, and so the treatment that worked for me might not be the right one for you. However, a doctor that supports and encourages is utmost.
Recently, someone who I am very close to; a young woman who is only 20 years old, decided one night that her problems were too great… her hurt too much to bear; and she took an overdose of pills. Fortunately before she lapsed into unconsciousness, she realized that she didn’t want to die and called someone. She was taken to the hospital and am glad to say survived. She is now seeing a therapist, and I have spoken with her, to try to encourage and to be there for her, should she need me, maybe just to ‘listen’.
I believe this type of thing is happening far too often and also that more and more young people are doing it. We need to do as much talking and writing that we can, to make people aware that there is help; that there is hope and to try to educate and enlighten everyone so that when any form of mental illness strikes them or someone they love, they know what help is available, and what they themselves can do.
Today, I may not be free of struggles or times of sadness or heart-aches, but I am free from the ‘darkness’ of depression.