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DEPRESSION.

Updated: Apr 16, 2021


"Honey, you left me to care for the kids, the home, and you. I was there to console our kids. Moe (our oldest son) watched you bleed out, all while calming the baby. I was there as you stayed in bed, cried in the dark. I picked you up; I prayed for you. Honey, you just stopped. You stopped living; your expressions were frozen and numb. I wondered how long it would last, but it continued for months. I was hurting for you, and I could not fix you, I could not lift you out of the darkness, I couldn't protect you."—Ricky Ricks


Recently, my husband described one of my many depression episodes, but this time it pierced me. In an instant, I felt my depression from his point of view. My husband's truth describes my mental, emotional, and physical state after our second miscarriage in 2018. It saddens me to know my struggles with depression alter our family dynamic and nearly cripples me. Clinical Depression is a mental health disorder that causes persistent depressed mood or loss of interest in daily activities. This disorder significantly impairs everyday life when left untreated. Depression can affect your energy, sleep, and weight. My code words to describe my depression are “dungeon” or “I’m just low.”

My code words help to minimize the anxiety I feel about my highs and lows. My dungeon is a physical and psychological place of darkness and isolation; I am not present and unable to show emotions. It is a chilling numbness to everything, including the good. I feel overwhelmingly sad, and often I do not know why. During these episodes, I am most vulnerable to self-defeating thoughts and talks; you know, “the glass is half empty” kind of mood…

When I married my husband, I thought I was healthy. I stayed busy, I had two college degrees, I was progressive, independent, and a kick-butt single super freaking mom. Yep, pretty impressive on the outside. If you do not know, intimate relationships expose your weakness in a real and intrusive way. Not long after I moved into my husband’s house, he experienced the backlash of my neglected mental health. It was then that he helped me find a mental health care provider at the Department of Veteran Affairs. I share this to show that my process of “managing” depression required me to accept my husband’s hard truths about my unhealthy mental state.


OVERCOMING.

Overcoming depression is a process. From my experiences, I have compiled simple steps to take if you think you are suffering from depression or if you know someone who is suffering from depression.


1. SELF:

  • Tell yourself you are not broken or damaged goods!

  • Immediately seek professional medical care from your primary doctor to establish a treatment plan.

  • Tell someone who is not afraid to sit with you in the dungeon/low points.


2. OTHERS:

  • Assure her/him that you are there for them and are willing to help as much as you can without compromising your health.

  • Encourage her/him to immediately seek medical attention from their Primary Care Provider (PCP).

  • Do not be afraid to ask the hard questions.


For those of you who know someone who is suffering from depression, there may come a time when you must call 911 to ensure the safety of yourself and your friend who is suffering from depression. This does not make you nosy! It means you care! Trust your gut! Please help them by knowing when to call for HELP!


AFFIRMATION.

My depression does not define me.

I will live my life fully.

I am worth it.

I am GOOD.

I am an OVERCOMER.

There is so much more that can be said about depression. However, if nothing else seek help from your Primary Care Provider. I love you, and I pray that no matter what, you do not lose hope. Peace is possible, and God’s Grace is for you (2 Corinthians 12:9).

XOXO

Leslie Ricks, OIG LLC, CEO & Founder

Resources:

1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

1-800-662-HELP (4357)

2. National Alliance on Mental Illness

1-800-950-NAMI or Text “NAMI” to 741741



Copyright © 2020 OIG. All Rights Reserved.

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