Donna Smaldone
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Thursday / September 10 / 2015

Depression isn’t just sadness

Depression isn’t “just sadness” or something you can get over. Depression includes sadness. Having sadness is like having a cold or the flu. It’s completely miserable and with time and a little TLC, will pass. Depression is like having cancer.

With love, patience and persistence, Depression can be treated and go into remission. Fair warning though, it can also rear it’s vile head when you least expect it, no matter how good life seems to be going.

I know. I have grappled with this unruly beast for the past eight years, only four of which I was able to give it a name. I loathe the way it attempts to sabotage my happiness and well-being. I despise the way it endeavors to twist and defigure the Me I know myself to be. So, I continue to fight. Something I could not do without the indefatigable love and support of my friends and family. Even with this beast on my shoulder, I am profoundly grateful for the unique and beautiful life I’ve been gifted.

You’ve seen people post Ian Maclaren’s well-known quote on Facebook, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind always.” When you read it, you likely instantly thought of someone you know who is fighting for their life. Perhaps you.

September is Suicide Awareness Month; a reminder for us to be kind always and in all ways. According to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. There IS Hope, sweet friends and together, we can make a difference.

Together, we can work to debunk the stigma often associated with mental health and give people an outlet for their voice to be heard. Depression is NOT a sign of weakness, a personal failing or one’s inability to “suck it up”. Mental Illness is not a choice and does not discriminate. It is an illness just as real as cancer or diabetes.

Tap into resources to educate yourself. Don’t sweep it under the rug thinking it doesn’t affect you. So many countless loved ones suffer and tragically, many end their lives way too soon. Prayer, intervention, support, shelter, donation, a hug, a smile, an ear for half an hour… even the smallest offering can save a life.

Take a look around and be the assuring voice that reminds someone,“Your life is not a mistake. You are not alone. Keep seeking help until you find what works for you.” The more we talk and share with one another, the less this disease gets to win and the better we all are.

Be kind. Always. Know you are loved. <3

You can read more of my blog posts about Depression here.

—–> If you or someone you know is in an emergency, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately. 

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