Yes, during the most severe times in my life when I was bedridden for months, my body moulded into the mattress, not only did I not even know how to be a mother, but I didn't care. Strength and what little energy I had, was poured into staying alive. But during these worst of times, my children, the older ones aware of my illness, the younger one suspecting, were never very far from my side.
As I watched a documentary on Bell's "Let's Talk" campaign recently after my Major Depressive Disorder was diagnosed, although I was busily leafing through a book, of which I couldn't read one single line as my brain was a muddle of fog and pain, I refused to look up at the screen as Clara Hughes discussed of her personal struggle with depression.
If I may be honest, I love taking selfies. I think if you like how you look one day, you have the right to show it. You have the right to like it on Facebook. By God, if others like it, they have the right to like it on Facebook too, and you have the right to like them for liking it. If a selfie makes you happy, take it and tweet, Instragram and Facebook the holy hell out of it!
Encourage your loved one to get professional help and be ready to go with him/her to any appointments.In recent years cognitive behaviour therapy is available via Skype. Ask if you can participate as part of a family therapy session. Be willing to adopt any changes that are suggested and make a genuine effort at making it work.
Don't get me wrong; medication is a great treatment option for people with mental illness but it is only one component of treatment. I have taken medication in the past and likely will again in the future. At this point in time, my medical team and I agree it should not be apart of my treatment plan.
Nine months ago I triggered depression by my desire to rapidly grow my business. I came up against a brick wall of negative beliefs about my ability to grow the business. The breakdown occurred because I wanted to succeed and the voice inside my head kept repeating old thoughts about why I couldn't or shouldn't fail.
Medication is a must. No matter how much you hate or resist the idea, medication is necessary to start loving life again. Depression affects your brain chemistry and energy. Brain patterns start to change because new neural networks are being formed. You literally start to think differently about the world.
Many people with sleep troubles are tempted to take sleeping pills or supplements containing melatonin and the likes, and that may indeed be part of the solution. But there can also be a risk of addiction. Be advised that most of these remedies have side effects and should not be taken without consulting a physician.
Framing a depressed person's behaviour and speech as being influenced by their illness can seem helpful. I've certainly said things like, "that's not you talking, that's your depression." But telling someone, especially someone who is suffering from a mental illness and has spent years dealing with all the stigma that comes with it, that it's not really them talking can be downright dangerous.
Five little words we women hope we'll never hear again in a doctor's office: It's all in your head. Yet that's exactly what was heard for decades when women reported experiencing widespread pain lasting months and accompanied by sleep disturbances, headache, even mood and memory issues. Today, that chronic pain condition has not only been given a name but is finally recognized as a legitimate medical condition: Fibromyalgia.
On the January 23, 2014 episode of The View and just hours after Bieber was arrested, the subject of his arrest came up. It's been alleged that Bieber was found with medication at the time of his arrest which are rumoured to be anti-depressants. Journalist, creator, and co-host of The View Barbara Walters stated that she had no idea what Bieber had to be depressed about. If Bieber has depression or some form of mental illness, then I commend him for seeking treatment. What Walters said in relation to Bieber is a widely-held misconception.
For anyone who's reached a goal or manifested a dream, you know that it starts with figuring out what that dream or goal is. The rest is about applying your energy in the direction of your desire to make it happen. Running a 10k starts with a sweaty, breathless jog around the block; starting a business with a brainstorming session with your smartest friends and advisors; writing a book with opening the file and naming it.
More than once as a young person (and even in adulthood) I've encountered professionals who believe my sexual orientation is the cause of my depression. I've also encountered professionals old enough to be my grandparents who suggest my sexual orientation is a mental illness in itself. It is why I remain skeptical to this day of seeking treatment; especially with a professional I've never met before.
I have had many conversations with clients over the years where they tell me they've been feeling nauseous, panicky and depressed. The symptoms my clients describe are directly due to a reduction in, or complete termination of, their antidepressant medication. I hope the following advice is useful to patients.
When I read that Romeo Dallaire had been in a car accident on Parliament Hill just outside of East Block, I wondered if it was due to fatigue. I have never known him to be other than fully occupied and frequently exhausted in the course of his heavy schedule. Romeo has a lot more than just memories to fight. As he explained this week, he fights depression and remains medicated for PTSD. But he has turned his pain into a purpose, and in so doing he can get up every day.
To many people with depression, Sadness is a physical place, and I'm someone who lived there for many years and was able to make the journey back. That's why reading this book, by Anne Theriault of The Belle Jar Blog, resonates with me so much. Everyone's experience is different, but the depths of depression are pretty much the same no matter how you get there.