This week I have been delving into depression. No, I am not suffering depression at midlife, or hating my new life here in Zanzibar. It is all for research and a possible future book!
The problem is that when you spend so many hours reading other people’s horrendous life stories, thinking about the past experiences of my clients, and my husband’s personal experiences with depression, it sure does wear on you.
I may have remained positive on the outside, yet my dreams this week have certainly been full-on weird and wonderful! This morning I couldn’t focus, for ages. I had woken, convinced that I had forgotten to visit my father before coming to Zanzibar. About 30 minutes after waking I realised why … he is no longer with us.
December is thought of as the ‘happiest’ period of the year, Christmas, yet this is the time when more Western people commit suicide than any other time of the year.
Yet, there are many simple techniques that people can begin helping themselves or their loved ones immediately. My Sensibly Selfish Facebook group members are offering fabulous tips, why not join now.
We Need to Talk About Depression
Yes, we cannot see it as such, and many of us cannot feel it or understand it, yet depression has to come out into the open so that we can begin to deal with it. Each year, October is Depression awareness month, so this is a good time to talk about it.
The problem is that I am a really positive person. I am privileged not to suffer from depression. Don’t get me wrong, I do have down days. Days when I would rather not get out of bed, not do anything or speak to anyone, yet these are very few. I am sure my ‘down’ is nothing more than a pimple compared to the huge, open, painful sores others feel.
I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like to live, day in and day out, in a mist of negative ‘mind fog’ that is determined to drown you. How dragging yourself out of bed is a step too far, and even doing mundane daily chores is impossible.
How must it feel to be told by other positive people that you just ‘need to get a grip on life’?
‘Take a day at a time, be positive, smile, laugh, that there is bound to be a light at the end of the tunnel if you only just focus’. It’s a chemical imbalance: just take your pills and all will be ok’.
What if there isn’t any light, what if there isn’t even a tunnel, what if it’s not ok?
Do I have the right to write about depression when I do not suffer from it? Will I make matters worse?
Researching depression took me off track to delve into the meaning of life and death. Suicide or suicidal thoughts are part of the makeup of depression, so it seemed a good place to go. Why do people commit suicide? Why are we unable to talk openly about suicide, or death, or depression?
This year I have often thought about death – my age perhaps? The death of loved ones gets you questioning the meaning of life. Especially when you watch a video of the universe and you think just how insignificant you are. Why are we here?
What if there is no life after death, would fewer people commit suicide? Would the world be a better place if we all focused on today and nothing else? What did John Lennon say in Imagine?
Going off down these darkened paths looking for answers feels a very lonely place. Yes, the paths are worn and well trodden; they are also empty, and a lonely place to be. I would love to hear your thoughts about depression. Why not drop me a line?
Time to hit the beach here in Zanzibar and have a long walk in nature. The best recipe I know for energising my mind and body.Share