A Cry for Help
I don’t know how to start this off gracefully, so I’m just going to plow right into it. A FB friend posted this out of the blue today: “I don’t know what’s compelled me to post this, but here we go. IF I told you that I suffer greatly from (PTSD) depression, would you be surprised at all?”
That made my blood run cold. That, my friends, is a cry for help. And I’m absolutely sure she isn’t alone. The problem is, a lot of people flat don’t understand depression. There’s a stigma that goes with it. You’re being selfish. You’re somehow bringing it on yourself. You need to “just cheer up!” That’s what some of the outside voices will tell you. The ones inside your own head will tell you “there’s something wrong with me. I’m a freak. I’m a loser. I’m ALONE.”
I thought it worthwhile to reprise my reply to her here. Maybe there’s somebody who’s dealing with depression now. You might never even know – people hide it well. Like Robin Williams, you may never know until it’s too late. Some of you may remember the mess I was a few years back. I was bleeding all over the place, not being subtle about it, and probably… no, I was DEFINITELY – making some people uncomfortable. But I’m here to tell you today that it doesn’t go on forever. There is healing, there is morning after a long night, there is spring after a long winter.
Here’s what I wrote to her: “Thanks for opening that box. To you or anybody else reading this that has to deal with depression – you’re NOT a freak, you’re NOT crazy, you didn’t DO SOMETHING to bring this on yourself, and most of all, you’re NOT ALONE. Don’t you dare isolate yourself. Reach out for help and if the first pastor/priest/psychologist or whoever that you reach out to for help doesn’t understand or doesn’t help, find someone else who does. A lot of people have never been there and don’t understand what you’re dealing with. Don’t suffer in silence and don’t blame yourself. There is healing. There is LIFE on the other side. No BS – it may be a long hard road, but it’s SO worth it. Like probably everybody else, I could tell you a story. The bottom line is – I lost a year to depression back in 2009/2010. I’d never been depressed before, never even thought about it. It’s like falling into a greased pit and you can’t just “cheer up”. That’s ludicrous. It’s like telling someone with cancer to “just get over it”.