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Depression February 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Danielle Brigance @ 6:45 pm
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If you’ve read my blog before, you know depression is something that is a silent epidemic.

18 million people in the US and 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Some people say depression feels like a black curtain of despair coming over their lives.

Symptoms of depression include: feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, loss of interest in daily activities, sleep changes, loss of energy, self-loathing, and concentration problems.

Women are almost twice as likely to become depressed as men.

There is no single known cause of depression. Rather, it likely results from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors.

My sister, Kristin shared this quote with me last week: “Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern. Just the slow erosion of self, as insidious as any cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience. A room in hell with only your name on the door.” — Martha Manning, Undercurrents It’s so true. It’s exactly how I feel.

54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness.
41% of depressed women are too embarrassed to seek help.
80% of depressed people are not currently having any treatment.
15% of depressed people will commit suicide.

Those are the facts, the statistics. Here’s the hard truth. The people who are not currently having any treatment, or the people who are too embarrassed to seek treatment feel that way because of the taboo society has placed on depression. Those 54% of people who believe depression is a personal weakness probably have a family member who suffers from depression. I’ve seen billboards lately that say something along the lines of “You wouldn’t tell someone with cancer to just get over it.” That’s so true. Depression is real. It deserves real treatment. Sadly when you finally take the step to seek help for depression you may be met with hesitation by your dr. I just explained that to my husband recently. That going to the dr. is such an ordeal. I get anxiety just preparing to go to the dr. Then I go in and try to explain what I’m going through, only to leave feeling like I hit a brick wall because the dr doesn’t think it’s necessary to change my medication.
There’s no way all the cases of depression can be the same. And the medication that may work for some people isn’t going to work for other people. There are so many anti-depressants out there that there’s no reason to keep taking the same one that doesn’t work. Medication may not be the answer at all. Lots of people swear by therapy. I’m currently trying a combination of the two.
What it comes down to is that you have to be your own advocate. You HAVE to call out for help. You can’t take it on all on your own. You can’t fix everything or make everything change. And most of all, you can’t just “shake it off.” You can’t just make up your mind that you’re going to feel better and everything is going to be normal and perfect. It takes way more than that.


Breakdown February 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Danielle Brigance @ 10:32 pm
Tags: , ,

This is going to be a hard blog, but I need to do it. I’m going to start out with my journal entry.

It’s Lexi’s 9 month birthday.
I ruined it.
This day will forever be scarred by a melt-down, suicide threat, and trip to the ER.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I’m supposed to be a beaming wife and mom. I’m not supposed to want to take my own life. A person shouldn’t fly under the dr’s radar until they threaten to take their own life.
Depression is real.
It’s really hard.
I feel so ashamed. I was so scared they were going to admit me to the psych-ward and I was going to officially be crazy. I feel like I’ve let everyone down. I feel sorry that my husband married me. I feel sorry that Lexi was given to me. They both deserve so much more. My mom shouldn’t have to worry about me anymore. I’m letting so many people down. I don’t want anyone to know what happened today. I want to be normal again.

I don’t know how to explain what happened. One minute I was fine, and the next minute I wasn’t. Jacob had come home for lunch and literally been gone for 20 minutes. Lexi wasn’t throwing a fit. The day was calm. The only way I can describe it is panic. I felt like Jacob was never coming back from work. I felt overwhelmed. The only way I knew to end that feeling was to end it all. I knew I couldn’t do that with Lexi here. I called Jacob and told him he had to come home.
I couldn’t stop crying and shaking. As Jacob left the room to start calling doctors, I sat rocking back and forth on the bed. He decided the best place to go was the ER. We dropped Lexi off with his mom, which I barely remember. On the way to the hospital I started to calm down. But as we got closer the panic started setting in again. This time because I was so scared they were going to admit me to the hospital and I would have to be away from Lexi. That’s when I realized it was her 9 month birthday.
By the time we got to see a dr in the ER I had calmed down. I still had to be evaluated by a psych nurse. She was super nice and gave me lots of references. I had to sign a waiver saying that if I left I would seek treatment and call 911 if I had any worries. I was also not to be left alone for 24 hrs.
The next day I didn’t want to get out of bed. If I got out of bed then it would be real. The previous day would have really happened. I also didn’t want to face anyone. I didn’t know who all in my family would stop by the house or call. I was (and still am) ashamed.