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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Depression - The Black Dog

These days, everyone knows someone who has experienced some kind of depression.  I'm not talking about those days where your hair doesn't sit right, your bum looks too big in your jeans, you cry over something stupid - I'm talking about the ongoing kind of depression.  When day after day, it's a struggle to drag yourself out of bed, you don't want to talk to people, you have a cloud hanging over your head, no matter what you think about, you can't see the good things in life.
I know a lot of people who have experienced different kinds of depression, and it's not until those closest to you have it, that you realise that it really does exist!
The one's you love, are the one's that will try and hide it from you, when you clearly know something is wrong.  They won't admit it to you - maybe they don't even know what they are thinking?!
Let me tell you a story about a beautiful man who a few years ago, experienced depression so bad, he considered ending his life.
He was in his early 70's when it started - an old friend had passed away, a month later his sister died, and then a month after that, a close neighbour died.  Just when he felt like his heart had started to heal, someone else was ripped away from his life. Slowly he started to struggle with the daily things in life.  His happy go lucky attitude changed to one of extreme anxiety. He would not leave the house, he struggled to get out of bed.  He thought he was seriously ill - to the degree on numerous times we ended up in hospital with him.  He had every test under the sun, he had worried himself so sick, he believed that he had some kind of cancer.  He withdrew from his lifelong partner, he argued, he started to become a person who no one could communicate with.
After some time, his lifelong partner, was at her wits end. She pleaded with me to take him to the hospital and not bring him home.  And you know what, that is what I did.  We waited in emergency for someone to see us, a nurse looked at his previous history, we had been to this hospital a few times recently.  She started asking him questions, she could see he was suffering from depression - we all could. It's a shame that he couldn't.
One of the questions was "have you ever considered taking your life, hurting yourself".  Here I was thinking "of course he is going to say no".  This man was my hero, gave me everything in life that I needed. However, his answer was "yes, I have considered taking pills to end my life".  I was gobsmacked! My body started to shake, tears started to come, I had to make them stop.  I looked away, trying so hard to compose myself extremely quickly.  I could not believe what I had just heard. How could he consider leaving us, he used to be so happy, why, why, why???
I did go home without him.  The next day he was admitted to a psychiatric unit.  I felt like the worst person in the world.  He did not belong there, the other people there were dazed, crazy looking and some were completely crazy! I had to memorise the code to get in, make sure none of the crazy patients escaped.  Let me tell you, there were a couple that always raced for that door!
He was there a month - and I visited every day bar one or two.  He went from a man who thought he needed a million dollars, thought his licence would be taken away from him, thought he was dying, to slowly..........................being my Dad again. Depression-

Depression is one of the most common of all mental health problems. One in five people experience depression at some stage of their lives.  

I'm so grateful that with the support that we received, we managed to get my Dad back on track.  It was only just recently after numerous years, that he talked about his depression.  It was such a trying time for my family, so many tears shed - would we ever get back the man that we all loved? Or would we lose him before his job on earth was done.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Buff! Thanks for sharing. it's amazing how many people have ongoing issues in their lives, and you always come out looking happy and content.
    I hope your dad is on a happier path now.
    Love Claudia