Dealing With Depression
Dealing with Depression
By Laura Mbow, owner / VP of Operations at Silver Lining Taekwon-Do
How does one begin to talk about depression? Even I, am struggling with how to start and I know depression. Depression lives in me, just like it lives in many of you. I am writing this to you, even for you. I know there are many of you out there suffering and what I need you to know is, you are not alone. You are not to blame and there is help available.
Depression took up residence in my brain when I was about 11. I didn’t know what it was or even how to explain it. Depression manifested itself in many forms – self-loathe, self-harm, and starvation. The people around me did what many people do. They ignored me. They told me to get a grip, eat something. Their words were not intended to be cruel or malicious. They simply did not know what to do and thought fixing it was as easy as snapping their fingers. If only!
Unless you, yourself, have struggled with depression, you cannot fully understand it. Even if you know someone, or love someone who has suffered from it, you cannot truly know it. Depression can keep us from fulfilling even the simplest of tasks: getting out of bed; brushing our teeth; changing our clothes. Worse… depression can keep us from succeeding at school, at work and in our relationships. Depression dissolves all joy from the world. It erases all the color. And depression kills, just like cancer, COVID, or heart disease.
So many of us bury our pain. We mask it with forced smiles. We become skilled at making those around us believe we are okay. Why? Why do we do this? Partly because we don’t want to burden others with what we might have to say or, we fear the stigma that comes with depression and mental health challenges. Like somehow we brought it on ourselves and just as easily as it came, we can blink and make it go away. It’s the hiding and the silent suffering that takes its toll. One can only pretend to be okay for so long until we finally weaken at the energy it takes to pretend.
Those of us struggling with depression do not need to be ignored. We deserve to be seen! Our very lives might even depend on it. Depression is the 3rd highest cause of preventable death. Only when we acknowledge it and accept it as the disease it is will we be able to save lives and save lives we must.
You may not agree with what I am saying and I respect you. You might see depression as something that is in our minds and can easily be resolved with a new mindset or walk in the park. I accept that. You are, or aren’t, the one I speaking to. I am speaking to the ones that know, with every fiber of their being, that depression is real.
If you or someone you love is, or might be suffering with depression, please help them. Please don’t ignore them. There are resources available to help you and your loved ones. Depression might not go away, but with mental health support you can find a way to live with it and hopefully find your way to thriving with this menacing disease. Know you are loved and you are worth saving. And that there is hope for better days ahead…
Go with grace Silver Lining family.