Depression: We Don’t Talk About This Enough

As I watched this video on doctors suffering from depression, I found the statistics at first shocking, but then, not all that surprising. Doctors have a hard job – often seeing people die – and they are also often criticized, especially in the world of armchair physicians, where everyone thinks they know better than their MD based on google and some sketchy websites.

But I posted this, not just for the points about doctors, but because of the issues with depression in our society. If doctors, who should know better than anyone else the signs of depression and the things one can do to help and how it’s not their fault, still have to hide their depression, what does that say about our culture? To me, it says the stigma of depression and mental illness are still high.

We see articles all the time about depression. But in their day-to-day lives, I feel it’s still hard for people to talk about it on a person to person, me to you, totally honest level. I’m not a doctor and I’ve never been a doctor, so I can’t speak to that part, but I can speak to my own experiences. I’ve written before about my prenatal depression and the my inability to ask for help during that time. I wish I could say that my experience was unique and uncommon, but my time on the internet has shown me that many, many moms struggle with depression. And it is hard for many moms to get help. You feel like you’ve failed as a mom. You often feel broken, like there’s something wrong with you.

This should be amazing, right? This was what you wanted, right?

The truth is depression tells lots of lies. And that even though our society says “Get help” in reality for many people, getting help is an uphill battle: Does insurance cover it? Is there therapy available in my area? Who will watch my kids while I go to therapy? These are just some of the questions people have and more.  And on top of that we still worry and feel the pressure that people will judge us. If you’re a mom, you worry sometimes that admitting that you have depression will make people think you are an unfit mother.

It shouldn’t be this hard to get help. It shouldn’t be this scary to admit you need help. But it is and I want to keep the conversation going. How can we make things better regarding depression – so that people have access to help and so that it truly becomes a safe place to admit that you are struggling?

If you have depression, you are not crazy, and there is help available. Please seek help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has great resources for recognizing warning signs and finding help.

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