Saturday, March 1, 2008

The "D" Word

The "D" Word -- no I'm not talking about divorce today. I'm talking about a depressing subject -- depression. I'd be a liar if I didn't confess that I've struggled with it myself as a single. It comes and goes in my life since my divorce nine years ago, and it seems to be knocking on my door again.

When I fell into the first pit, I found it a humbling experience to head to the doctor to find help. Dealing with depression can be an extremely defeating aspect of life. For me, I felt more of a failure having to admit I couldn't handle life without a pill. At the time, I had a great doctor who gave me the "medical" reasons why our brains short circuit occasionally. For me, I had gone through the following life challenges within a period of a few years:

*My marriage ended.
*I went through divorce.
*I moved seven times in three years, two of them major moves between states.
*My mother died and I had to bury her alone with no help.
*My son left home for college.
*I went through another relationship that ended in horrible heartbreak.
*I was unemployed for 18 months because nobody would hire a woman in their 50's.
*I went through half my retirement money to survive during this time.

When I told the doctor the stress I had been experiencing, she looked at me in astonishment and wrote out the prescription. In medical terms, stress in our lives depletes our brains of important chemicals. Depression isn't necessarily a psychological problem, it's also a physical problem. When I understood that concept, I more readily accepted the little white pill to help me pull myself out of the pit I was in.

Since that time, I've been on them and off them. But I'm finding that when I go through extreme stress again, I'm being pulled back into a darker existence and faced with the need for help once more. This past year has been a stressed filled one with disappointments, money problems, and horrible stress at work. I feel like I'm being swallowed up into another dark hole, and I'm helpless to do anything about it.

I found an interesting article on the Internet while building my website regarding singles about depression you might find interesting. "People who benefit the most from getting married are people who suffered depression when they were single, say researchers from Ohio State University, USA. Most previous studies on marriage looked at the benefits for the whole population in general, rather than trying to find out whether certain types of people are helped more than others." You can read the entire article at: Depressed Singles Benefit From Marriage. Without someone to share life with, a shoulder to cry on, the caring of another soul in your life, being single can be a real challenge. I wasn't wired to live alone - hence my dilemma.

If you're dealing with the big "D" I encourage you to get help. Don't be too proud about it like I was and suffer needlessly too long. You have the company of millions going through the same struggles. Hang in there, and accept this cyber "hug." I relate. Been there and done that too.