1 in 5 people will suffer from one form of mental illness in their lifetime. Depression is one of the most common mood disorders. It is more than normal sadness, and it alters the way you live your life. Depression is not something you can snap out of. In some cases, it requires extended dedicated treatment programs. However, there is help out there for you.
Both of my parents had one form of depression while I was growing up. My mother had post-partum depression after each of her five children. I was always curious about the five-year gap between myself and my sister; however, I recently learned she had suffered for five long years with post-partum depression.
Post-partum depression can occur in either parent after having a baby. Most parents go through some stage of baby blues; however, post-partum is more intense and lasts longer than the baby blues.
My mom felt like a zombie; she had no energy and no emotions. She went through life day after day, just going through the motions. She had a hard time being in the moment with my older brother and myself.
After a few years, she went and discussed how she was feeling with her doctor. She was prescribed medicine, but never took it. Instead, talking through her emotions with a therapist and feeling like she was not alone helped her recover and feel more like herself.
My father has dealt with a major depressive disorder for most of his life. He had a lot of anger built up inside of him, which often exploded on simple matters that happened during a day. He had times when he was very depressed and could not get out of bed. He had difficulty making decisions and staying focused. He also developed anxiety disorder along with his depression.
My dad sought help in his mid-twenties. He has been on countless forms of medications with various types of strength. Nothing seemed to do the trick for him though. He went on and off medicines, and some helped, some did not. It wasn’t until he went and sought help from a therapist when he noticed things started to look up.
With the various forms of medicine, seeking help, and working through things, my dad has overcome his depression. Now, he is working on overcoming his anxiety as well. Things got better and happier throughout all the help he received.
Now my dad, with the help of his nurse practitioner, is coming off his medicine. He is happier than I have ever seen him. He has strong relationships with all of his children, way stronger than when he struggled with depression.
Growing up with parents who suffered from various forms of depression ultimately affected my siblings and me. Suffering does not only affect you personally but those who you spend time with and love. It is essential for those suffering and those who are with them to understand this and reach out for help to those who can help you and your family be happier. What works for someone may not always work for you; however, there is the right treatment for you out there.