I love this blog. I love being able to be a book geek, a movie geek, a TV geek, an all around geek amongst like minded people. And since it’s a blog focused on entertainment (mostly), it is with a conscious effort I don’t let things get too serious and reserve deep thinking thoughts elsewhere.
But I’ve learned a few things this past month or two. These things I learned? I wish someone would have told me sooner. I wish I could have learned this sooner. I wish a lot of things . . . sooner. Upon reflection of these things I learned, I decided that maybe it’s worth posting at least one post about the things I’ve learned.
So, if you asked me a month or two ago “what is depression?” my knowledge of it was two main points: being persistently sad and it can be serious.
It’s not that I didn’t take depression seriously. I did. Hearing stories of suicide or violence and how many people would say “He/she always seemed happy. I would have never guessed he/she was depressed,” I felt that was example enough that depression was/is real. But I had no reason to explore that illness so I didn’t.
What a paradigm shift this past month has been!
It started with this article, “We Cannot Continue to Overlook ‘High Functioning’ Depression,” followed by this question, “Has there been any traumatic event that may be influencing you today?”
That’s another thing I learned about. Trauma.
Since my knowledge of depression boiled down to those points I mentioned earlier, reading this article piqued my interest for the fact that I do think we, as a society, expected things to work a certain way. For instance, if you’re depressed your sad all the time or very negative. You’re pessimistic. And that article demonstrated that that’s not the case. In fact, I researched depression even further by reading other articles on TheMighty.com, as well as articles on the National Institute of Mental Health website (here).
So, being depressed doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sad all the time. I didn’t realize loss of concentration, certain sleep patterns, and even appetite changes are all symptoms of depression. Imagine that?
And trauma. Before this month or two, when I thought “traumatic event” I immediately thought of physical trauma. It didn’t dawn on me traumatic event could also apply to psychological trauma. I mean, I understood trauma wasn’t limited to physical, but it wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. In took some serious thought to recognize psychological trauma.
As you can see, there was a lot of learning going on for me.
And learning these lessons, I need to pass on this message: talk to someone. If you don’t have a family member or friend to talk to, stop by community counseling centers like the YWCA. Even if you don’t know if that’s the right way to go, they will point you in the right direction. The main thing is to reach out to someone, anyone, you feel comfortable talking to. And to some, that might mean someone outside their circle of family and friends. It makes a big difference talking to someone.
I figure I have a lot more to learn, but crossing the big hurdles and learning major points have set me in the right direction to expand my knowledge of mental health and hopefully I help shed some light for others.