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Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's Never Easy

He saw his life begin to crumble, to fall apart all around him and the internal and external pain was unbearable.  His friends gave the standard, "cheer up" advice because, after all, people suffering from depression always respond well to that type of feedback.  He had found himself rather isolated because people don't want to be around others who are less than perky - it's as though some people believe depression is contagious.  At first, the solitude was refreshing and seemed to cut out the background noise of life.  The problem with solitude is that every second of every minute of every hour of every day, it forced him to see himself for what he had become.  The voices in his mind eventually became so rambunctious that he couldn't resist.  

By the time they found him, he had already been gone for three days.  His hell hounds had finally caught up with him and devoured him.  There were many who said that they cared for him, admired him, but these were the same people who couldn't handle his illnesses.  Not surprisingly, it took only a few short weeks for everyone to forget him.  

This story isn't unusual.  It is never easy dealing with individuals who have become a victim of depression, and if you're that person, it's even harder to explain away, or mask that depression.  The illness opens the door for bad behavior that hurts a lot of people through the course of time and slowly but surely the guilt and shame finally takes over and the descent into madness begins.

Constant physical pain often turns into emotional pain, which then presents itself behaviorally.  Everyone suffers and experiences pain differently.  Some have a very high threshold for pain where as others don't and the madness comes much more quickly for them.  For the depressed individual, it's a long road to normalcy, and it is a road that he/she has to travel - but shouldn't do it alone.

There are plenty of websites available that can help with identifying signs and symptoms of depression, so that's not what this blog is about.

It's important to understand that when a person suffers from depression, the first human response is for that person to do their level best to mask or hide the depression.  There does come a time when a man who has lived a less than exemplary life can no longer handle to guilt and shame - these are the
people who are most at risk, in my opinion.  The piling on and accumulation of physical pain, mental pain, and a lack of passion creates a short fuse that once it's lit, the end is inevitable.  And of course, there are those in his/her life whom he/she has wronged who feel the need to extract their pound of flesh as quickly and violently as possible. These are understandable, and probably more than deserved.  But it's not going to help matters.

Living with depression or other mental illnesses are never easy.  But yet, they can be lived with and managed - particularly the mental health issues that stem from a chemical imbalance because there are a myriad of medications available to combat them.  There are group therapy sessions, there are one on one therapy sessions, and even exercise that can help to combat depression.  But nothing seems to work as well as that one person who loves and cares for him/her and is willing to love unconditionally.

I could be wrong, and often am, but I don't think so.