Depression has a lot to answer for.

I’m feeling pretty fed up with depression lately. So many people in my own circle and in our community are hurting from the pain of this illness…it begins to feel like a tangible enemy.

Recently a new friend told me of the depression she dealt with as a result of an abusive relationship.  The same day a student from my daughter’s graduating class committed suicide, almost exactly a year after another classmate killed himself.  The kids from our high school have had a wound reopened, and they’re hurting.  My daughter deals with depression in her roommate and wonders how she can help; how far she can go.  The depression that has been a constant in my husband’s life and consequently in mine is rearing its ugly head again after having been at bay for several years.  Two of my good friends deal with the daily effects of depression in their husbands, too.  And another friend has dealt with the low-grade but long-term condition of dysthymia most of her life.

I know from my writing, research, and interviews with others that taking care of one’s own mental and physical health is the best way of coping with depression in people we love.  But sometimes that just doesn’t feel like enough.  What’s the answer?  More money for research into the causes and treatment of the illness?  More open-ness about it’s debilitating effects? I don’t know…

But I do know it’s the season of Advent, with Christmas on its way, bringing beautiful music and decorations, time with family, and many present-related secrets around the house – all things I love, though I know many depressed people who do not.  So I’ll focus on these things as much as I can, and hope I can catch my breath well enough to come back with a stronger attitude in the fight against depression.

What do you find helpful to you, as you struggle with depression in people you care about?

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