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Depression! It’s Everywhere!

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There’s no escaping it.  Depression is linked to so many things that it is difficult to find somewhere to hide from it.  The tragedy we mark today has carried its share of depression.  Depression is connected to major illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, lupus.  You name the disease and nine chances out of ten, depression is part of it.  Recently my daughter directed me to a presentation that was going to take place late September on depression and AIDS.

If you are too stressed whether from work or school or happenings in your life, you open yourself up to depression.  If you are having a child or adopting, you open yourself up to depression.  If a close friend or spouse dies, you find yourself facing depression.  And if you celebrate another birthday, you can meet depression head on.

I’m not being pessimistic here but the reality is that depression is pervasive in our society.  So what, as caregivers, are we to do to deal with this challenge head on?

One approach is to check out your attitude.  How do you view your depressed loved one?  Do you see him/her as separate from the disease or do you let them blend together so that you can’t tell them apart?  Do you wake up every morning thinking, “Oh, God!  I wonder what dark story I will hear today?”  Do you feel like you have colored glasses on that show only the negative side of any occurrence?

Once I heard a story about a woman who in the morning was doing her hair.  She looked in the mirror and said, “How shall I fix my hair?  I know.  I will curl it.”  She did and had a good day.   The next day she found she had hair missing and decided to put her hair in pigtails and she had a good day.   The next day she found she had only a few hairs left on her head so she decided to have a pony tail and she had a good day.  The next day she went to the mirror and all her hair was gone and she said, “Oh wonderful!  I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

How many of us look at those we care for with depression as being a true blessing to us?  On the days where we have many hours of great times with our loved ones, do we notice and appreciate it?  On the days where there are only a few strands do we find the few bits where we can smile and even laugh out loud?  And on the days there there is no hair, do we still see that we can make it be a plus for us and everyone else we meet that day?

Depression is pervasive but joy can be too.  It’s hard work but it is worth it.

– Bernadette

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One Response

  1. I definitely notice and appreciate the good days with my daughter. On the very bad days, I know I still love her with all my heart. But some days, there is no joy at all. What gets me through those days is the MEMORY of the good days, and the knowledge that there will be more to come. thanks for this beautiful post, thanks for another reminder. 🙂

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