Time to Kick Depression

fireworks-728413_1280This past weekend I was invited to a Kick Cancer Party. The reason for the party was to celebrate all the people who helped during the diagnosis, the surgeries, the chermo and the radiation. It was to celebrate the fact that the cancer was gone – at least there had been none on the last CAT scan. It was good to see all the people together and the young woman who had the cancer talking to each of them and thanking them for their help. It was a joyous time and a good celebration.

As I headed home, I started thinking about the fact that, whereas I had been to a few cancer gone celebrations, I had never been to a celebration centering on a mental illness being gone or being better. There are no Kick Depression parties.

Often with mental illness you cannot see or in some instances believe that an illness is going on. People often can’t believe that someone is depressed because “they don’t look depressed.” They don’t see any surgeries or chemo or other such treatments. They only see a person and those around that person going day after day through all the rituals of living.

If they do see that something is amiss, they often don’t know how to react or how to help. They feel that this just is not an area you go into. But let it be said that a hot meal cooked by a friend is just as welcomed by a family where depression is present as it is by a family when cancer is present.   A respite from the daily care is just as welcome in a household with depression as it is in a cancer household. Words of support and prayers are something that both need and want and sadly, sometimes no one prays for those with mental illness.

People are talking now about how the Chatanooga shooter was depressed. I wonder what kind of support those around him were able to give. Did they respond so that that young man knew he was being supported and helped through a very terrible illness? Sadly there is no Kick Depression party in his near future.

An illness is an illness whether it is physical or mental. We need to support each other through those illnesses and we need to celebrate together recoveries in both the physical or mental realms. It’s about time that we kick mental illness. It is long, long overdue.

-Bernadette

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9 Responses

  1. I think it would be wonderfully if more people were aware of how to help people with depression. I personally have struggled with it in the past (the post-weaning/post-partum kind) and I have to admit that I didn’t even know how to say what I needed, I wish that it was more ‘accepted’ (or however you want to call it) so that others could just start offering their help like we do with physical illness. I can imagine how healing that could be…

  2. I agree! Perhaps, it is something to consider and start on the road to end the stigma.

  3. Thank you for an insightful perspective. I have been physically ill for more than eight months. My brain surgery and subsequent physical illness has included depression. One important factor has been that many close friends and family members have not called or visited. Social media is not a vehicle for expressing compassion. Those who suffer need human interaction. Always grateful for your wisdom.

    • How right you are that social media is not always a vehicle for expressing support. It is so easy to say the words and difficult to act on the words. I am too aware of how physical illness and depression are often linked. I only hope and pray that you have some good people around you who can help you through this very difficult time.

  4. Let’s throw a synchronized kick depression party! Just give me a date and we can celebrate in spirit. 💗

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