I recently read an article a friend had posted on Facebook about depression and the academic world.
You can read the article here: On Depression, and the Toll Academia Exacts
I am not in graduate school yet – that is coming this Fall. But this isn’t what hit home to me. The girl who wrote the article shared so many feelings that I relate to. And it got me thinking – how many other people feel the way I do?
You see, I’m not the sort of depressed where I can’t get out of bed in the morning.
And I’m not the sort of depressed where I have to take crazy mood altering medication just to function at a reasonable level.
Nor am I the sort of depressed where I’ve ever considered taking my own life or needed a trip to the psych ward.
No, I’m just the sort of depressed where sometimes I have to choke back the unexpected sobs before they break free. Sobs whose origins I don’t always understand and that go as quickly as they come. The type of depressed where I have to bury the things that bother me deep inside a vault so that I don’t act like an irrational woman on a daily basis. The type of depressed where I can tell when I haven’t taken my anti-depressant that day because relatively benign things start bothering me. The type of depressed that stress exacerbates.
And a Midwest winter doesn’t help one bit.
Despite the times, people still don’t seem to want to talk about depression. Anti-depressants are the main stream, yet no one wants to admit they need them. I can’t tell you the exact reason I need them, because I don’t think there is one. I do think genetics plays a major part in whether or not someone will be depressed at some point. And there is no shame in it.
Truthfully, I am not ashamed of who or what I am. I try to make light of my depression, but I don’t hide it. I take my “happy pills” on a daily basis and, whenever someone I know brings up depression and/or anti-depressants, I am very frank and open about how these things have affected me. I am not pro “putting everyone on drugs because they are sad”, but if someone can truly benefit from medical intervention, I don’t see the harm or shame.
I can’t help but feel that so many men and women have to feel similarly. I am not unique or special – just your average woman who is trying to be the best wife/mother/employee/person she can. Maybe people feel that talking about depression will just come off as whining or complaining. Maybe people who aren’t depressed do feel this way when someone brings it up.
But I don’t feel that way. And you can always come talk to me.