Well, we’ve had some news this week that a member of my family has been suffering from depression for quite some time.
I’ve seeked specialist help in the past, and numerous friends of mine have done so as well. I’ve seen some end up on prozac- which I didn’t understand what it was back then, but now do after reading on depression due to Paula’s occasional boughts.
But my family have always been there, and despite only recently discovering that my grandmother suffered depression, I’ve always thought that my blood relatives were immune to this sort of thing. But why not otherwise? The reading I have seen says that if you are prone to depression that doesn’t always mean that you are going to suffer from it, but it might mean that given the right conditions you might find that you do start to suffer. I’ve also read that it’s also treated as a disease- such as those suffering with bi-polar find relief with particular medication.
Now I think that it would be fair to say if all this had happened several years ago, I would have been quite worried, and this would have been a natural reaction. But living with someone who has depression, and the reading that I’ve done to understand this further, I find that I’m not too worried about them, and that they are doing all that they can to help deal with it, and I think it’s great that they knew what to do.
Of course I’m concerned (but not worried), but I know that they’re going to be ok. And if not? Well, we’re all in this together. It seems that depression isn’t about the one person who is suffering trying to fight against the rest of the world. It seems to me to be about support, not just through specialists, but about family and friends, who have an understanding of what can be done to try and minimise the effects of depression, and assisting with that.
Paula and I have discoverd that there are several things that can trigger off her depression- one of these was a lack of routine in her working week. We found that if her work rosters swung dramatically from one day having, say, a 7am- 4pm shift, to having a 10pm-6am shift within the same week, and this sort of erratic pattern was constant over several weeks, we found that this triggered her depression. But if the hours were kept relatively constant, even if this meant working from late in the evening through to the early morning, this didn’t have of an effect on her depression. It was a case of being aware of what to look for, and what changes in her life could trigger these off. You have to be a bit of a sleuth in trying to hunt them down sometimes, and you will find that lateral thinking can be a an added bonus to finding the solutions!
I think that, since I’ve left school, I think that I could say that just about one in ten people that I’ve known have suffered from depression, and if I tried to think that far back I’m sure that I could think of some during my schooling- students, parents and teachers. It is through awareness that I hope that people will understand how much of a common thing depression is, and that most of the time an example of it is usually staring you in the face (literally!).