May 7, 2015

Depression: My Lifelong Struggle

Filed under: Mental Health — by gailc120 @ 12:03 pm
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I ran across this writing prompt ( I love prompts!):

  • If you could create a painless, inexpensive cure for a single ailment, what would you cure and why?

    My answer would have to be depression. I recently told my eight year old son that if he becomes a scientist, I wish he would find a cure for depression. I said there is enough research about cancer. I think depression kills more people, honestly. And it kills them a little at a time.

    When I was thirteen, I had a long struggle with depression and anxiety. But back then, in the late 1970’s, depression in children was mostly ignored. We were told we had “growing pains”, that we were just being dramatic, that all this was “normal” at our age. Looking back, it was anything but those things. Crying every day is not normal. My grades plummeted. I stopped bathing. All I wanted to do was sleep, just to escape. I started smoking-just what I could steal from my mom’s carton of cigarettes. I liked the head buzz it gave me for just a few minutes a day.

    None of that was really normal.

    My depression seemed to get batter with age. Then after the birth of my second child, it came roaring back in to my life. I could barely go to work each day or take care of our two sons. I finally told my doctor what was happening. He prescribed Prozac and it was like a miracle! I felt good, really “normal” for a change.

    I would like to tell you that was the end of it, that I was cured. That has not been the case. Much later  and many more meds tried, I struggle to this day. Multiple suicide attempts were botched or thwarted. Numerous trips to the psych ward and treatment facilities have failed to cure my illness.

    Don’t get me wrong-I am glad to be alive today. There are many good things about my life, blessings too numerous to list. Still, there are days when I have no energy, days I cry for no apparent reason, days I cannot force myself to leave the house. I am no longer able to hold a job. I receive Social Security and spend my days just trying to keep the dishes and laundry done. If I have an ounce of energy left, I sew.

    I try not to be bitter or jealous when I see other people my age out there living what seem like fuller lives than mine. Still, I wish I could do the things they do with little apparent effort.

    So, if I could cure one ailment it would be depression. There are so many of us out here, watching the comings and goings of others, wishing we could be what we once were or at least dreamed we would be. Most of us are not celebrities. When one of us does commit suicide, the nation does not mourn. Sadly, we are a statistic. This needs to change. I only hope in my lifetime, the cure is finally found.

  • For more information on depression and other mental illnesses, visit NAMI. (

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