Get Some Help

I’m a happy man. I wake up with peace in my heart, and hope for the future. Most days, anyway!

It was not always so.

For many years – decades – I lived under a dark cloud. Depression was a constant companion, so woven into my experience that I did not even know how bad off I was. I was so used to coping and managing around it, that most others had no clue either.

Seven or so years ago, I hit the wall. I was drowning in darkness. And, after getting some help, those clouds lifted, through the miracle of modern medicine.

My doctor let me know that if I couldn’t think my way out of, say, kidney disease, what business did I have believing I could think my way out of an organic brain chemistry disorder?

If you think you may be suffering from this affliction, know this – you’re not alone. Please take a few moments and read this, penned by Amber Naslund this week (don’t miss the comments!). And this personal plea, by Ellen Nordahl. Read this book review (Moving Beyond Blue) I posted a few days back, which tells Terese Borchard‘s story.

Then, get some help. Talk to a doctor and/or a therapist. Gain the support of trusted friends and family members. There is no stigma in being treated for a medical problem, no shame in taking a pill to help fix a biochemical imbalance, no “Go Directly to Jail!” card for opening up about your inner demons. But there’s a REAL problem with robbing yourself and others of your gifts, your energy, and your time, all of which are stolen away by the thief that is depression.

When the Apollo 13 astronauts radioed “Houston, we have a problem!” they took the needed step to recover from potential disaster. They didn’t append the phrase – “but I’m sure we can handle it ourselves!”

You’re not alone. And there’s a whole bunch of folks ready and willing to help you get back to earth safely. Get on the radio. Please.

[Update: Thanks, @cloudspark, for pointing out the example of former star quarterback Terry Bradshaw)

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

7 Responses to Get Some Help

  1. Pingback: Moving Beyond Blue « Impactiviti blog

  2. Amy Fitch says:

    Steve, Thank you for this brave post. I would also like to encourage your readers to visit the NAMI website (www.nami.org) to find resources in their area. As someone who is also grateful for modern medicine’s effect on my life and my husband’s, I know that reaching out and connecting with others who suffer from the same disorders provides added benefit. Our NAMI support groups are invaluable to our family. Thank you, again, for impressing on your readers that there is no shame in having a brain chemistry disorder.

  3. Pingback: Impactiviti Daily 050710 Top Pharma News « Impactiviti blog

  4. So well said, Steve.

    In the same doctor visit that led to my cancer discovery, I also told Dr. Sands about feeling somewhat depressed: “For the first time in my life, I feel like my options are closing down, not expanding.”

    As we discussed medications, we touched on whether it’s possible to tell whether there’s something “wrong” chemically or whether it’s a reaction to my life’s circumstances, which were hard at that time.

    He said “We used to distinguish between endogenous depression [internal, chemical] and situational depression [reaction to circumstance]. But recently we’ve found there’s no difference – the biology is the same and the treatment is the same.” So I started medication.

    At some point I discontinued it – that all got lost in the cancer adventure – but as always, Dr. Sands’s words stuck in my mind. A wise man.

  5. bencurnett says:

    Thanks, Steve. I want to congratulate you on 7 years of better health. It’s obvious that what you’ve done works; it’s evidenced by your attitude.

    I’m just beginning to understand the effect that depression has had on my life, and I’ve just started medical treatment a few months ago as well. My life is getting better.

    Quickly, I’ll add that one reason depression is so dangerous is because our coping mechanisms can be so powerful. Very few, if any, of the people close to me would guess that I’ve battled depression over my lifetime, simply because I put up a good (okay, rather spectacular) front.

    If you can convince the world you don’t have a problem, it’s not too much of a stretch to try to convince yourself. And you’ll never try to get help.

    Steve, if your goal with these posts, your forwardness, your openness is to help people, you’ve succeeded. You’ve helped me.

    Thanks.

  6. Steve –

    Thank you so much for speaking up and speaking out. I’m rather overwhelmed by how many people are out there, touched by this, and learning that they are not alone.

    Thank you for raising awareness, and most of all, for encouraging others to seek help. Depression is a silent and deadly affliction if untreated. And I for one am hoping that we can make a difference in how people view and treat this disease.

    Thanks again, my friend. Your voice matters a lot.

    Amber

  7. I love how you have so bravely talked about this and inspired others to do the same. I really appreciate what Ben says about coping mechanisms. While I haven’t faced these things myself, I have seen how it impacts the whole family. It’s amazing how we all develop our own coping methods for what surrounds us. Another powerful post, Steve. Thanks.

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