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You Don’t Understand

half  In the wake of Robin Williams’ death, there have been some comments made about suicide that some people just don’t understand. What many don’t get is that depression is a serious illness. It’s not something that you can just turn off and on when it’s convenient for you. It’s not something that you can just snap out of because somebody tells you to be happy. It is a mental illness.

 

Not all people with depression are suicidal. Suicide is not a requirement of depression, it’s a symptom. A person could be depressed but not think about killing themselves. They have feelings of things not being worth it (for example, not getting out of the bed, eating or planning for the future), hopelessness, negative thoughts about themselves, no energy, and so forth. A person who is truly depressed can feel all thirteen or so odd symptoms, or as little as three. If you do experience these things, don’t wait to get help assuming that it’ll work itself out or get better.

 

There are different types of depression, such as situational, atypical, seasonal affective, bipolar, major/clinical, psychotic, and a few others. Not all have the same symptoms. Not all sufferers attempt suicide or have suicidal thoughts. The one thing that I will say about suicide, in relation to those who suffer from depression, is that those who attempt or succeed are not selfish. These people have their reasons for doing it, but I guarantee one of those reasons is that they believe that they are much better off dead. My question is this… would you consider yourself selfish if you knew that I was suffering but you wanted me to live anyways?

 

What you don’t understand is that you don’t truly know what a person is going through when they make an attempt on their life. The constant negative thoughts they deal with in their heads and how they interpret the world is something we could never understand. It’s obvious that the cons outweigh the pros. But accusing those who commit suicide with a mental illness is a low blow. There is always a reason; just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not there.

S. O. S.

life saver  Why is it so difficult to ask for help? Some people don’t because their pride gets in the way.

Some don’t because they want to have all of the glory in saying that they managed all by themselves. Some are just too scared to (for whatever reason that may be). And some may believe that it’s a “giving up” or failure gesture. Whatever your reasoning is behind it is ultimately stubbornness. Everybody needs help every now and then, and some more than others. But if you need it, speak up! Don’t wait until you sink. What if it’s too late then?

Why is it easier to help someone instead of asking for it for yourself? Some people like to give more than they like to receive. Some like to shift the focus off of themselves. And some like the sense of accomplishment or like to feel good afterwards. There’s nothing wrong with selfless acts. In fact, all people should add a lil altruism in their life.

Why is it tit for tat? I can understand how it could be if there was a person asking for assistance ALL the time and never giving. That gets tired real quick. Then when you stop giving, they get mad. Everybody’s gotta do their share. Don’t be that guy or girl who can never do for themselves and want people to do FOR you, or else you will start coming up short!

What about the people who ask for or complain about not receiving any help- but don’t use what they get? What is your purpose, or better yet, what is the point? I hate it when people do this. It’s like they want to test the waters to see if you’ll come through. Please stop wasting people’s time and energy- it’s annoying.

In any type of relationship (friendship, business, kinship, or personal relationship), you should have equal give and take. Asking for and accepting help may be difficult for some, but it’s a part of life. Take a good look at each of your relationships and make sure that you are equally balanced. If not, that will be where most of the stress lies.

Dear Facebook

facebook Since Facebook hit the scene, people have been using it to reconnect with others, share photos, or even advertise products and services. Another thing that Facebook has become to some is a diary. Maybe some don’t realize that this is a social media site and once it reaches cyberspace, it’s just out there. Maybe some don’t realize that you can’t QUITE delete your page and it’s still there after you either hide or delete your account. Maybe some don’t realize that some of us don’t give a damn what you’re going through and we’re sorry that we friended you in the first place.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are many dos and don’ts in regards to setting up Facebook (which I will not go into), but what I would like to express is some frustration as far as what I’m been seeing lately. On my personal page, I don’t share much. People don’t need to know where I live, where I work, where I “checked in” to, or what I’m doing every day of my life. I share my blogs, a couple of pictures, and every now and then, I’ll share someone’s status. That’s it. But Facebook has become some people’s lives and a lifestyle. So I present to you the top four no-nos that I see that flood my page (besides the celebrities and stores that post something every five minutes). * FYI- They are not in order because they are equally annoying.

– Bragging: Low-key, you aren’t truly happy because if you were, you wouldn’t be on FB so much. Your life isn’t as grand as you describe it and you may even need confirmation and “ata boy/girl” from others. Stop it- you’re not happy and do something about that.

– Diary entry: Umm…I don’t need to know that you just came back from the store, you’re on your way to yoga, you just got a mani- pedi, and you’re about to tuck your kids in. Damnit- Facebook is not your spouse. There is no need to check in every two seconds. In fact, the more you post about your whereabouts, the easier you’re making it for someone to find you. So, keep on if you want to… .

– Attention-seeking: I take back what I said earlier. This might be the most annoying thing ever. FB is a social platform, not a therapist. If you need someone to talk to, reach out to them; a friend, mate, or whoever OFFLINE. Your ambiguous posts such as, “Lost right now,” “So hurt,” “Best day ever,” is only a ploy to get people to rush and say, “What’s wrong,” “What happened,” as comfort or to get your ego stroked. Stop it. If you have more than one hundred “friends,” more than half of those are strangers. Once again, go offline and talk to someone who actually cares.

– Revenge: This is a biggie. It’s funny when people post these nasty comments. My question is…are you absolutely sure that whoever your attitude is directed to is really reading your post? Don’t waste your time. Say a couple of woo-sas, pray, or better yet- talk to the person who upset you, instead of airing out your dirty laundry. You just look silly.

Reason Being

???????????????????????????????????????  Everything and everybody should have purpose. Purpose is important because it is the reason that you get up and do things. The reason why you are with someone. The reason why you work towards something.

Everything happens for a reason. I am a firm believer in that. And, people are in your life for a reason as well. If somebody’s there just to be there then they have no purpose. What I mean is, if they are draining you mentally, physically, financially, emotionally- they have no purpose and they gotta go.

What’s the point of holding on to something or somebody who isn’t drawing interest or carrying any weight? Why are you holding yourself back from reaching your goals, or your potential? You are maximizing your time and effort and overall purpose to contribute to something or somebody who has made no contribution to your life. And for what?

Think about this… Where would you be if you let go of your ex or that one person you want to be with so bad but it’s not mutual? Where would you be if you reorganized your space (in your mind, body, soul, and physical space)? Who knows, you could be inadvertently blocking your blessing because you’re comfortable where you are, don’t want to have hurt feelings, or simply scared of the unknown. Stop it. Reevaluate your life. I’m willing to bet that there’s something or someone there that shouldn’t be.

Personally, I am all about purpose. People who know me have heard me say, “ What is his/her purpose” or “That has no purpose” time and time again. But here’s the thing. I need to know why you’re in my life, and if you shouldn’t be, then you won’t be. I don’t care how that sounds because it’s the truth. I spent many a day carrying unnecessary baggage only to lose part of my life and create unwanted stress. And at the end of the day, I had nothing to show for it. I don’t want or have ‘just because’ friendships. You’re either a friend or you’re not. If we’re associates, we’re talking because we’re cool and there is a reason we keep in touch. You add some type of purpose or joy to my life and I WANT you there. If you get cut off, the cons outweigh the pros and it must be for the best.

My best advice for all is to seriously evaluate all aspects of your life. Clean out your closet, so to speak. Get rid of everything and everybody who doesn’t bring any value to your life. I guarantee you will feel like a brand new person. And don’t just do this once. Constant reevaluation takes practice, but it prevents unneeded stress and it’s well worth it.

The Tunnel

depression  Down in the dumps or just ‘sad’ cannot begin to describe a common mental health disease which effects one out of ten adults. Depression is a serious illness that is not taken as seriously as it should. Some believe that it’ll go away on its own. Or, “I’m not talking to no shrink.” Either way, problems don’t get solved and those individuals go undiagnosed, under the radar, or worse, wish for death. There are numerous types and symptoms of the disease.

Types

Major Depression: Clinical, long lasting, and debilitating.

Bipolar Depression: (This seems to be a fad. Not everyone who has mood swings has bipolar depression.). Here you have major ups (known as mania or manic episodes) and major lows (depression) which alternate.

Cyclothymia: Mild version of bipolar disorder.

Dysthymia: Chronic (more than two years), but less severe than Major Depression.

Seasonal Depression (SAD): This begins at the same time each year based on the season.

Postpartum: Depression kicks in usually one month after mothers give birth.

Atypical: Mild depression with bouts of happiness.

Psychotic: A mix of depression and psychotic features (i.e. hallucinations or delusions).

Situational: Basically, if you weren’t experiencing a particular situation, you wouldn’t have depression symptoms (ex. unemployment, health issues, mourning a death).

Symptoms

Overwhelming sadness, withdrawn, mood swings, crying episodes, appetite and sleep changes (too much or too little), suicidal thoughts, giving away possessions, feeling of worthlessness and feeling hopeless, void of feelings, loss of interest in activities, decreased energy. Children and teens may refuse to go to school, claim to have a lot of aches and pains, sulk a lot, or be clingy.

What’s Next

Some people hate taking pills. Some people don’t want to talk. There’s no cure all when it comes to depression. There are many things that you can do, but sitting back and waiting for the chips to fall as they may is not one of them (especially when children and teenagers are taking their own lives due to this disease).

– Talk with a mental health specialist (social worker, psychiatrist, counselor, therapist). That’s what they are trained to do. It is also part of their oath to be nonjudgmental. I know pride is why a lot of people don’t turn to professionals, but when you need help you need help.

– If you don’t talk to a professional, talk to someone who is close. It’s not healthy to keep everything bottled up. And believe it or not, communication is very therapeutic.

– Get prescription anti-depressants. You would have to see a psychiatrist for the prescription (and maybe even a therapist too).

– Don’t go at it alone, especially if you are suicidal. Spend time with family and friends who truly care about your well-being. Being alone at this time in particular is not safe.

-If you know someone who is depressed, don’t ignore the signs. Listen to them, be there, and encourage them to seek professional help (especially if they are suicidal or worse, homicidal). Depression is way deeper than just being sad or grumpy. It’s something to take seriously.