Staring into their faces, I can see the hollowness, the emptiness, and simply the lack of interest in anything before them. Their smiles, simple attempts to show an outward feeling, which they have not felt within for some time. Happiness is a myth and if it were ever felt, it was for such a brief moment, perhaps a single raindrop in a storm, it came and went without notice. The joys of life, which they have known previously, have dissipated into a whirlwind of blankness. Almost staring off into an unexplainable void, there is simple silence.
The above is what I have seen and experienced with my own family for sometime. My wife battles chronic depression and anxiety and my daughter has recently fell into the grasps of this beast too. The important thing to note is, as a family we stick together and go through these challenges together. Even though I do not personally fight this battle on a daily basis, I fight it with them, side by side, knowing if I had to carry them ALL on my back every moment of the day, to bring them to that island of safety and peace, I would and I do.
My personal journey into Psychology is specifically for this purpose, to help my family and everyone else who I come in contact with. I know Depression, this beast, overshadows millions of people worldwide and without bias toward race, gender, socioeconomic status, or geographic. This is something that cannot simply be shaken off or dismissed. This is something that you cannot just wake up one morning and decide you do not want to have anymore. Unfortunately for many, once you encounter this beast, it’s a life long journey. However, it is one that can be beat!
I’ve accompanied my wife and my daughter on several of their sessions, both independent of each other. I am very in tuned with people’s emotional states and can feel their aura and demeanors. I’ve studied body language, emotional intelligence, and non-verbal communication for some time. I try not to make contact with those in the waiting room but when I do, I can see the pain in their eyes. Picking up on their involuntary movements from nerves or reactions from medications. Regardless of age, young and old alike, they smile back almost in a way that says, “Help me please.” I smile back sending back to them hope and one of understanding and acknowledgement of their strength, yes not weakness.
My heart feels for everyone who battles this on a daily basis. Know this though, you are the true warriors and heroes, those of you who fight EVERYDAY and never give up. Those who live as an example to everyone else, knowing action and moving forward in itself even though slow at times, is true success. I respect you greatly for your monumental courage and sincere strength and perseverance.
My take on this beast is to never face it alone.
- Know you ALWAYS have support mechanisms you can rely upon whether they are physical or virtual.
- Know you are NOT ALONE in this battle and millions face it with you on a daily basis.
- Know you will be victorious in the end, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, hand-in-hand, with victory and everlasting happiness in your sights.
- Until then, surround yourself with the love of others
- Remain in a circle of positive people
- Know it is ok to cry…that is what shoulders are for.
*suits up his armor*
*holds out hand*
I am with you friends…until the end where this beast will be abolished forever.
Chin up, smile, and onward we go.
My thoughts and prayers are with anyone who is going through this. I am with you. Together, we shall settle for nothing less than success!