wings and things

Major depression

on January 22, 2018

Since New Year’s Day, I have been hit with two major depressive episodes. The first one lasted about two weeks, and I am now in the midst of a second one but this time I think I know how to deal with it better.

The only reason that I know what a major depressive episode is, is because I already have a diagnosis of major depression and have been on a brilliant medication ever since. It was only when I overheard my doctor uttering the words “major depression” on the phone, in order to get permission to write me the prescription, that I realised what had been wonky about me for so many years.

The relief of the medication was almost immediate. There was no high, or anything like that but, over the ensuing days, I began to feel more normal, capable, less panicky – more Julie-ish again.

I have been writing on this blog about Dementia for years but I haven’t really focussed on Depression, as an equally dire health condition, until now. Both diseases are diseases of the brain; both diseases are often disparaged or else dismissed as unimportant by onlookers.

On New Year’s day I was overwhelmed by the desire to claw myself back to 2017 when Ants was still alive. I didn’t decide to be sad, newly grief-stricken, helplessly teary, unbearably nostalgic, angrily in love with my dead husband; it just swamped me, unbidden, organic, unavoidable.

I have absolutely no self-pity, I recognise and am grateful for having had such a fantastic marriage, and our son, Ming, is a source of such hilarious comfort. And I continue to be grateful to the friends and family who’ve supported us, especially my mother and brothers.

Depression is a disease. I have it. That’s embarrassing, but it shouldn’t be. A major depressive episode, on top of already having major depression, is almost unbearable. And there is no Anthony to talk about this stuff with anymore.


15 responses to “Major depression

  1. so sorry to hear this, but not surprised. please give yourself time to heal.

  2. susanpoozan says:

    You are so brave, battling depression must be overpowering at times but you manage to come through, I do so admire you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Don’t be too hard on yourself grief comes in stages you seem to have things worked out and also a healthy attitude.I wish u well

  4. doreen robertson says:

    Beautiful Soul, It should not be embarrassing at all!! So many people who know they are blessed, and who feel truly grateful for their lives and loves… will still suffer depression. If we are lucky
    it will be fleeting, others it may be with them all their lives. You also recently lost your husband, soul mate, best friend, after many years of suffering. We may empathise, and feel for you, we can send you Love and Light ❤ We cannot judge how long we grieve, nor why our bodies often fail us, mentally, physically or even emotionally. You hang in there Jules. Send me a message for a catch up 🙂 I'd love it!!!!! ❤ ❤

  5. So sorry Julie. Hope you find peace.

  6. I admire your honesty and courage Jules. And, I am grateful to be able to share this space with you where no matter how sunny or dark your days appear, I can let you know; I see you. I hear you. I honour you and appreciate you. Much love to you my friend. ❤

  7. It’s so true Julie; depression is an illness many people don’t understand and don’t know what to say or how to act when around someone who is experiencing this.
    It’s a little more discussed today than even years ago, but still misunderstood greatly. It’s not a weakness; it’s a disease!
    Medications really do help to stabilize moods though, so I’m glad you’re open to them.
    Take care… think of you often… Diane

  8. angelasommers says:

    I am so sorry for what you have to go through, and I admire how strong you are through it all. Take one day at a time; I am also very glad you have a great doctor who can give you some relief. I pray that you will be able to get through this and enjoy life to the fullest!

  9. Judy says:

    I imagine grief is “situational depression,” and since you also dealt with anticipated grief – I am not surprised to know you have depression.
    But I feel that there is great hope for you, Julie. Once the cloud of grief overhead diminishes, you are going to feel better again. Medication is helpful to soothe you temporarily, but I am certain you will feel joy again.
    Grief is a long journey and you have already come so far. I know you are weary. It is good you have many people to support you, but it is still the loneliest journey there is. Thinking of you.

  10. Colline says:

    I am not surprised you are suffering from depression. You have had a lot to deal with co Corning Anthony’s illness, and you have just lost a loved one. I wish you the strength to pull through this.

  11. Depression is horrible and many people suffer from it, myself included but at least you have gotten treatment

  12. Lisa Rest says:

    I am glad you are getting help and that you are able to recognize it and reach out, that has to be half the battle. You are still so strong, after all you have been through with Anthony, even if you cannot see it yourself, you are an amazing woman and your spirit can still bring light into the world. Take your time. May you find peace and inspiration again.

  13. Your honesty. It just takes my breath. I appreciate you saying it is ‘organic’. So many people truly don’t understand depression. Or anything about our mental wellness and illnesses.

    So you know, there are many who know there is nothing to be embarrassed about.

    I know we aren’t a substitute for Anthony. But we are ‘here’.

  14. Vicki says:

    I am so glad that you are getting help & some medication, julie. Depression (or ‘black dog’ as one of my friends calls it) is a very real disease and not something to be taken lightly. It’s very different to feeling ‘down’ and I sincerely believe to come out and reveal you have Depression take courage.

    Why? Well, despite being 2018, there are many misconceptions about Depression and how to treat it, let alone whether to share the diagnosis with the world. So many people don’t understand that you can’t…. just….. will it to go away with positive thinking and assertive action.

    You can’t just go out with a few friends, have a drink and laugh your way better.

    Good on you, Julie. Being the articulate writer that you are, I hope you’ll share a few more of your feelings and know that we, your online friends and followers, are ‘with you all the way’

  15. Lynda says:

    Julie, I agree with Vicki. Depression isn’t accepted as a topic with some folks, and yet there are so many of us who have to deal with it directly or indirectly. Trying to talk with someone who thinks it’s a “snap out of it” issue is pointless and unfortunately, there are many out there who think that way. I am glad that the medication is helping. I hate the thought of you not coping with this trial. ❤ ❤ ❤

    (My mother and my younger brother were severely depressed all of their lives. Me? Off and on. On the bad days I accomplish nothing.)

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