Dear friend, this is depression

Since I’ve started blogging about my depression and anxiety, two things have happened. First, I’ve started to feel more empowered, because secrets that I’ve kept inside for so long are finally being told. Second, I’ve gotten to know and read other bloggers (like many of you) who, with their own candor, never fail to make me feel a little less alone in this world.

Today, I saw Therese Borchard’s blog for the first time. Every word she wrote struck a chord with me. Slowly, my own friends and family are starting reading my blog. Every one of them have told me that it’s quite difficult for them, just like Therese’s friend here. My reaction is the same as Therese’s. I thank my friends and family for their honesty. But I’m unapologetic about the difficult parts.

Therese is bipolar. She writes a lot about her suicidal ideations. She calls them “death thoughts.” No doubt, this is what her friend considered the most uncomfortable to hear about. But, as someone with depression myself, I know that Therese is only sharing something that is absolutely COMMON among people with a mental illness: we often think about suicide.

It’s understandable that this is difficult to take in for people who don’t have a mental illness. But this is one of the “shameful little secrets” that many of us have been forced to keep to ourselves for so long. It’s good that more of us are opening up about this. It gets much-needed dialogue going. And more important, it lets people who have suicidal thoughts know that they are not alone.

This may be hard to believe, but when people with depression (or any mental illness) realize their suicidal ideations, that’s actually a GOOD thing. Like Therese, I’m forced into action when I have these thoughts. They make me realize what I have to do (like calling my therapist, or calling my friends) to keep these thoughts from turning into plans. It’s the PLANS that are dangerous. And so many times, the plans are made because we’ve kept the thoughts to ourselves. (If you, or anyone who know, has suicidal PLANS, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255, or go to any hospital emergency room, immediately.)

So, I am very grateful for people like Therese (and many of you), who don’t shy away from the uncomfortable parts of our illness. The more we “come out,” the more we can be there for one another. If they can understand the difficult parts, that goes for our friends and family, too.

I’ve attached one of Therese’s videos below, but you can read her blog post by clicking here.

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6 responses to “Dear friend, this is depression

  • coffeedrinker2

    I agree ! Saying the suicidal thoughts out loud is like naming the demon. Sometimes (not always) naming this demon takes away just a bit of its power.

    Like

  • Alan Kravitz

    Absolutely, coffeedrinker2. BTW, this coffee drinker loves your WP name.

    Like

  • kayoturner

    Im far too drunk right now (sometimes it’s the only way i can sleep) to comment properly, but thisnreally struck a chord with me. I started my blog for the same reason. But havent has the guts/inspiration/time to continue on with it. But incan relate to the suicidal thoughts scaring the shit out of me and my loved ones. In fact, my boyfridn of 3 years just broke up with me the other day because he “couldbt handle me not working” due to my depression. As a practising buddhist, i accepted hia feelings. But part of me wanted to scream at his atupid face and say HOW THE FUCK DO TOU THINK I FEEL?!??
    Sigh, bed time for me bow. Cant type, feeling low again because he (rightly so) abandoned me. I always thought he’d stick by me through think and thin. It breaks my heart to think i drove him to breaking point too :;

    Like

  • Robert

    Like Alan Kravitz, I discovered Therese Borchard’s writings (and in particular her “Dear Friend, This Is Depression” essay) only recently, and was powerfully moved by how she was able to convey in lucid words what many a depressive has been obliged to feel. (No bipolar in my case, only unipolar; nevertheless, what she said really hit home.) Best wishes for your own work too, Mr. Kravitz.

    Liked by 1 person

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