On depression

I wish depression was something we talked about more often. Maybe then it wouldn’t be so grossly misunderstood.

In the hours and days following the tragic death of Robin Williams, I have seen and heard far too many times how “selfish” suicide is. The tone is that those who choose to take their own life are weak, are cowards.

I take that way of thinking very personally.

I hate to reciprocate judgement with judgement, but it’s difficult for me to believe that the people who say these things have ever experienced depression. It’s hard for me to believe they have any clue what the fuck they are talking about.

Depression is a beast. A lying, deceptive, convincing beast.

Depression has led me to believe, on more than one occasion, that I am not only a burden to my family and friends, but that I actually make life for them worse. By simply being, I lessen the quality of life for my husband, children, and everyone else around me.

I was diagnosed with a “mood problem” in February. A month later, doctors added an “anxiety problem” on top of that. I’ve battled this for years, pre-diagnosis. And, yes, I’ve survived this for years. But the thing about “mood problems” and “anxiety problems” is that they don’t just get better and they don’t just go away. My mood and anxiety issues have progressively worsened over the years – what started as grieving the deaths of my grandma and father turned into a full-blown battle with depression. A constant struggle to overcome something most people never saw.

Depression lied to me and made me believe that Big E would have a better life without a mother. It made me believe that he would be better off with no mother, than with me as his mother. It made me believe my husband would be happier as a widower than as a man married to me. And if it hadn’t been the gentle but forceful hand of my husband, that just might be the case today. Because to me, killing myself was not a selfish act. Yes, it would end my suffering… but even moreso, it would end my family’s suffering because they wouldn’t have to deal with me anymore.

Let me be very clear: I have wanted to die. On more than one occasion, I have wanted to kill myself. On more than one occasion, my husband has taken fistfuls of pills out of my hands. Because it felt like the only way to make anything better.

Depression is not rational. Depression does not make sense. Depression does not allow for rational thinking.

Medication helps; Zoloft helps… sometimes. And sometimes it’s enough. But sometimes it’s not. I feel good today. I felt good yesterday. But tomorrow? Tomorrow is always uncertain.

 

11 Comments

  1. Rikki said:

    Love you.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    Reply
  2. erin said:

    Such an honest post. Thanks for sharing, Kaci.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    Reply
  3. Katherine said:

    Thank you so much for contributing to the discussion that is long overdue.

    Though we may not be in contact as often as we’d like, I hope you know how I care for you. My life is better for having you in it.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    Reply
  4. Ginny said:

    Thank you for sharing Kaci. I used to think I was alone in these feelings and that’s why it’s important for people to talk about it. Wishing you all the best.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    Reply
  5. suki said:

    Sending you love and hugs. Thank you for sharing such an honest post re your experience with depression.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    Reply
  6. Stacey said:

    I’m so glad you’re alive. Your boys need you. The world needs you.

    Keep fighting back against the darkness and know that people love you.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Reply
  7. Vanessa said:

    I can identify with this all too well. Thank you for sharing.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Reply
  8. Nicole said:

    Thank you for sharing this, Kaci. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Reply
  9. Sarah K said:

    You’re not alone Kaci! Praying that you find peace in the midst of darkness and hope in knowing God loves you!

    Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Reply
  10. […] Another good piece on the topic by my friend Kaci: On Depression . […]

    Friday, August 15, 2014
    Reply
  11. Bella said:

    Well said. I struggle too.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014
    Reply

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