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How I conquered depression – a YEI reader story

Posted By Marilynh / October 20, 2017 / 0 Comments

No one really understands depression, unless they have experienced it.

Most people think that it is like having a blue day, which everyone experiences from time to time.

How wrong they are.

 

depression in seniors

 

 

Depression can affect anyone.  Depression has no preferences.  Depression can affect anyone – man or woman and all ages. Depression is a mental illness and so often people shy away from those suffering with it,  thinking that you have gone to live with the fairies or you are just looking for attention.

I, myself, was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety.  For almost 5 years, I would not accept the diagnosis. I believed that I was a very strong person and only weak people succumbed to depression.  How wrong I was.

Many things can bring on depression – retirement, bereavement, financial difficulties, work stress, genetics, drug and alcohol abuse, personality, to name but a few. Mine was caused by a very traumatic childhood.  I had a child with an addiction problem and when diagnosed with depression, I had huge work stress.

In 2012  I had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to hospital.  I was only days away from a comatose state. This came as a shock to my family and friends as I had been a brilliant Master Of Disguise.  No one suspected a thing.  I was hanging on by my finger nails and could hold on no more.  I disappeared into a big, black hole.

 

depression in seniors - 2

 

I was consumed by so many emotions.  Guilt for not picking  up that my child had a problem, guilt that I had passed on the addiction gene from my family. Hopelessness, sadness, feeling worthless.  The list goes on and on, I just wanted it all to end. I prayed each night for God to please take me away from all this as I could no longer cope. I  just wanted to die. I remained in hospital for six long weeks. Although I hated being in hospital, and spent the entire day outside, except to meet with my psychologist and psychiatrist,  I could finally stop fighting myself and just sink into nothingness. For the first few weeks, I cried constantly and my head was empty.   I did not want to see or talk to anyone. My husband and son were very supportive, but my daughter could not accept that I was broken, so she stayed away.

Eventually, the doctors got my medication right.  I slowly started talking about my problems and accepted the fact that even the strongest tree, if buffeted enough by the wind, will eventually break. Although I wanted to go home, I was terrified to leave my safe haven.

Once I got home I immersed myself in my crafts and accepted that it was okay to have a bad day.  My family were spoken to by my psychiatrist and psychologist and they were told how to go about bad days.. The main thing being never to ask what was wrong or what happened. On bad days I prefer to be left alone.  If I need a hug, I will ask. I had to resign from my job immediately. Going shopping was a nightmare, I could not bear the noise or the crowds of people.  I couldn’t go to movies or live shows for almost three years.

I have now developed my own coping skills.  I keep as busy as possible.  I have the courage to say “I’m having a bad day.   I exercise regularily. I have slowly regained back some of my confidence and have started a baking home industry to earn a little income for myself. I have accepted the fact that I will never be the person I was, but am proud of myself for getting through it.

I have helped quite a few people suffering from depression and passed on what I have learnt. If you are suffering from depression and haven’t got help, please see someone. There is nothing to be ashamed of and certainly doesn’t mean you are weak or being a drama queen.

 

 

Article by:  Sherryll

 

 

The unique challenges of Retirement: Challenge #4 – Health

 

The Emotional Impact of Retirement

 

Combatting boredom and depression in retirement

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