Man Fights Depression and Learns from Past

Walt Whitman - em Camden, 1891
Walt Whitman – em Camden, 1891 (Photo credit: marcelo noah)

Depressive.  It helps that there is a noun for folks who experience depression.  Many years ago, “depressoid” came up.  But there is one perspective out there that gives  “depressoid” a harsh connotation.  Most of us know that good people, brilliant people, creative people, humorous people … struggle with depressive symptoms:

Abraham Lincoln, Republican candidate for the ...

Lincoln (A.), Letterman (D.), and Lennon (J.) … Williams (Robin), West (Jerry), Whitman (Walt), and Wallace (Mike) …

English: Jim Carrey walks in the the studio of...

Beethoven, Hornsby (B.), Hopkins (A.), Hemingway (E.) …   Jim Carrey (J.),  Christie (A.), Carson (J.) …  Yes, these are … indeed good people.   And they are entitled to respect.    The depression for one man I know was connected to an auto accident, when he was rear-ended.  An M.D. told him that chronic pain affects the dopamine levels.

Letterman
Letterman (Photo credit: PDR)
English: John Lennon Deutsch: John Lennon
English: John Lennon Deutsch: John Lennon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is another man I met many years ago who suffers from a serious case of major depression.  He believes, whole heartedly, that it comes from his twenty-five years of passionate drug abuse.

Another man I have come to respect over the years, not a friend but a colleague, disclosed that his mother suffered from a mood disorder that could have been a mania-dominant bipolar disorder.

In my own journey of depression, I have consulted countless folks (no exaggeration); especially over the last fifteen years.  Suicide, of course, has been one of the topics commonly disclosed.  I really appreciate one particular dialogue I was privileged to be present at, listening in:

“Well, suicide is not an option.”
“Not an option? What do you mean it’s not an option?”
“It’s not an option.  It’s not something that can happen.”
“Oh, my; you are sadly mistaken.  Suicide is always an option.  It happens more often than you may think.”

I appreciated the words the second man used for the purposes of reality.  I never forgot that conversation.  It made me aware how dangerous our thoughts can be; and how reckless our false assumptions can end up being.

And, lastly, it illuminates … quite brightly … courage.  For the truly depressed souls, getting up in the morning, takes courage.  And using one’s giftedness, as well, takes courage.

I fight depression.  But to fight depression I have to think outside the box.  I have to be intentional, and proactive.  Self-pity is my enemy.  Love is the greatest force that I know of.  And I learn from my past; otherwise I forsake wisdom.  And good friends?  Indispensable.  Empowerment?  Gold.

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