Sunday, 1 September 2002

Depression

When one hears the word depression, two things can come to mind. You might think back to the 1930s, and the era known as the Great Depression, a time of economic hardship following the Wall Street Crash in 1929.

    But when people hear that someone is suffering from depression, some people get the wrong idea. Some even become fearful of people suffering from this illness, and I'm calling this an illness because that is essentially what it is.

    I myself am a sufferer of this condition. Whereas a few years ago I would have been ashamed of such a thing, I have learned recently that I really have nothing to be ashamed of. I have no reason to bury my head in the sand and hide myself off from the rest of the world.

    From what I've learned, depression comes in many forms. My form of depression, brought about by a tin-pot Hitler who made every effort to oust me from my position of employment, brought about a chemical imbalance in my brain. Basically, because of the emotional battering I was taking, my brain wasn't producing sufficient amounts of serotonin. Ultimately, this resulted in my suffering a severe nervous breakdown towards the end of May.

    At first, as with my previous bouts of depression several years ago, I felt ashamed of my condition. I thought that my friends and my family would desert me in my hour of need, that they wouldn't want to know me, because they would see me as some sort of nuttier, a mental-case.

    While some quite frankly couldn't understand the reasons for my condition, others rallied around me, and showed me the meaning of true friendship. They would take the time out of their busy lives to talk to me, just to make sure I was all right. At times, I would literally throw a ton of shit at them. People who didn't understand what I was going through would have turned their backs on me after these little temper tantrums, panic attacks, whatever they are. But these friends, these true friends, after having the proverbial ton thrown at them, would come back to me moments later, telling me they understood why I said those things, and that they would be there for me, to help me through my difficult times.

    And for that I will be eternally grateful. At times I don't realize what a great bunch of people I am surrounded by. I take them for granted on way too many occasions.

    They know exactly what I'm going through, what I've been through, and exactly what it will take to get me to the point I need to be at in order to make a full recovery. There have been times recently when I thought I was close to that point, only to find out days later that I was nowhere near.

    Before, I've described by fight with depression as a battle with a demon. This demon of mine has had me reeling, against the ropes, if you will, on many occasions in the past few months. Yet I've always managed to stage a comeback of sorts, only to be sent reeling again as the demon made a comeback of his own.

    The one thing I should never forget, though, is the veritable army I have watching my back. In essence, they are like a tag-team partner, ready to step in for a few minutes and battle the demon on my behalf.

    Ultimately, though, the battle is mine, and only I can win. But with the friends I have, the army backing me up, I'm sure I can win this battle. It's going to take me a few rounds, but this demon is going down.

    And to my army, I can say only this - thanks guys.