All Links Verified 10/24/97
Updated October 24, 1997

You mean I don't have to feel this way?

This page is designed for friends, families, and individuals who are either suffering from depression or living with someone who is depressed.

Below you will find many resources and links to various locations where you can educate further educate yourself on the illness and perhaps find some help in the process.

This page is by no means a substitution for the medical advice a licensed medical practitioner can give you. However, I do hope that after following my links and reading all there is I have to say on the subject, that you do indeed seek help and find happiness within yourself. It IS possible.

Depression is a subject that is not easy for most people to talk about, myself included. Unfortunately society has a stigma attached to the word depressed. Many people mistake the word depressed for sadness. Feeling down in the dumps occasionally is normal. That's part of life. It's normal to feel and experience emotions on a "normal" degree. However, depression is NOT normal and it's something that you can't just "shake" off.

Depression is an illness.

What is Depression?? How do I know I have it?

Depression is a debilitating illness that effects 1 in 5 people at least once in their lifetime. Depression is the No. 1 public health problem in this country. If you find that you (or someone you love) suffers from 2 or more of the following symptoms, you may very well be depressed. The National Institute of Health developed the following checklist in order to diagnose those suffering from depression:

Symptoms of depression can include:

If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms, and have been feeling this way for the last two weeks or more, please seek help. Doctors view depression as an illness and they will take this as seriously as they do diabetes or heart disease. You don't have to feel this way! There is help. Seek the advice of a professional doctor and don't be afraid to come forward and get the help you need. Treatment for depression is relatively inexpensive.

But what will people think?

Get over it. Society has a stigma about the word depression. Society doesn't understand, nor is society educated about the illness. Society doesn't tell the diabetic to get over his low insulin problem, or the heart disease patient to "shake it off." You need to worry about YOU and how YOUR feeling and forget about those that choose to remain ignorant.

This is not your fault. This is an actual chemical deficiency in your brain. It must be viewed as an illness, an illness you somehow got, like low thyroid, which, while serious, is easily treated.

"Seeking help for depression (or any illness) does not imply a lack of mental, physical, emotional, or moral character.

"It takes great courage to admit something may be wrong. It is a sign of deep wisdom to consult professionals, seeking their advice and direction." (Peter McWilliams

My Story

Once upon a time I too suffered alone. I thought I was crazy. I had a wonderful family and many wonderful friends that loved me. I couldn't understand why I was always so down, never really happy. I thought there was something wrong with me, that I didn't have the ability to ever be truly happy. It was as if this black fog enveloped my whole life and I was never able to see clearly out of it. Thoughts of the future were difficult, planning long-term was nearly impossible. There were days when getting out of bed was the biggest struggle of my life. I didn't want to go to work, or get out of bed, or even take a shower. There didn't seem to be any real traumatic things happening in my life to make me feel this way. Nobody understood, how could they, I didn't even understand what was wrong with me. I finally decided enough was enough and I sought help. The very next day a friend drove out of his way to deliver a book that I will never forget and I strongly recommend reading! "How to Heal Depression" by Harold H. Bloomfield and Peter McWilliams. You can even read the book online! Click Here

This book and the treatment I sought following, changed my life. I learned that depression is an illness. I learned that there are medications that can help and even cure the symptoms of depression. I learned that happiness is not only possible but achievable! I sought treatment from a medical doctor and started on an antidepressant. Within two weeks the depression slowly started to lift. This very same depression I had suffered with my entire life was suddenly starting to go away. It was an indescribable feeling! It was also kind of scary, I mean living without that black cloud hanging over me was a little overwhelming, I had come to know it as my security blanket. It took a while to get used to "feeling" again. (I was an exceptional escape artist, (and still am) who would thrust myself into any activity I could find that would keep me from thinking or feeling things on too deep a level. Some of those activities included television, movies, and spending zillions of hours on the computer). I was actually starting to look forward to each new day. I slowly rebuilt some of my self esteem and in many ways, I rebuilt my life. I've still a long way to go, and unfortunately sometimes I still have mood swings and go through periods of "sadness," but it is never anything I can't handle. It can be very frustrating and annoying to have this illness. I hang in there, and every day I grow stronger. I hope that we can hang in there together.

I guess the point of all this, is for you my friend.. You don't have to feel this way! I know it's not easy to admit that you might be suffering from depression. I know it wasn't easy for me to go to the doctor and talk to him about it, after all I thought I was just crazy for feeling the way I did. But the point is, I did go, and it wasn't half as hard as it was struggling to get through the day feeling so lousy. Help is out there. Read up on Depression, educate yourself. You can follow the links below to some helpful information to get you started.

News Groups

Depression Links

Recommended Reading
I'm not a doctor. I can't pretend to be one. I wanted to put something on my web page as a message to those of you who suffer. Depression affects the brain, it affects the way we think and view the world. It isn't something you can just shake off. Like the flu, if not treated it will just come back and probably worse than it was before. In the future I hope to add more links and more information to these pages. I'm not going to get very clinical with this, as I am not a professional but I do hope that this information has at least prompted you to educate yourself somewhat on the illness and treatment of depression.

I wish you JOY......

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