Depression Confession

There seems to have been a lot of blog posts recently about depression and the sharing of one’s mental health status.

For some reason, this seems to have had a bit of a negative backlash.  I’ve been disappointed to read some snark and saddened by the lack of support that has been apparent.  I hasten to add that I’ve also been gladdened by the strength of character shown and the depth of support that I, and so very many others, have received.

It is very brave to admit to your battles with the black dog.  Pushing the publish button on this post was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Depression Confession

Why did I do it?  Because I was sick of being hypocritical.  I am the first person to say that you’d seek medical attention for a physical health problem, and a mental health problem is no different.  So why wasn’t I talking about my diagnosis of PMDD and the “survivor guilt” depression slump that surprised me by appearing when I’d gone into remission from my auto immune disorder?  I lost most of my 30s to chronic illness and it had affected my entire family.  I was very proud that I’d managed to survive without succumbing to depression and bitterly disappointed that going into remission, of all things, had triggered a bout of depression.

I was merely adding to the stigma that I don’t believe should exist.  By “hiding” my diagnosis and subsequent treatment, I was perpetuating the belief that mental health issues are something to be ashamed of.

 

Coming clean and standing up to be counted amongst the many who deal with mental health issues, whether they are lifelong or temporary, was so empowering for me.  I was truly touched by the levels of support I received.

I would like to think that we can all take strength and receive support.  Let’s make Depression Confession a symbol of strength rather than a declaration of weakness.

 

Kimba Likes // a style blog with a fun family twist! @kimbalikes

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  • […] the final push I needed to get off my butt and finally put the psychologist referral letter for my PMDD  to good […]ReplyCancel

  • lydia c lee - 2 April 2013 - 1.20 pm

    I’ve not seen the back lash (but I’m every erratic on twitter so I miss a lot) but I kind of thought all the talk about depression (with those bloggers begining to make a niche of it) was a supportive, helpful thing. If everything is normalised (bad word but you know where I’m heading) then it’s easier for the next round of people struggling. Why we feel the need to reinvent the wheel for ourselves is just adding to the difficult load.
    If it’s not of interested to people, they don’t have to read it. If it helps one person, then it’s worthwhile…ReplyCancel

  • Norlin Mustapha - 1 April 2013 - 8.22 pm

    So true. I mean it’s bad enough that we feel as though we need to hide our depression, it makes it worse when we don’t get support and in fact receive snark for daring to “come out” and sharing the fact that they have depression. I’ve also recently been diagnosed with depression. I thought I had PND but apparently, it was the pure old depression made worse after I had my babies, then it never went away because it was never addressed. My parents don’t know I have it. My mum won’t understand why I have it – she says my life is perfect & so it’s nothing to feel depressed about. Hmmm…she’s got lots to learn. But, thank goodness for super great friends that have pushed me to seek help. And I am. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Lynn - 27 March 2013 - 7.33 pm

    There are lots of subjects that make people squirm. I recently read a beautiful post about death, which is another subject people just don’t feel comfortable talking about, particularly with the person dying.

    Depression, anxiety, terminal illness, homelessness, disability abuse, sexual assault, child abuse.

    These are a hand full of subjects people don’t want to talk about, alas, many of them are linked.

    We NEED to talk about ALL of these subjects MORE, and in some cases, we need to acknowledge the connections between them.

    Posts like yours and the others I have read all need to be written, but most importantly, they need to be read and talked about. They need to be updated and people need to know Depression does not just get better and go away.

    Keep writing, and keep looking after yourself. xo
    ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Thompson - 27 March 2013 - 5.05 pm

    Kim, having lost most of my thirties to illness, I am amazed you got through it without the black dog pulling you down. I personally went through depression at the beginning of my sickness because I didn’t understand what was going on. Possibly, for you, the time when you were allowed to relax was when it hit you – we are vulnerable then too.
    Becc @ Take Charge NowReplyCancel

  • Kylie @ Shabby Sisters - 27 March 2013 - 3.30 pm

    Thank you for sharing! ReplyCancel

  • Vicky Finch - 27 March 2013 - 3.28 pm

    ” Let’s make Depression Confession a symbol of strength rather than a declaration of weakness.” I love this sentence! XxxReplyCancel

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style - 27 March 2013 - 3.13 pm

    Great post!! It’s important that people feel free to discuss this without fear of backlash or criticism. Rachel xxReplyCancel

  • Lara at This Charming Mum - 27 March 2013 - 2.52 pm

    Good for you for talking about it. It takes great strength to admit it and seek treatment. I’ve heard people say they feel ‘guilty’ or somehow ‘selfish’ or ‘indulgent’ for looking after themselves – you wouldn’t hear that with any other kind of illness. Depression is so prevalent in our society and still so stigmatised. I admire your bravery and honesty.ReplyCancel

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