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Letter from the depressed

( written by L.A. Taylor; 5 May 1998 )

my thoughts:

"Deep within the maze that is our complicated mind swirls our emotions...some buried so deep beneath the surface that even the person that is suffering from emotional distress does not know exactly why he is suffering".

"Our emotions motivate us to survive; to live. Bad experiences and painful memories of events can leave one scarred. For some, the emotions become buried deep inside, unwilling to be released. These emotions can get so deep that the person no longer is sure what he is feeling; if anything at all. He becomes numb, confused, unsure of what the problem is. We must understand and challenge the problem to effectively fix it. This is the challenge of depression."

Letter from the depressed:

Dear friends and family,

I don't know how to begin or what I should say. What I want is for someone to understand what is happening to me, to understand what is wrong with me. There are many events and experiences that have shaped my life and my goals in life. I know many events have shaped your life, as well.

Truth is, I have suffered on and off from depression for about 10 years. I think depression has been at the root of many of my behaviours.

Depression is not something that I have asked for or something that I am bringing on myself. I never took the time to have any friends or form any close relationships with anybody; including family members. Anything that has ever hapened to me; I did not feel it, I kept myself occupied until the event was out of my mind. And now, because of that, my depression that I feel now is worse. I have had enough of it. I feel that I need to confront instead of avoid.

Most of us "common folk" do not understand depression. Depression is not the feeling that one gets when "having the blues." It goes much deeper that that. Depressed people (like me) do not invent all the emotional distress and turmoil. Depression is a disease of the central nervous system, just like Parkinson's Disease or epilepsy. I believe that stress is a major cause of depression. In my case, depression started with stress, which turned into insomnia. As the lack of sleep built up over time, other things (chemically) begin to happen within the body. Food did not and still does not taste good to me. Food has lost it's flavour. Then came the crying and mood swings that came with no warning and lasted most of the day. Then as time kept marching by, eventually strong, irrational emotions came suddenly and without warning.

Within the brain there are certain chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. When these transmitters are at a healhty, normal level, we are able to function well. But when certain chemicals get low, this is a key contributer to depression. When the chemical Serotonin is in short supply in the brain, it causes mood swings and emotional instability. Then the depression progresses to eat a person alive.

It is all consuming, one loses the ability to function properly. Concentration disappears. Happiness vanishes. I am now but a shadow of myself. This is how I feel everyday. No one really understands the depths of true depression unless they have personally experienced it. But what if no one believes me? What happens after everyone has turned their backs on me? What if I become such a burden that I am simply swept aside? I am afraid that I am losing my mind. God help me; I'm losing control. These past few months, I have said and done things that I cannot believe that I have said and done. It feels like I am someone else; like someone is trying to take over my thoughts. I cannot believe what I have become.

I feel as if I am disappearing a little more each day. I am so angry and confused inside that I am afraid of myself. I feel so alone. I feel as if I am drowning, fading faster and faster into the night with each passing day. Lately, I am finding it hard to remember what I have done from one day to the next. I feel so afraid and alone. All my life is crumbling, and I an vunerable and so tired. What if I can't find my way out of all this pain? The pain washes over me in great waves. I want to reach out to someone, but I don't know how or who. I feel as if my soul is dying; my will to live is dying.

And day after day, the pain won't go away. I honestly don't know how much more pain and abuse I can take. I know that I am suicidal, and it scares me. I do not want to hurt myself, I just yearn to escape from my pain. I don't know how else to do it. I need help, anyone's help. I am frightened to be alone. I do not trust myself not to do anything stupid. I am a fighter and an aggressive person, but my energy level has almost dried up; I am getting too weak to fight much longer. I hate this person that I have become.

There is an incredible stigma attached to any illness of the mind. No intelligent person would condemn and avoid someone for having a brain tumor, so why do people distance themselves from a different form of disease? Depression, as with a brain tumor, as with any illness, will not go away by pretending that it does not exist. Please understand that I am not crazy. I need help. PLEASE, WILL SOMEONE HELP ME????????
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