Posted in depression, Life, mental illness, Writing

New Year and Depression

As the end of the year approaches, we all tend to reflect on what has happened over the course of the year.  I want to go back a little further than that.

In May of 2017, I came out of a several-years-long depression.  I remember it so clearly.  It was like a veil had been lifted and I was seeing the world for the first time.

With this in mind, I looked back at my stats for the last couple of year here on WordPress.

In 2017 there was a good-sized spike in my activity here.  That new enthusiasm to write was due to the “awakening” from my depression.

My Most Viewed post of all time has been one I titled Depression-A-Killer.  That tells me that there is still a HUGE need for enlightenment, awareness and information.  The stigma remains, but I do think that the battle to end it is making progress.

Why do I write about Depression?   EVERY DAY 121 Americans commit suicide.  50% of those people suffered from depression.  Reason enough?  I thought so too. If you need help -The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255  Is talking to someone too much for you?  It was for me at times.  There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.

The one thing in my life that I am most thankful for is the end of my depression.  Depression took so much from me, it feels amazing to have my life back.  I’m happier than I’ve ever been and my life is full and rich.  I have many, many blessings.

If you would like to see any of the other pieces I’ve written about Depression, you can find those HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

As you can see this is a subject that is important to me. 🙂 ❤

As we go into a new year, I want to thank all of you that have joined me on this up and down journey.  I hope that each of you are blessed with every happiness your heart could desire.

Please check out my page on Mental Health Help HERE

*Update from 2023

The post above was originally written in 2018. My depression is thankfully in check.  I cherish each day that I am free from that darkness.  At the end of 2021, I did have a period of time where my Depression and Anxiety peaked.  But early into 2022, that had once again abated.  My life is rich, full and so very blessed. 

Posted in depression, mental illness

I’m not fine

The truth is, you see, I’m not fine.  What the world sees is a lie.  A lie to help them cope.  A lie to help me cope.

My lies serve me well.  Sometimes.  They hide the demons that fly under the radar to steal my mind.

I keep a careful watch.  But, they come whether I want them to or not.  I must be ever vigilant, to recognize them before they pounce.  Their disguises vary with each encounter.

There is a sense, a feeling, that they are coming.  Sometimes.  Other times, they attack without warning.

I lose the will of pretending at times.  I give in to them.  They are stronger than I am.  My resolve to smile and continue the lies wane.  I will retreat to my little cave under the covers.  If I sleep, I then find respite, a reprieve from the continual onslaught.  The darkness of sleep is preferable to the darkness I am subjected to by the demons.

Then, miraculously, they’re gone.  They’ve retreated back to where they came from; to the dark, dank recesses of my mind.  Perhaps they are gathering forces to come again.  Perhaps they are gone forever.  I don’t know.  I won’t know until they return, if they return.

For now, my days are brighter.  I can look forward to tomorrow.

Copyright (C) 2022 Penny Wilson

*This is a work of fiction, my friends.  I am well and doing fine.  I haven’t written about Depression in a while and wanted to do so.

*If you or someone you know needs help, Please TALK to someone.  Please see more helpful resources on my Mental Health Help Page HERE.

Image by Constance Kowalik from Pixabay

Posted in depression, mental illness

Stephen “Twitch” Boss

EllensGOG-S2-CastBioImage-tWitch-450x450.jpg (450×450)

You may or may not be aware of the passing of Stephen “Twitch” Boss.  He was a lot of things to a lot of people.  Father, husband, dancer, and actor.  He was the Executive Producer of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  He was also Ellen’s DJ and dance partner. 

Sadly, Twitch lost his life to suicide on December 14th, 2022.  

By all outward appearances, he was a happy, successful person.  I read that one of his friends said that “You never know what’s going on between someone’s ears”.   So true. 

If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out to the Suicide Prevention Helpline at 988. 

On my Mental Health Help Page, you can find many sources for help and articles on the subjects of Depression and other Mental Health issues.  HERE is a piece I wrote regarding the link between Depression and Suicide.  

Every day, approximately 130 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

There is one death every 11 minutes in the U.S. by suicide. (CDC)

Suicide takes the lives of over 48,500 Americans every year. (CDC) 

Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds.

Is talking to someone too much for you?  There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.

The bottom line is to TALK.  Please, just reach out and TALK to someone.  Anyone.  There is help available.  Just reach out a hand. 

Copyright (C) 2022 Penny Wilson

*Image found online. Acknowledgements to the owner of the image. 

Posted in depression, Life, mental illness

The Noise of This World

At the end of 2021, I was in a deep spiral of depression and anxiety.  Inflation, gas prices, the Pandemic, interest rates, drought, war, politics, global warming, mass shootings, etc., etc., etc.  There is certainly enough to be concerned about if you simply look beyond your own front door.   With the insurmountable number of issues the world has, how do we deal with it all?

Being an introvert, the noise of this world can become overwhelming for me.  In the last year, I moved to a small, quiet town and have a home in the country.  For me, this life is the most peaceful it has been in decades.

Even with my current quiet lifestyle, one can’t simply ignore the issues going on around us.  At least I can’t.  All you have to do is turn on the TV and you’ll be bombarded with images and stories that are disturbing.  That’s a LOT of negativity to absorb.  I want to be informed.  I’m not a “head in the sand” type of person.  So how do I deal with it?

Negativity breeds negativity.  Have you heard the phrase “misery loves company”?  It’s true.  You must distance yourself from it in some way.  Below are some ways of coping with the negativity.

*Take the negativity in small doses.  If you MUST watch the news, limit yourself.  Set a limit of exposure.  I do not expose myself to image upon image of war, or weather disasters, or the back-biting of politics, or a number of other things.  I know they exist, but I am not overloading myself with the details.

*Tend your own garden. Even though my life is a quiet one, there are responsibilities and activities that I must tend to.  I own a fixer-upper house that I am always working on.  I am taking my writing interest more seriously.  I spend time with family and stay in touch with friends.  I try to stay active and healthy.  These are not only important in my life, they also distance me from the constant flow of negativity.

*Do your part (within your means).  Want to help?  Seeing all the awful things that go on in the world, it’s hard not to want to help, to be involved.  So, do What You Can Within Your Means.  Recycle, save water, donate to the food bank and/or local charities, Vote!  You can also volunteer locally.  Libraries, animal shelters and retirement communities always need help.  Shop small and shop locally.  Small independent business owners need your help.  They feel the crunch too.

*Be prepared.  Keep your gas tank full.  Stay stocked up on the basics/essentials in your pantry.  Have emergency water and first aid items on hand.  THIS is an excellent website that can help. They have information on everything from building an Emergency Preparedness Kit to Cyber Security.  

A few things to keep in mind:

*It’s not all about you.  There are some things that just do not concern you and there’s nothing that you can do about them. 

*We’re all in the same boat.  You are not alone in feeling the enormity of the problems of this world. 

*See the reality of the situation.  In the Big Scheme of things, Worldwide, there is only So Much you can do.  Keep in mind that YOU alone, are limited by your means, your location, etc.

*Do What You Can.  If you want to help, then help.  Do what’s within your power to help.  A lot of little things add up to bigger things that can help overall. 

*Seek help.  If things get to be overwhelming, seek help.  TALK to someone.  Let those around you know that you are struggling.  THIS is my page on Mental Health Help.  There are a number or resources and articles that may be helpful.

No one knows how much time we have on this planet.  Be happy when you can, enjoy and be grateful for what you have, live today, for today.  Spend time with your loved ones.  Appreciate the little things that make you smile. 

“Mind your own biscuits and everything will be gravy.” 

Copyright (C) 2022 Penny Wilson All Rights Reserved

Posted in depression, mental illness

New Suicide Prevention Hotline – 988 – Is Finally a Reality!

Finally, in the US, we have a 3 digit number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline.  It’s 988.  This has been slow coming.  Why, I don’t know.  But thank God that it’s finally here!  

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, you can now use the 3 digit number to reach a professional that will assist you in getting the help you need.  The old # 1 (800)-273-8255, is still available.  But the new number will be so much easier to remember!  

In the UK, if you’re struggling with negative thoughts or suicidal feelings, you can call the Samaritans at 116 123; and in Australia, call Lifeline at 13 11 14. 

THIS is a wonderful article about several crisis hotlines and texting that is available to a number of different people.  

If you would like more information on Suicide Prevention or Depression, please be sure to visit my Mental Health Help Page HERE.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤ Copyright (C) 2022

Posted in depression, Life, mental illness

Depression’s Frequent Companion

A diagnosis of Depression is enough to handle, but in many cases depression can be accompanied by the unwelcome companion, Anxiety.

Anxiety can be just as debilitating as depression. 

Most people think of depression on the lower end of things.  Things like the feeling of sadness, hopelessness, finding no joy in things that you once took pleasure in, not wanting to get out of bed, etc.   

On the higher end of depression is anxiety.  The symptoms of anxiety can include: excessive worry, restlessness, problems focusing, feelings of fear, and dread or avoiding everyday activities. 

Anxiety can also show itself in physical symptoms, such as: frequent sleep problems, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and shortness of breath.  

If anxiety is left unchecked, it can interfere with job performance, schoolwork and relationships.  Anxiety can also lead to Panic Attacks and Phobias if untreated.  

If you recognize yourself in the symptoms I’ve listed above, I strongly urge you to seek help. 

HERE is an article I found on ways to reduce your anxiety. 

HERE you will find my Mental Health Help Page that will list several helpful links to seek help. 

*An added note: What I write here is based on personal experience and research that I have done on my own. I make no claim to be an expert on this subject or have any type of medical degree. My writing is simply a way for me to put a voice to my own experiences and perhaps help others along the way.  

Copyright 2021 Penny Wilson

 

Posted in depression, Life, mental illness

It Takes Courage to Seek Help

Finding the courage it takes to speak up despite the stigma surrounding mental illness can be a momentous challenge.

“Will they believe me?  Do I really need help?  What will my friends/family/co-workers think?  How can I talk to a stranger about this?”

These are some of the questions that will rise when you are trying to find the courage to seek help.  Below are  a couple of suggestions that may help. 

Start Small-Do you have a friend you can confide in?  Perhaps a teacher or someone at your church?  A family doctor is often a good place to start.

Use Technology-There are a few options you can use if you can’t bring yourself to talk to someone.    1.There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.   2.Want to do an online chat?  There’s a site for that too.  Find it HERE.        3. You can even TWEET with a crisis counselor at @800273TALK on Twitter.

Remember-You are not alone and it is ok to ask for help.  YOU are worth it!

For more suggestions, articles and information, please visit my Mental Health Help page HERE

As always, thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤ 

 

Posted in depression, Life, mental illness

Isolation and Depression-For the Most At Risk

The onslaught of COVID 19 did more to our society than infect and kill.  On the peripheral of this is another epidemic, one of Isolation and Depression. 

Humans are social creatures.  We need each other to survive.  Because of COVID some of us are now judging our social interactions by what’s deemed ‘safe’ and what is not.  This especially true of those with compromised immune systems or other high risk factors 

The elderly are especially vulnerable to this isolation. Because many are self-isolating to stay safe, the instances of social anxiety are increasing.  Some now see social situations as a threat.  

There are many hazards of living an isolated life, especially for an extended period of time.  Anxiety, depression, PTSD are a few things that can result.  It can also effect sleep patterns and physical well-being.    

Continue reading “Isolation and Depression-For the Most At Risk”

Posted in depression, mental illness

REBLOG: What those with mental illness want you to know — One Moment At A Time

This piece is a REBLOG from “One Moment At A Time’s” blog.  This woman has the courage to speak up about depression and mental illness.  Please take a minute and read this and be sure to visit her blog!

“I want people to understand how, as a country the ways in which we have treated this epidemic have perpetuated the problem. We have spent the last 50 years locking people with addiction in jail without providing mental health services needed for recovery. The companies that exploded the opioid epidemic are responsible, having known the […]

What those with mental illness want you to know — One Moment At A Time
Posted in depression

REBLOG: Learning Mental Health First Aid

This is a ReBlog from Minnesota Prairie Roots’ blog.  Please Read on and discover the valuable information Audrey is sharing here on Mental Health Awareness and First Aid! 

Minnesota Prairie Roots

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Several years ago I saw that message printed on the back of a young woman’s shirt at a community celebration. I approached her and asked about the meaning behind those words. She explained that she lives with depression and that her family has loved and supported her through her struggles. I thanked her. Encouraged her. Then walked away feeling grateful for the young woman’s openness and for her caring and loving family.

That we should all be so honest. And compassionate. But the stigma surrounding mental illness, although lessening, continues. The failure to understand and support continues. And that’s where education and training are vital—to recognize, to de-stigmatize, to make a difference in how we perceive and approach mental health.

An upcoming opportunity in my area, Mental Health First Aid, helps those enrolled in the course to identify, understand and…

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