Depression and anxiety are often taboo subjects. Sometimes a person like Katherine Stone from Postpartum Progress comes along and blows the stigma of it away – like she did with PPA/PPD. The effect she’s had on that community is amazing. When I realized I had anxiety, I looked for a community that was that open, that bold about it. And honestly, I didn’t find any. I turned to Kim, who has struggled with depression, and she felt the same. Many of you online told me you wondered about it too. Is there a community we talk openly about for depression and anxiety? This post is for those of us trying to find just that.
So you all know that I love Diana. I mean, who doesn’t? And I’m blessed to have her as a real life friend as well as blogger friend. So when she asked me (get that, she asked me ::headexplosion::) to guest post on this topic I was flattered and a little nervous. I’m here at Hormonal Imbalances. That’s huge to me. So, thanks, Diana, for thinking of me and letting me get a little taste of the big time over here at your place today. I puffy heart you.
“Kicking Depression’s Butt”
That’s what I want on my badge.
All over I see badges saying “I survived PPD”, “I survived antenatal PPD”, or “I’m a miscarriage survivor.” And while I, too, am all of those things, I’m also something else.
I’m surviving with severe clinical depression and anxiety. And there aren’t any badges for that.
I want every single person who hits my blog to know, immediately, that I’m a survivor, a warrior, against this kind of depression. I want them to know I’m fighting it, I’m beating it and I’m kicking it’s butt.
My kind of depression doesn’t get talked about a whole lot. There isn’t a hash tag chat on twitter for it (that I know of. Correct me if I’m wrong.). There’s a community site, Band Back Together, that is amazing, but it’s anonymous and while we do sometimes have to protect ourselves, I’m afraid that this might contribute to the stigma that depression holds.
My kind of depression — the kind that landed me in the hospital twice, the kind that keeps me on daily meds and will for life, the kind that whispers nasty lies in my ear about what a failure I am, the kind that is debilitating in the extreme, the kind that sucked the life out of me for two plus years and I’m fighting every single day. This kind of depression is not talked about a whole lot. And there most certainly is not a badge for it.
But there should be.
When I read stories about struggles with depression I am empowered because I know that I am not alone. I want others to read my story and feel the same. I want them to know that losing is not an option — kicking butt is the only option.
PPD has drawn so much support out here in the blogosphere and on twitter. It’s wonderful and amazing, and makes me jealous. We need the same resource for clinical depression and anxiety. Wouldn’t it be great to have a #dep/anx chat once a week? Wouldn’t it be incredible to have a coming together of support, love and kindness by others going through the same symptoms and emotions as you and me?