Here in Canada - one day out of the year for the past 4 years - we are reminded to talk about depression and mental health. Bell Canada sponsors the "Let's Talk" program - where they raise money for mental health awareness as well as putting on a show where Canadian celebrities talk about their struggles with mental illness.
Those of you who read this blog with any regularity know that I talk about the depression and anxiety that I've inherited from my ancestors. As a child I lived with my mother's depression and now live with mine. And I talk about it because I know how hard it is for people who don't talk about it.
It's really, really important to talk about depression and anxiety. More people than you could possibly know about deal with it in some way or another - they estimate that 1 in 4 will deal with it at one time in their lives. I think it's more.
It's an isolating disease if you don't talk about it. If you share, you find support - and offer it to others. It's important!
So please understand that people who have mental illness aren't "crazy" or "scary" most of the time. Most of the time we are just regular people who are having a tough time dealing with the world. Most of the time we're okay. Sometimes we need a little sympathy and support. If you don't struggle with it yourself, I ask that you have some sensitivity to it. If you do struggle, I ask that you find support.
As an update, I'm now on medication full time again. Not because I was in terrible straights, but because I wasn't feeling as good as I should - for too long. Medication is there, and I am grateful for that. No one on medication wants to be on it. Everyone taking depression medication would like to be able to control their thoughts and their mind enough to not take pills. But sometimes it is the more responsible thing to take medication and take care of yourself - for yourself and your loved ones.