Following the posting of my October 28, 2014 blog posting titled What About Depression?, I received the following response from a long-time friend. This is his personal journey.
This is a topic that has always been important to me as I have experienced depression at different times during my life. At one stage it was so bad that I attempted suicide and required a stay at a hospital plus 6 months of therapy from a professional therapist. I was placed on 2 different medications during this period, an upper in the mornings and a downer in the evenings. I had to insist with my doctor therapist to be taken off the medications and that was done over a period of time. I look back on that attempt of suicide as a very selfish deed, though at the time I thought it best for all concerned. I believe it hurt my parents terribly as well as some others.
I joined AA a couple of years later as my drinking had increased and had become a concern with friends and my employer and I could see my life going downhill. I have since had other bouts of depression however have mainly used the program of AA, sponsors, family and friends to deal with my depression.
I am hesitant to be as open with this topic as I would like to be based on the reactions of people who I disclosed my suicide attempt shortly after receiving treatment. I am slowly becoming more willing to share my thoughts with others as I am now retired and don’t have to be concerned about employers and believe people’s understanding of this topic has improved in the past 35 plus years. I have been much more open in areas such as my AA meetings and feel compelled to speak out whenever this topic comes up but not necessarily about my personal depression. Sometimes I phrase it as what I have read etc.
As AA has come to be accepted as a disease and does not carry as big a stigma as it once did hopefully mental illness and depression will someday also be more understood and not feared by the General public. I believe that in order to live a normal life those of us affected by depression must talk about our depression and try and recognize and understand what is going on during these periods in our life’s.
Thanks for letting me share.