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Understanding and Getting Help for Depression
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
I recently received an email asking for support for The Dark Light Project (link: http://www.thedarklightproject.org ), which is looking to make a short film aimed at fighting the stigma of depression and suicide. This is such an important topic that I knew I wanted to share this information. I have worked with many people who were struggling with how to cope with their loved one being depressed. I have also with many have struggled with the aftereffects of the early death of a parent — sometimes from suicide. People too often forget that depression doesn't just affect those who are afflicted by it, but they also deeply impact those around them.


It's important to remember that if you are struggling with depression or love someone who is, you can find help both in your own support system and in professional in healthcare. You might also want to share your experiences and questions about this topic here.


If you would like to read more in detail about this topic in my The Art of Relationships blog, click here.


Dr. Becker-Phelps's discussions and her responses in those discussions are for general educational purposes only. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.


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dfromspencer responded:
I myself, have struggled with depression, and know full well the struggles my family dealt with because of it! I lost my mother early, my step father had killed her, and then himself, he was an alcoholic, not known to be depressed, or suicidal/homicidal?! I struggled with anger, and depression for so long, it was almost normal for me?! I hid it well. Until it broke inside of me, and I began to act out. I was an angry young man, hell bent on self destruction! I went in search of pain. I would go to the bars, drink myself blind, and then pick a fight with the biggest, baddest looking guy I could find! All the while hoping he would kill me, and put me out of my misery?!

The drinking became an obsession! The more I drank, the more I wanted. The more I wanted, the more I drank till I became a whole nother person, in my mind, anyway! Eventually, I became a loathsome person, one I hated being, yet could not stop this other self! Yes, I was weak, my mind was not what it once was! I cried out for help, but no one knew how to help me?! I was civilly committed. They could not help me, just drugged me. I was found out to be a service member, so I was shipped off to one of the V.A. hospitals. It was while I was there, that a counselor told me I had to forgive my step father, before I could forgive myself for all that guilt. Yes, it was anger, and guilt that I felt. Anger, for obvious reasons, guilt, for thinking all this time, that I should have been there to protect my mother. Yes, stupid of me to feel guilty, but nonetheless, I did! And this counselor was so right! Once I let it go, and forgave him, and finally forgave myself, that my life began to change for the better!

Since I have been on this site, my life has been changed for the better, also! It is here that I have met some wonderful people! Most of them, I would be honored to call friend! They have helped me like no body else has! The do not mince words, they tell it like it is! If I start slipping, they stop me in my tracks! They have given me better advice, than I ever got from my own family! Yes, it would be my honor, and my privilege to call them friends! Starting with Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps, without her help, I know not where I would be at this time?! Tmltmlrl? Sorry, cannot remember the letter sequence?! Tml, and Roh, for being my longest friends here! And Sluggo, and FCL, for always giving it to me straight! You are all more like family, than friends!!!

Speaking of family! I watched my dads reaction, when I first told him I was depressed, and on medication for it. He looked away from me, and his face turned red, I knew he was mad. And then, I saw something in his face, I thought I could never see, fear! This big man is a marine, by Gawd! No fear! He was scared others would find out!!! The first thing he said to me was, you haven't told anyone, have you? Well, yes. I told the doctor, my brother knows, the one still living in our home town. I told my father not to worry, this was not something I would go to the top of the mountain to holler out! He was visably relieved! Really? Wonderful support system! My grandmother's were sympathetic, as were some aunts. Most of my family just ignored me, in hopes I would just go away?! Such was my awesome support group.

So, here I am today. Depressed once again, but for a very different reason! Today, I am depressed because I am disabled, cannot get a job, and also because of my lack of dating options for the lack of funds! However!!!

Yes however, I have now found a very nice, very understanding young lady who wants to be with me, despite my injuries, handicaps!!! Am I still depressed? Yes, but it gets better all the time thanks to my new support group right here!!!

I was so lucky to find this site! Even luckier to find these friends here, my new family, if you will?! I have never felt better, at least not that I can remember?! I want to thank everyone here, everyone!!! You all have helped me more than you know!!!

Thank you all!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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rohvannyn replied to dfromspencer's response:
Dennis, you are a big sweetie. You should be proud of your accomplishments. I'm trying to follow your example, to keep trying no matter what happens, to focus on the joy in life. You are an inspiration and I'm glad that you are continuing to walk toward a good life, instead of away from it.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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rohvannyn responded:
What a worthy project. I wish more people understood that depression isn't always situational, and it isn't just a bad mood. It isn't always a choice! Sometimes the brain's biochemistry is just messed up, and the only choice you have is to take whatever steps you can to get around that. Pretty hard when one of the symptoms is lack of motivation. I look forward to seeing other people's thoughts on this.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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dfromspencer replied to dfromspencer's response:
I have to apologise for one wrong part, it was not the counselor at the V.A. that told me I had to forgive my stepfather, no, she told me to forgive myself.

Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps was the one that nailed it! She told me I had to forgive my stepfather, and she could not have been more right!!! She told me I had to forgive him, in order to forgive myself! She was spot on, and I cannot thank her enough!!!

Again, I am sorry, especially to Dr. Leslie, for my screw up!

Thanks again, to all of you!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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dfromspencer replied to rohvannyn's response:
Hi Roh,

I said nothing that was not true! I really do appreciate having a friend like you!!! You never try to sugar coat anything, and you are always brutally honest, even with yourself! A quality I am trying to get for myself!

Once I decided to be an honest person, I had to honestly look at me. It really scared me. It still does to this day! But I do it because I want to change that person, back to his old self! The self before the drinking started, even before the guilt, and depression! Yes, the one I was when I joined the Army! The good, and honest mid-western kid my father raised me to be!!! I can be him, again, if I am willing to be brutally honest with myself? So far, I believe I am on the right path?!

With friends like you Roh, I know I can make it!!! And if I am an inspiration to you, I fail to see how, but I am glad I can help you, and other's! All you have to do is ask, and I will be honored to assist!!! Thank you, thank you for everything!!!

Thank you, Roh, thank you!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to dfromspencer's response:
No need to apologize to me, Dennis. My heart warms to know that my feedback has been helpful, and that you feel so supported by this community. But more importantly, I hope you recognize how your efforts are largely responsible for your improvement.
 
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An_251552 replied to dfromspencer's response:
hi dennis! may I know your personal email?
 
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dfromspencer replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
Why thank you, Dr. Leslie! I do know my efforts are a huge part, but where would I be now, if it were not for YOUR help?

I don't even want to think about that, any more! LOL!!!

I don't know how big the crutch would have to be for me, if I didn't have this community??? I am so lucky I found this site!!! And "lucky" just doesn't describe the feeling I get from the support I do receive, here?!!!

Thank you, again, Dr. Leslie! I am trying so hard not to let you down!!! Thank you for everything!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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dfromspencer replied to An_251552's response:
Hi An_251552,

I am really sorry, but I have no idea as to who you are? Giving out my E-mail address is just not something I do for just anyone!

Is there no way for us to communicate through this site??? I really hope we can, and who knows about the future, right?

Take care!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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An_251552 replied to dfromspencer's response:
you know me, you'll find out if i emailed you.
I think I will learn a lot from you
 
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rohvannyn replied to dfromspencer's response:
I can understand not wanting to release an email address on a site like this. Even if no one in this community misuses it, any bot or spammer can come by and pick it up and use it for whatever because this is a completely public forum. That's why I don't give mine out either.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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An_251552 replied to rohvannyn's response:
hi rohvannyn! yes I complete understand that but it can be avoided once it is deleted. talking here feels too nude for me thats why I preferred email
 
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rohvannyn replied to An_251552's response:
I wish WebMd had a private message feature for this kind of thing... that would be really helpful at times.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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dfromspencer replied to An_251552's response:
Yep, it is exactly as Roh said, I would hate to have spammers or lowlife scummy thieves get it!!!


I don't know how we know each other? Is there a temporary site, or e-mail type address where I could send it to?


Maybe we will have to set up temporary e-mail addresses? I will bet that is how?


Let me know what you think about this idea, or if you have one already set up, I will send mine there?!


Till later, then, bye!!!


Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!


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