Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Walk to Remember

I know something about losing memory. I've experienced it. When my depression was at its worst, I had ECT treatments as a last resort. Unfortunately, as a result, I lost my memory. I wish I could explain to everyone how it felt. I was so disoriented I didn't remember running a marathon; that's 26.2 miles folks! I still don't remember it. I couldn't remember topics that I cared about, so I couldn't hold up my end of any conversation. I couldn't discuss the movies I had seen, books I had read, or my own running statistics. I was a complete idiot. However, that wasn't the worst of it. Worse than being a non-conversant airhead was the inability to recognize people I knew! That's right. I had multiple conversations with others who clearly knew me, but I didn't have a clue who I was talking with. Take a moment and imagine that. It's hard to comprehend until one is in the middle of it.
I know I couldn't comprehend it years earlier, as I watched my intelligent, independent, and resourceful grandmother slide into a confused abyss. She couldn't recognize me for several years prior to her death. She couldn't even identify her own children, and I couldn't comprehend that. Until I landed in the same abyss. I understood it then. I understand it now. My grandmother had an Alzheimer's-type illness. While my ECT-brain improved over time, my grandmother's brain continued to betray her. That is the horror of Alzheimer's Disease--watching loved one's slide, and slide, and slide into a frustrating, confusing, illogical world. It is a cruel, incapacitating disease. Sound familiar?
Like depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder--Alzheimer's disease needs research dollars. The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk® is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. There will be walks in more than 600 communities this fall. Look for one near you and consider taking a walk to remember.

Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

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