Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 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!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the subtlety of depression

While billing a patient this week, I noticed she had a previous diagnosis of depression. "Wow," I thought, "she didn't look like someone with depression." Almost immediately, I began chastising myself! I was shocked to have had the thought! How could I, a person with depression--a person who speaks, writes, and educates about the invisibility, stereotypes and stigma of mental illness--how could I automatically assume that a young, healthy, attractive person didn't look like she could or should have depression? I was surprised at and disappointed with myself.

I guess it proves, once again, how pervasive the stigma is, how ingrained our attitudes are, and how hidden this illness can be. This incident was a powerful, not so subtle, reminder for me. How are your thoughts today?

2 comments:

carol. said...

Etta,

Hello! I discovered your blog through psychcentral.com, where your blog is mentioned as one of the Top Ten Depression Blogs of 2008.

I've been desperate to meet other people who go through at least something similar to what I feel. When I read that you were a runner I imagined we wouldn't have much in commum. My depression has lead me to gain all kinds of weight and I cannot bring myself to exercise... mostly because I feel everyone will look at me with disgust. Actually, I usually do that to myself on my own so I don't know why I fear others when I guess I'm my worst critic.

But still... I found your words very real and wise.

:o)

And the reasons that keep you writing are noble! I recently started my own blog, more out of loneliness than anything else, and I'm a little scared of how open I need to be about myself if I want to make friends and trade experiences. But I'm up for it.

Nice to meet you!

Carol

etta said...

Welcome Carol!
Congrats on starting your own blog! I'll check it out.

Regardless of whether you run or sit on the sofa, the language of depression is universal, as you're discovering. Fortunately, there are a few of us out here focusing on supporting each other through this often difficult journey. I hope you'll find support and reassurance here and elsewhere. Feel free to keep coming back, and I really appreciate your thoughts!
etta



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