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!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Overwhelmingly postive

In recent weeks, two professional basketball players opened up about their struggles with mental illness. One player revealed he suffers from an anxiety disorder, one which led to a panic attack which hospitalized him in the midst of a game. The other player detailed some of the gory details of his depression, details like struggling to get out of bed and/or spending most of the day in bed without energy to face the day.

While I don't have an anxiety disorder, I certainly related to the player with depression. And like many across the sports world, I applaud these players for letting this piece of their overall health come to light. Each player, after all, stated the response he's gotten to his revelation has been overwhelmingly positive. How nice for them.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very pleased these two players have come out of the proverbial closet. Shedding any light on mental illness is extremely important, especially when the light is revealed by men of tremendous privilege, adoration, skill and wealth. Maybe these two instances will wake people up to the fact that anyone, regardless of their circumstances, can get sick.

Wouldn't it be nice if those of us without multi-million dollar contracts got the same loving, hero-worshiping treatment when we revealed our own mental struggles? Wouldn't it be great if us working stiffs also had access to on demand services, top notch medication management, and employer accommodations? Twitter feeds filled with congratulations for our bravery, rather than avoidance of our weakness, would also be welcome. Wouldn't that be nice?

One day... Maybe one day when each of us reveals we, too, have a mental illness, our revelation won't require anxious hand wringing, carefully worded downplaying of the seriousness of our condition, loss of financial security, and uncomfortable social isolation. Wouldn't that be nice? I pray the recent professional player revelations will push the door open to such "overwhelmingly positive" acceptance just a bit further. Every little bit helps.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Depending on the statistic you believe, as many as every fourth person you meet has some kind of mental illness. I'm sure we outnumber left-handed people, for example, many times over. Yet our struggles are still shunned and shamed. How can this be when there are so many of us?

I don't reveal my depression (and PTSD). Few people who know me know about it, and my employer certainly doesn't. It's still nearly a crime to have a mental illness.

I fear that the respect these athletes are getting for speaking up is directly related to their celebrity. People WANT to like these people and will find ways to do so. The rest of us, not so much.

Patrick said...

Interesting points about those athletes. Good that in recent years some celebs are 'coming out 're ment illness -but their lives are so different from ordinary people-as was said more or less-here. They seem to live in rarefied worlds. But maybe-it does help to slowly break down ignorance and prejudice. Very. Slowly.

I get bad depression and always have to make a call as to being 'out' or not in different settings. Sure am not alone in that. Still so much silence and shame attached to mental illness.

On another note-my pet hate? People who drone on about minor, temporary physical ailments. You have a cold? Whatever!
Have often felt like saying this-esp when I'm feeling low as hell and suicidal.
Sorry-just how I feel...



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