Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 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!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Voice from the Other Side

A few years back I wrote a post which contained a letter to our friends and family members. It is a post which apparently resonated with a lot of people, as it has been viewed a lot. A few days ago I read a post which resonated with me, and I think it pairs with my friends and family post quite well. So, if you'd like, check out my post, entitled Dear Friends and Family. Then check out this very well written post. It is a voice from the other side of the fence, not a perspective often heard, and I loved it. I'd love to hear what you think as well.


Eva said...

I have always loved you post for your friends and family. I have showed it to a couple of mine when I had no words to explain myself.
Erin Strouts post brought tears to my eyes when I just read it. I will show it to some of my friends and family too. Thank you for sharing.

addiction blog said...

I didn't know so many people suffer from depression worldwide. It just goes to show that so many people still need help and they might not be getting it. I personally have a blog about anxiety, depression and addiction.

Anonymous said...

"Pretend I have cancer"???? Seriously?? Having struggled with depression for my entire life, your posts have really resonated with me over the years. However as someone who now also has cancer, I find your comparison really offensive. I had no idea what a a cancer diagnosis and treatment was really like until I had to go through it myself. You don't like people minimising depression. Please don't minimise cancer.

etta said...

@ Anonymous: I’m sorry. However, I think there’s a pretty big misunderstanding going on here. Nowhere in this blog have I ever, ever suggested that people with mental illness pretend they have cancer or any other type of illness. In fact, this blog is about standing up and talking about mental illness in order to reduce the stigma surrounding it.

I’m assuming the line you quote comes from my post, Dear Friends and Family. This post is written as a letter to those close to us, to explain our illness and to offer suggestions for how our friends and family might help when needed.

If you look again, you’ll see that I am not asking you, the person with mental illness, to pretend you have cancer. I’m asking our friends and family, if they are at a loss as to how to help, to do the things they would automatically do for a friend or relative with cancer, “or any other debilitating illness.” I go on to explain what some of those things could include; make a meal, mow my lawn, help with laundry, or just sit with me. I’m suggesting our friends and family members, “Do anything you would do for a loved one having difficulty caring for themselves due to any illness.”

People automatically see cancer, MS, and other debilitating “physical” illnesses as significant, frightful, and deadly. They jump in to help. I’m educating our friends and family members that mental illness is no different. We need help, too. Rather than minimizing cancer, as you suggest, I’m highlighting just how terrifying, debilitating, and deadly it is while arguing that mental illness may be just as terrifying, debilitating, and deadly. Hence, we will benefit from assistance as well.

Thank you for reading. I’m sorry you are now battling cancer, too. Stay strong. I hope the explanation above helps clarify things.