Depression. This was the description about this condition on our Facebook page this morning:
Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad.”― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Gloria Rose-Saunders, a Director and Treasurer of Daughters of Sheba Foundation, suggested that we write about depression this week.
Not sure exactly what prompted her to want us to address this issue but it is a timely one.
Depression Riding With COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides in some places and rapidly spreads in others, its partner in crime, the silent plague we call “Depression” marches on. A quick glance of the latest news items on the subject of COVID-19 and Depression brings up the following.
- Covid-19 school closings linked to an increase in depression and suicide, study finds
- Experts worry about teen anxiety, depression during the COVID-19 lockdown
- Depression Symptoms 3 Times Higher During COVID-19 Lockdown
- Depression, anxiety spike amid COVID-19 pandemic and turbulent times
Do you notice a trend here?
Increasingly, children and young adults are being affected by COVID-19. Correct, they may not be dying in the numbers as seniors around the world. However, they are quietly suffering from the secondary plague.
Why then would any government or country’s leader be irresponsible and callous enough not to do whatever it takes to get this pandemic under control? It is slaughtering the emotional well-being of the next generation!
Depression Is Not A Game
Depression is an insidious condition. In 2007, I was diagnosed as clinically depressed. Months had passed with me not so quietly suffering the breakup of the longest-term relationship of my life. There is no need to rehash the details of events save to say that my life was a mess.
At first, I had no idea how to cope with the feeling of complete emptiness and loss. All I knew to do was copiously cry, sit quietly in the darkness of my room, sleep for hours on end after which insomnia would arrive and sleep would leave.
Friends tried to help. Eventually, they got fed up with me. They did not know how to help. Thoughts of driving my car over each bridge along my way to and from work frequented me. Life seemed totally meaningless. Nevertheless, not completely over with life, I kept my car on the road.
Alone, weighing 20 or more pound less than when the drama began, I tried to commit suicide twice.
African Americans share the same mental health issues as the rest of the population, with arguably even greater stressors due to racism, prejudice, and economic disparities. Meanwhile, many wonder why African Americans shy away from psychotherapy as a potential solution to challenges such as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, marriage problems, and parenting issues.” Monnica T Williams Ph.D.
She discusses why in this article in “Psychology Today.” Check it out.
Personal Trial and Challenges With Depression
Like so many people of colour and Jamaicans, as with African-Americans, therapy was not my thing. My friends continuously suggested finding a psychologist but I resisted. Only when threatened with the mental ward that it dawned on me to get help.
Black people as discussed in the aforementioned article, do not like going into therapy. I was no different. Every excuse that was known to man I gave. Friends recommended numerous counsellors were but I rejected every one. Until one, in particular, came to my attention did I acquiesce.
That woman literally saved my life! She first opened my eyes to where exactly I was precariously perched. Then she taught me immediate coping skills. Then we got into the deep stuff, including healthy boundaries, recognizing what is mine and what is not and how to stop catastrophizing.
Not Everything Is A Catastrophe
It was that last lesson that really started my healing process. Young people urgently need this lesson through this pandemic.
There are silver linings around every dark cloud.
We need psychologist and counsellors in every community impacted by COVID-19. People of colour are disproportionately being affected by the pandemic. We need an overflow of support services to these communities asap!
We here are not medical professionals. However, we have publicly shared our story with depression. We can at least be sounding boards for you or anyone who needs one.
Peace and Love,