by Lillian Csernica on June 28, 2015
I don’t like to think of myself as having a mental illness. For me, that conjures up images of people wearing straightjackets while they huddle inside padded rooms. Such images are inaccurate but all too common, thanks to horror movies and other sources that prefer shock value to realistic compassion. The fact is I do have a mental illness: Major Depressive Disorder. Most days I get up, get dressed, and go about my day in a fairly stable mood, laughing with my kids and taking care of business. Other days I shuffle around in my bathrobe, dragging myself through the essential tasks when all I want to do is hide under my blankets.
Yes, I talk about this a lot. It’s important to do so. Depression is hard enough to deal with when you have what most people would consider a “normal” life. I have two special needs children. I’ve met several of the parents of my sons’ classmates as the boys have gone from elementary school through junior high and high school. One of the things special needs parents most often have in common is depression. We struggle to keep it from affecting our children. That’s difficult, because special needs children and adults can be very sensitive to the emotional climate around them. They tune into their primary caregivers because those are the people they depend on to help them get through each day.
Let me share with you this article with its ten suggestions. I found it to be useful, reassuring, and proof that I have been doing some things right. There are days when that kind of validation is very precious.