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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Gut Feeling.”

I used my gut feeling last night and wrote a post about mental illness and those who have had a mood disorder or depressive episode. It was my hope that it would help someone not feel so alone, but it is a gamble. People could read the post or might find it too serious and stop reading my blog. That is scary.

To me, that is what following a gut feeling is. You feel a drive, an urge, a voice prodding you along and even though you don’t know how it will turn out, you leap into the unknown and try anyway. It takes strength and courage to follow an instinct or intuition that only you experience but you take a deep breath and believe.

Will it work out? I don’t know yet. But, I still hope that I will be able to help someone along the way.

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show kindness

Whenever I defend someone with depression, anxiety, mood disorders or mental illness, I get slapped with more labels than a Walmart rollback.

One of the hallmarks of Depression is two weeks of unrelenting Sadness.

So, let’s get something straight. Almost everyone you know has experienced anxiety, a depressive episode, or more severe mood disorder. In fact, there are certain circumstances that can cause one:

Anyone who has been a veteran and seen active combat

Anyone has buried someone they love

Anyone who has ever had a baby

Anyone who has ever had a miscarriage

Anyone who has ever been pregnant

Anyone who has ever had heart disease

Anyone who has ever had cancer

Anyone who has ever had fibromyalgia, arthritis or dozens of other “invisible illnesses”

Anyone who has ever lost a job

Anyone who has ever begun a job

Anyone who has ever had a toxic boss or coworkers

Anyone who has ever moved

Anyone who has ever been homeless

Anyone who has ever known hunger

Anyone who has ever been married

Anyone who has ever been divorced

Anyone who has ever suffered heartbreak

Anyone who has mourned a loss or suffered from grief

Anyone who has ever had obsessive thoughts

Anyone who has ever had a drug or alcohol addiction

Anyone who has had a dysfunctional family

Anyone who has ever been adopted

Anyone who has ever been separated

Anyone who has ever been lonely, bullied, shamed, or excluded

Anyone who has ever hit puberty or menopause

Anyone who has ever had anesthesia or surgery

Anyone who has ever struggled to pay their bills

Anyone who has ever faced eviction

Anyone who has ever been robbed or scammed

Anyone who has ever suffered from abuse or rape

Anyone who has ever suffered from dementia

Anyone who has ever suffered from chronic pain

Anyone who has ever suffered from a terminal illness

Anyone who has a genetic relationship with someone who has had anxiety, depression or a mood disorder

Anyone who is currently experiencing any one of the above circumstances

Anyone who will be experiencing any one of the above circumstances

Anyone related to anyone who has, or will be experiencing, one of the above circumstances

Anyone who is taking medication or recreational drug meant to suppress, effect or increase serotonin, norepinephrine, gaba pain receptors, dopamine, or stimulate other parts of the brain including the pleasure and reward centers

If you are Happy, Happy, Happy, but have a 2 Drink 2 Valium minimum during stressful times, you are experiencing anxiety and using anti-anxiety medication

Even the Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths who are feeling no pain suffer from a Major Mental Illness that has gone untreated

Anyone who has ever had Anxiety, Depression, or a Mood Disorder and been treated has tried to Heal, Restore, Reflect, Improve, Function, and Adopt Positive thoughts and Lifestyle changes.

If you have been on anti-anxiety, or antidepressant medication, and you call someone else “crazy”, you are forgetting that you have had more advantages than most and could use your experience to help comfort or empathize with someone else

If you have any more labels left over, I suggest you use them to wrap up your packages and give everyone else a break.

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If you have read down to the bottom, thank you for your patience and reading my post.
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10 Comments

  1. 9 Comments

    ittymac
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:36 am
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    Well said! Bite that, rude insensitive ones! 😊

    theempathyqueen
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:42 am
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    Thank you! Laughing but you have got the right tone!

    ashokbhatia
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:40 am
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    An exhaustive list of causes. But there are times a bout of depression may hit an unsuspecting souls without any apparent reason. Dig deeper, and you could find the faint murmur of an expectation which is not getting fulfilled.
    This is what Bertie Wooster would have to say:
    ‘A short while ago, the air was congested with V-shaped depressions, but now one looks north, south, east and west and descries not a single cloud on the horizon – except the fact that Gussie’s wedding is still off, and that can’t be helped. Well, this should certainly teach us, should it not, never to repine, never to despair, never to allow the upper lip to unstiffen, but always to remember that, no matter how dark the skies may be, the sun is shining somewhere and will eventually come smiling through.’
    (The Code of the Woosters)

    ashokbhatia
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:41 am
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    My apologies for an inadvertent grammatical error in the comment above.

    theempathyqueen
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:44 am
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    Thank you for sharing the Code of the Woosters with me. I have not read the books but keep saying that I will one day. Laughter is a wonderful antidote to many daily maladies.

    Sammy Silva
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:53 am
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    I have been affected in my life by both a sociopath (ex fiancé) and a borderline (daughters mother)… They have been and were always relentless in trying to make my life impossible. I’m not perfect either and we all have our days. All I can say is that I pray for them. Great post and thanks for sharing.

    theempathyqueen
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 4:08 am
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    Sammy, thank you for sharing and your honesty. People forget the collateral damage to those who love others with untreated or unremitting mental illness. Peace.

    DailyMusings
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:29 am
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    Well said! 🙂

    theempathyqueen
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 12:05 pm
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    Thank you. <3. I did not know if I should post it, I was really concerned. But decided to in hopes that it will help someone else. I can only hope.

  2. Thanks

  3. More than near anything, I trust and appreciate my intuition. It is a blessing that I have learned to cherish and value.

    I love your closing thought re: using labels to wrap packages. So kind and subtly direct (and yes, I recognize my word choices as oxymoronic). 🙂

    • Eric I have no problem with your words ever. Besides, I know that I am in the company of another officer in the corps of Grammar Police 🙂

  4. I too loved your closing thought. I am tired of people who look at mental illness as being crazy and then discriminate against others.

    • Thank you Suz. Yes, I know people who do that. They deflect or act like they have never had a difficult period when they needed support. There are so many tests and struggles, we all need support, not shame and stigma.

      ok…gently backing away from the soapbox 🙂

  5. Depression can strike at any one of us.. And I know… I suffered depression from my teens.. And had a total nervous breakdown in the 90’s..Thankfully I had wonderful support from family and friends.
    You did right in going with your Gut instinct.. So often those suffering from mental illness’s are swept under the carpet.. and misunderstood..
    And do gooders who tell those suffering to Pull themselves together just have no idea how that feels..

    Later in life I changed career paths and became a support worker looking after those with Learning Difficulties and for the last 4 yrs I worked in Mental Health as a support worker…

    Many thanks for your post awareness of this subject is much needed..

    Love and Blessings
    Sue xx

    • Sue, I cannot tell you how special you made me feel with your comment. There are so many circumstances and triggers. People who never had any symptoms suddenly suffer from postpartum depression…..and there are so many underserved veterans who need much more support and medication that they can afford……that whole 2 week of sadness, nonsense? I still grieve and cry over my mother, so I agree with you. “Snap out of it” is like a slap in the face. Those people with whom you work are very fortunate to have someone so kind and understanding! 🙂

      • I think I went through my own depression so I could help others.. For the last 4 yrs I worked in Mental Health and going through my own tunnel helped me loads in dealing with people who self harmed and were suicidal.. So the Universe always has a plan,, even though often we do not see it when we are going through our own dark tunnels…

        I learnt late on in life that Happiness is something we all seek.. and so many in our world today are driven to seek Happiness in external things.. Be it jobs, possessions, a relationship etc.. We strive so hard and stress ourselves up in the seeking of it too.. not realising the pressure we build up internally which impacts upon our emotional bodies..
        For me it was my overworked career climbing running a home two children and what topped it was my Mother’s rejection..
        I awoke one morning crying after weeks of being weepy.. Hubby said go back to bed.. I did.. I woke up at 10am.. realising I had a meeting at work with a school party which were to visit the textile factory where I worked as Personnel and Training Officer, come quality controller, come Training Instructress come NVQ Assessor, come other duties which were pressed upon me over 3 factories. But I never said ‘NO’,, so was put upon as I gave 110% to my Job..
        So when I awoke that day, something just snapped within me,, as I ran around like a deranged wild woman not knowing how I could drive my car to get to work.. Thankfully a neighbour saw my distress and called my hubby home.. And a long 6 months off work to recover.. Needless to say I left that job of which I had climbed up in 13 yrs my tree from a machinist on the factory floor.. 🙂 Looking back… How that little Word we should all acquaint ourselves with more.. NO…. and YES to Self more..

        Many thanks again for your article .. And for listening to the outpourings.. We each have to Dig Deep within to pull out our Happiness Bubble.. And Keep them floating.. Many thanks for sharing your own bubbles of enlightenment too.. Hugs Sue ❤

  6. Sue, it is my pleasure to listen and learn more about you. You sound like a very special soul and I appreciate your sharing your experiences with me. Thank you. hugs to you ❤ You are a wise survivor


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