Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Terminal depression

There are a many things I hope my kids never get, like Ebola or your run-of-the-mill STD.
But the two things I really, really, REALLY hope they never get are childhood cancer and terminal depression.
Those two diseases are life-threatening, not always easily treatable, and likely to manifest themselves over and over during the course of a child's life.

There is a pretty good chance my kids will never get cancer (at least as children).
Or Ebola.
Or an STD.
But their chances of getting depression are pretty high, especially since their mother has a diagnosed mental health condition, and there have been other episodes of depression (or depressive tendencies) among family members.

I've never been clinically diagnosed with depression, although I suffered from it during my days of untreated anxiety.  Comorbidity is not uncommon when it comes to lots of diseases, including mental illness.  

It is not pleasant to remember those dark days, but I can't help but remember when I went to breakfast with friends when I was being treated, but the medication hadn't reached its full effectiveness yet.  I was more or less non-responsive.  Nothing was funny or enjoyable.  My usual jovial, chatty self wasn't there.  I felt like a shell of a person.

And unlike Robin Williams, I was not a good enough actor to convince people otherwise. 

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