Invisible diseases are the toughest to cope with, in my opinion. Invisible health issues, such as chronic pain, celiac disease, or fibromyalgia, are difficult for people to understand because they can't see them. They can't see the problems that they cause and the effects that they have. A cast on your arm is easy to understand. Scars on your skin are obvious to see. But something hidden, invisible - not so much.
This week, there was an article in the New York Times article that discussed a treatment for depression, called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. TMS isn't for everyone and it may not work for all who try it, but maybe someone who needs it will read about it and benefit from it. If we don't write articles and blog posts about depression and its treatment, people feel alone.
If I can help you take just one thing away from this blog post, it's that you understand that people with depression are everywhere and may be among those who you least expect it. If you have depression, it can be difficult to reach out. The reasons are so varied and so individual, but they can range from fear of being thought less of ("What does he have to be depressed about? Doesn't he know what real problems are, how lucky he is?") to fear ("If my boss finds out, I might get fired.") And even if people do want to ask for help, sometimes they don't know how.
Depression has many descriptions. I see it as a hole, a deep, deep hole. And once you're in it, unless someone lowers a ladder, you feel like you'll never get out. If you are depressed, ask someone for that ladder. If you know someone who is depressed, please offer it. Let that person know you're there and that you care.