It took me almost a year to build up the courage to finally share my battle with depression.  For many years I lived in POINTLESS shame about it.  Eventually, it got worse.  I started writing poems about it.  I have been exhausted by it.  I have wondered if it will ever go away.

Last year, I partnered with two organizations: Help for Depression and To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) to help raise $15,000 for depression awareness.

It has affected me, our marriage and our children deeply.  It’s important to me to do any awareness raising that I can.  Healthline sent me this infographic to share and it was a no-brainer…

Depression statistics infographicI

healthline.com

Depression freaking sucks.  If you have struggled with it or know anyone who has please share this post.  Perhaps there is someone who can find hope in my story.

Depression is treatable  and there IS NO SHAME in battling it all.

How has depression affected your life or those you love?

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  • Monica

    Another great infographic presentation from you. This time I’m really hurt to see that. Although in the 1st world peoples purchasing power, social security is in a great level, the magnitude of depression is quite high. Which sometimes results in violence like shooting.

    • https://gracesandra.com Grace

      Monica, yes money/social security & other “luxuries” don’t always lead to happiness. America is the best place to prove that…we have all the money and all the power and are the most depressed people on the planet.

  • Jill

    Depression MAY be a first-world problem. It may not be. It may be that other countries experience depression at similar levels too, but just don’t have the social, governmental, educational, medical, or fiscal ability to express what it is that they’re feeling.

    It seems to me to be a moot point to debate whether or not depression is a 1st world problem. The point is, many of us in the U.S. have depression, and fighting over whether or not it’s “appropriate” for us to have it is stupid. I don’t think that’s what you’re doing by posting this graphic, Grace, but there are droves who tell us, “What do you have to be sad about (when compared to the rest of the world)? Just be happy!”

    But that’s why depression is so insidious. I don’t know why I’m unhappy (or in my case, have no motivation to do anything without medication), but I am. Some of it is related to cerebral palsy, some of it is related to my past, some of it is related to my environmental surroundings, and some of it is probably my inherently sinful, lazy nature.

    The point is, medication treats whateva it is that I got. With Wellbutrin, I am a better ME. I’m not a different me, but I am a truer version of myself. And when I’m on a medication that works, I have a better relationship with God, because my life isn’t colored by “woe is me.”

    Dang, depression is complicated. Still a good graphic, but for those of us with depression, we need to educate others on just how complicated this mood disorder is.

    • https://gracesandra.com Grace

      Jill, yeah you make a lot of really good points. Who REALLY knows but the Lord himself right? I agree with you about the idea about who it’s “appropriate” for or not. Mostly, I wanted to post the graphic to help folks think about it more often, to understand it’s a BIG ass problem and to not minimize those of us who have it as ‘weak.’ I’m so thankful that you feel empowered to be on anti-depressants —they totally work, man!!! Actually, I think I need to get back on them! Anyway, like most other diseases of the body, mind or spirit…I hate it and long for the day when the Lord makes all things new.

      • Jill

        I too, long for the day when everything is right with my body and spirit. A few weeks ago, I wrote this in an email to the women in my family:

        “Depression is a horrible, nasty, awful thing, and I hope none of you ever experience it. I hurt emotionally so much right now, and I honestly don’t even know why. I really don’t. I have no true reason to feel like the 500-pound gorilla is jumping up and down on my chest. (He’s really enjoying it by the way).” Of course, that was before I switched meds, and what a difference they made. My point is Grace: I know how you feel and what you’re going through, at least on some small level. My prayers are with you often, because of your depression. My depression, more than my CP, keeps me running back to God. I’ve reached the tentative conclusion that God gave me both CP and depression because he knew CP wouldn’t be enough to make me need him! I’m one stubborn, independent girl, what can I say?

        But I long for the day when God will make all things new. I often wonder what that’s going to be like. I just hope God hands me a pair of Christian Leboutins and says, “You been waiting a long time to be able to wear (and walk) in something like these! Have at it!”

        Anyway, it IS a good graphic Grace. If anything, it does show how complicated depression is, since the graphic highlights yet another racial and economic divide. It’s hard to even guess at what the antecedent [cause] for such a correlation could be. Why Lord, why? How long will you allow such injustice and brokenness?

        And it totally sucks to try and find a medication that works. This is the fourth one I’ve been on, but two of them totally didn’t work, and actually made the depression worse. And there were about four years where I wasn’t on anything. Since my depression is so environmentally dependent, if you change my surroundings, my symptoms will change. And I moved here to Muskegon, and guess what? Different symptoms. Lived that way for ten months probably. Lovely. Not worse. Just different, so it has to be treated differently. Depression is a delicate interplay of environment and chemicals, and depending on who you are, one will influence your mood more than the other. So, what I’m saying is, if you’re not on meds now because your previous one stopped working, try a different one. It could be that your brain chemicals/environment/both has changed, and you need to adjust accordingly. And some of them are dirt cheap! Mine is.

        Alright, enough rambling. Ignore the crazy woman in the corner…love you!

        • https://gracesandra.com Grace

          Jill, ugh, that letter is heartbreaking! =( I get it though. You’ve had years of the collective message that our society sends to people who have battles like yours. Depression is bound to wind up all in your psyche. I think that’s true of so many of us…too many wounds…too much pain for too long. when I think about the abuse I faced or some of my friends who were gang raped or beated by fathers and such it’s no wonder we are all on anti depressants. the human spirit is strong and wills to survive, yes but we carry these gaping wounds…life long. And maybe your right, they push us force us almost right into God’s arms. Anyway, aobut the meds…you make a really interesting point, I hadn’t thought too much about my environment. when I started them it was when I started WTS full time and they worked GREAT! but post my full time sabbatical year at WTS, and post the 2nd child they started failing me. we responded by upping my dose but it was disasterous. I prolly should try a new or different kind. i need to be able to swallow pills –that would make my life sooo much easier! anyway, as usual, I heartily enjoy our dialogue!!1 =)

  • Anonymous

    I’ve “battled” depression since my teens. Now at 36, the depression has only gotten worse with time.
    My antidepressant dosage is very high. I have everything a person could want, but am always unhappy.
    My life is depression, and I’m in hell.