Depression - Let's talk about it!
It’s been a loooooong winter. With less daylight and more time spent inside due to weather, it’s easy to feel lonely and sad. Biologically we may feel depressed when we aren’t getting enough vitamin D (from the sun, etc). It’s normal to feel sad or low every now and again. It’s human nature. But imagine feeling that way all the time, thinking you are the only one feeling that way, and being too ashamed to share those feelings with family or ask for help. If that’s you, I can guarantee someone close to you knows exactly those same feelings. So why don’t we talk about it?
Deep, generational negative beliefs exist everywhere (and especially in Kidder County) about mental health issues – including depression and suicide. No one wants to talk about it. People think it’s a sign of weakness. They don’t want to burden other people with their problems or air their dirty laundry in public. Mental health diseases, including depression, are invisible. Often you cannot tell by looking at someone that they are struggling. If someone experiences pain from breaking their leg or having a heart attack, there is no question they need to seek medical help immediately. And they do! However, if someone has mental pain or a biological chemical imbalance causing depression, is going to the doctor their first thought? Or do they just wait it out since “it will pass”? These are the situations we need to start talking about and normalizing so everyone is comfortable seeking appropriate care.
Imagine how less alone you would feel if you DID share your feelings with someone else and they said, “Yea, I feel the same.” A conversation could start – what ways helped them, where did they go, what did they do, etc. You would feel validated, seen, and realize you are not alone.
Together as a community we can do this – we can start talking to each other and supporting each other through these hard times. Even something as simple as checking on your neighbor – giving a neighbor a call or a visit once a week can make a difference. Chances are if you are experiencing something, there is someone else nearby going through the same thing.
Over the next couple weeks, look for articles here addressing mental health concerns. Follow us on Facebook for more information. And visit our website: kiddercountyhealth.com for videos and additional resources, specifically for rural farmers experiencing depression. You can always call our office at 475-2582 and we can lead you in the right direction on where to get help for you or a loved one.