Well, doingfine.org is officially launched.
I decided to set up this blog to give a name to the shadow that’s always lurking around the edges of my life, and to help myself (and hopefully others) talk about it in a constructive way.
I have been being treated for depression for about three years now, and I have probably had it for around ten. It is a physical disease that is prevalent among the women in my family. Untreated, it can have devastating consequences, as it did for my grandmother who committed suicide in 1968, four years before I was born. Mine is easliy managed through medication.
What bothers me most about the situation is the stigma of having to take medication that is misunderstood by the general public and frequently mde the butt of jokes. You’ve probably heard something along the lines of “the new soccer-mom Barbie comes with an SUV and a supply of Prozac,” or one of the seeming infinite variations of jokes about medications that are seen as “happy pills” for yuppies. Becuse of the stigma, people with depression don’t talk about having it.
One of my good friends has diabetes, and takes insulin every day. She doesn’t have to be worried about how she is perceived at work because of her dependence on medication, and people don’t expect her to “just get over it”. My husband is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma right now, and he doesn’t have to be embarrassed about being on chemotherapy. One of the goals of this blog is to help educate people about depression— my problems are just as physical as cancer and just as responsive to medical treatment as diabetes.
That being said, depression is something that’s always there in my life, even when it’s being managed with medication. The pills don’t change my personality, make me happy all the time, or give me a high. They work in very subtle ways, making me less frustrated with life in general and more willing to enjoy it. Some days are better than others.
But most days are good. Another, and probably the main, goal for this blog is to provide a voice for me and any other interested people who are living with depression, managing it well, and having fun. I think realizing that most people with depression are productive, fully-functioning members of society is the first step to overcoming preconceptions about the disease. Which will in turn lead to more accurate diagnoses and less stigma. Which will allow those of us with the disease to not feel pressured to keep an important part of our lives hidden from everyone but those closest to us.
What do you think?
Please give me some feedback on what you’d like to see here. I envision this as a place to house some facts about depression and treatment, but more importantly as a place for people with depression to show off their talents, express themselves creatively, and learn from each other. In other words, a way for us to show each other the ways in which we’re “doing fine”.