I got a call from a friend a few weeks ago. She found out she was pregnant, and she was pretty sure she didn’t want to be. She is happily married to a wonderful man, but the question of having children has always haunted her. She was pretty sure she would make a lousy mother, and now, she has to find out. She has a lot of fears, and most of her friends have abandoned her because they don’t understand why she is so undecided about a child already growing inside of her. She will have her baby, but she doesn’t know how she is going to handle it. The other day I got a message from her, telling me I was all she had left in the way of friends, and that she has sunk into a major depression over the entire affair.
This story is not uncommon. It doesn’t have to be about pregnancy, it can be about anything. My friend has had bouts of depression her whole life, but this is the first bout of major depression she has had to face. She’s not leaving her house for anything other than work, and she is not really speaking to anyone. She’s trying, but this major depression has gotten the best of her. She’s a strong woman, but sometimes, that has little to do with the real situation.
There is a difference between major depression and situational depression, though I think she has both at the moment. Some people get depressed and it only lasts a few weeks and they are right as rain again. This is situational depression, and it usually clears up on its own. Major depression, on the other hand, lingers for quite a while, and is not always related to an event. If not dealt with, major depression can lead to suicide in some people.
If you think you are suffering from major depression, and it is affecting your life, you need to get to a doctor right away. The choice to take medications is up to you, but know that is not your only option. A qualified therapist may help you sort through your feelings, and give you exercises that may help you to life the fog from your mind and take the edge off of major depression. The important thing is that you do something. Take all of our options into consideration, but make sure you know that you are not alone, and that there is help out there for you. Just taking the first step towards finding help for major depression can bring about hope for a happier tomorrow.