Saturday, May 28, 2011


I read this and Hate to post it... If you feel you need help please speak to your doctor..

The information contained on this page is not intended to replace the services of a physician. Information on this web site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Depressionby Julie Jessen
Why couldn't I read the signs? It made perfect sense what the therapist said to me as she sat, sweetly smiling, in a chair across from me. "You're a classic case of clinical depression." You might add it was also a classic case of denial. Although depression had run in my family for generations, including my maternal grandfather, who desperately took his own life, and my mother, who was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was in college, I just didn't believe it was happening to me. In fact, I was determined not to let it happen to me. I saw what depression had done to my family. There was guilt and shame and secrecy associated with depression. Thankfully, that view of depression has changed dramatically in recent decades as more light has been shed on the taboo subject.

Depression is a common but serious medical condition that affects millions of people each year. Depression is an equal opportunity illness that can happen to men and women of any age, race, ethnic group, or economic level. Although, studies do show that depression occurs twice as frequently in women as in men. There are different types and causes of depression, including chemical imbalances in the brain, hormonal changes, or life events and situations, to name a few. Everybody gets a case of the "blues" at one time or another; it's just a fact of life. However, major depression, also called clinical depression, is a mental illness that can be diagnosed by a health care professional when a person demonstrates at least 2 weeks of depressed mood accompanied by additional symptoms of depression. Fortunately, in the majority of cases, it can be successfully treated.

Sadly, many people suffer with major depression but do not seek help. Why? It took me two years to finally get the help I needed. I was uninformed and did not recognize the signs, nor did I want to believe they were real. I was a skeptic when it came to clinical depression. I thought what I was experiencing was normal and would eventually pass. Yet, I continued in a downward spiral. I felt tired most of the time and lacked motivation. I suffered frequent headaches and stomachaches. I struggled with anxiety and coping skills. Concentrating and making decisions, big or small, was almost impossible. Thoughts of escape entered my mind and I wished the Lord would come and take me in my sleep. Knowing I needed to do something, I tried to "fix" myself. I made some changes that I thought would improve my spirits. I began to exercise on a regular basis and dropped 40 pounds. I volunteered my time to worthwhile causes. I prayed fervently and dug deep into the Word. Although these things are good, I still had an overwhelming sense of dread and hopelessness. The joy of living was gone. I believed it was because of my human weakness or lack of faith that I couldn't pull myself up by my bootstraps. From all outward appearances, my life was great. What did I have to be depressed about? Feeling guilty, I did my best to put on a smile and hide what I was going through from friends and family.

Then one day, while driving alone in my car, I imagined stepping on the gas pedal and slamming into a telephone pole on the side of the road. After talking to my husband, he strongly encouraged me to reach out for professional help. The Lord ordered my steps to a wonderful Christian therapist who has helped me understand this illness. "It's not your fault," she told me during one of our first sessions. That was exactly what I needed to hear! She was right. I didn't sign up for this. I wasn't being punished by God for something I had done. I wasn't a bad person and I wasn't going crazy. I was clinically depressed and needed treatment.

After finding the correct dosage of the right medication, combined with professional counseling, I am enjoying life again. The reason I share my story with you is to help dispel any myths or misconceptions about clinical depression. As with any illness, there is a healthy way to respond to it. Last year, a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn't try to deny or hide her illness, nor did she refuse treatment. She had a double mastectomy as well as chemotherapy and radiation. She faced it head on with courage and grace. She rarely complained and every time I saw her, she had a beautiful smile on her face. She willingly accepted the love and support from family and friends. Most importantly, she is now able to console and encourage other women who are facing the same disease. I want to be like my friend.

II Corinthians 1:3-5 reads, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." (NIV) Amen.

Julie Jessen currently live in Wilmington, North Carolina. She has been married to Steve, a general contractor, for 19 years and they have two daughters, Hannah 17 and Miriam 14. She enjoys volunteering as a mentor/counselor at Life Line Pregnancy Center and spending time with my family. 

Love you guys,
XoXo Nicole

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