Dealing with Depression
"I was just miserable. I didn't know why. That's why I thought I was different from the rest of the world," said Grace Reichart.
It's a feeling that stayed with her for more than 50 years.
Reichart describes living a dread filled life.
Her mother verbally abused her and her father completely ignored her once she became a teenager.
"He use to call me his little monkey. Yea I was his monkey. He would put me out when he wanted to play or show other people how nice I was. make everybody laugh. The he shoved me back in the cage," said Reichart.
The misery carried on as she got older.
"The only time my daughter and husband spoke to me was to beat me verbally," said Reichart.
What Reichart didn't know at the time was that she was suffering from depression. Something she now knows how to describe.
"Totally alone. Always feeling there is something wrong. There is something wrong. All kinds of pills I am taking. The doctors told me.
Hopeless. Despair. This is never going to change. You don't think you can go on. If it wasn't for Carolyn and god, I would've given up a long time ago," said Reichart.
Carolyn West is Reicharts counselor.
Reichart started visiting west in 1998 when she came in for marriage counseling.
"She knew she felt bad, but she didn't know why and that's quite a few people. They know they don't feel good," said Carolyn West.
Depression can be caused by abuse, losing a loved one, stress, sudden change, a difficult relationship and family history of depression.
Doctor Diane Daniels is the Chief Clinical Officer of The Centers in Marion County.
"People don't realize depression can kill. It can kill people because if left untreated you can get to the point of becoming suicidal. Some people may even become homicidal, so it's not something that you want to leave unattended to," said Daniels.
Depression can be found in all ages.
Daniels said she is seeing it in one particular age gorup.
"Seniors are living on their own, moving away from their family support. They are on fixed incomes so they don't have a lot of the mobility to do. They have health problems," said Daniels.
Some symptoms adults show when dealing with depression are low energy, inability to work and isolating themselves.
School Psychologist for the Marion County School Board Juan Lopez said the symptoms are very different in children and teenagers.
"They tend to be more irritable, kind of moody, can be distracted, hyper active. So you really have to be attuned to behavioral changes," said Lopez.
Lopez said children and teens usually don't seek help.
Instead they depend on an adult. Whether it be a parent, a relative or a teacher.
"About 2 to 3 percent of kids at any given time are suffering form depression. Meaning in each of our schools for every 100 kid we have three kids that are at this very moment struggling with symptoms of depression," said Lopez.
The good news about depression is that it's very treatable and there are success stories out there.
Take Reichart as an example.
She now lives her life laughing, something she never did before.
"Everything is a joy to me because I never felt it before. I am acting like a teenager," said Reichart.
She hopes others will overcome an illness she lived with most of her life.
"Don't give up. Don't give up. Even though it seems hopeless. Don't give up," said Reichart.
If your loved one refuses to get treatment, there is still a way you can help.
you can seek education about depression by contacting the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
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