Marriage and Family Therapist
Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross is a licensed psychotherapist with almost twenty years of clinical experience in the fields of clinical psychology and organizational management. She has worked extensively with a wide variety of…
For Those Who Suffer with Depression, the Key is to Reach Out
Posted in Depression by Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross on Aug 23, 2012
The sad news about director Tony Scott’s suicide came, as these stories often do, as a horrible shock to many. Maybe it wasn’t as surprising to those who knew him intimately, I have no idea, but to many who had worked with him or just knew of him, it was unexpected.

I suppose this is because unlike so many other celebrities or public figures, Scott hadn’t made his emotional life public. So often this is the case for people who suffer with depression. The disease itself creates a state of darkness and the shame that often accompanies its presence can exacerbate the already intense sense of loneliness.

People who suffer with depression often do so in silence, afraid of being a joy kill, afraid of being shunned. It takes a great deal of self-esteem and self-confidence to disclose to others one’s internal battle, and both of those traits are in short supply with depression sufferers.

More and more celebrities and politicians have come forward to reveal their personal struggles. People such as Jim Carey, Lady Gaga, Jessie Jackson Jr., Patrick Kennedy, to name just a few, have bravely shared their stories. This has had a tremendous impact on the general awareness about the disease. It has given people the idea that they are not alone. This simple notion, the concept that someone else can relate to what you are feeling, is sometimes all it takes to motivate a person to seek help.

Another revolutionary tool in the fight against depression has been the use of the Internet. Community forums and sites, like DailyStrength, have provided a place for people who suffer from depression to gather and share their experiences. They help to reinforce the idea that just as the darkness may be a sure thing in one’s life, so too is the light that always follows at some point. It gives people the hope they need to hold on through the rough patches.

Not only do community forums provide that crucial sense of hope but they can also provide very practical tools for managing mental health symptoms. For some people relief may lie in the use of medication and for others it is on-going therapy. For many, it is both. Just as anyone learns to manage their moods and cope with difficult days, so too can someone who suffers from depression, but the task is considerably more challenging. Hearing how others have muddled through can inspire you make that call or appointment that could eventually lead to some emotional relief.

The most important thing a person who suffers from depression can do is to ask for help. It is from there that healing can begin. More than other times in history, there are many available resources, even for those who feel completely isolated and alone. There are hotlines, support groups and Internet resources that are free and available to everyone.

If you are suffering from depression and have had thoughts of suicide, you need to know that there is help out there and that there is a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. With help you can eventually live a productive and happy life.

Here are some helpful links if you are in need:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
American Psychiatric Association

- Cyndi


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People have differing opinions regarding anti-depressants. As for me, finally finding the right meds saved my life. I just wish I hadn't suffered so many years. I was in my 60's and am crippled from a suicide attempt, so the help came too late, BUT at least the last 5 years of my life haven't been agony. I recovered from bipolar and generalized anxiety, panic attacks, etc. with Zyprexa and Cymbalta. I am thankful that for ME, the meds were the solution.
By LivingWater  Aug 29, 2012
I don't know what chemicals are in anti-depressants but I believe it's a hormone imbalance and possibly Estrogen. God gave us vitamins, hormones, anzymes but they want to treat us with other stuff. I knew that I was low on hormone and that most likely caused the depression. I knew also that events in my life make me sad but not depressed so it was a hard decision to make. Then I learned that an anti-depressant only masks the problem. So when I stop taking it, the depression will still be present. I needed a cure not a masking agent!
By energylost  Aug 29, 2012
LOOKING at my face, I clearly looked depressed BUT the doctors didn't care. I can spot a depressed person by their face even if I don't know them. Doctors should take more of an interest in their patients so they can help them better.
Once doc was very MEAN & nasty to me because she wanted to force me to take an anti-depressant and I wouldn't. She said i a very mean tone, I can't help you anymore"!
By energylost  Aug 29, 2012
For years, I din't know that I was depressed. I thought that if I can laugh at a good joke, smile once in a while for a second, function outa bed by going to work and making errands BUT I still felt kinda strange. I felt very lazy, didn't want to socialize, I got happiness or joy out of nothing. It took me about 6 months to figure it out once I thought that something was kinda wrong. But I had been depressed for at least 5 Yrs+! The doctors probably knew it but didn't want to help. You can't escape being depressed with HYPOthyroidism!! I didn't know that!!
By energylost  Aug 29, 2012
First of all, I think the doctors DON'T get it; they don't get on how to treat it. Sometimes a person MAY NOT know they are depressed so they go on barely funtioning, the kind that you can function outa bed. And then when you do notice, the drs. treat it wrong, possibly. In my case, being hypo caused the depresssion; I WASN'T depressed because of some event in my life--it was the Disease!! Then they wanted to shove anti-depressants my way when I NEEDED hormone.
By energylost  Aug 29, 2012
Depression is very dangerous than many other types of disease. People who is suffering from depression die in every moment. Thanks for sharing nice post.
By esmale  Aug 27, 2012
Yeh, I agree with the pepperman. Good article though. Keep 'em coming Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross.
By nickleplated  Aug 25, 2012
Reaching out is good, but reaching out to people who GET IT is even better. Book learning and general compassion are good, but nothing beats talking to somebody who has suffered the same (well, similar) thing you have.
By ThePepperMan  Aug 25, 2012
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