My brother was depressed and committed suicide when I was in high school and my dad did last year. I have an immediate family member suffering from depression and I myself am suffering from depression.
In high school after my brother died, I don’t know if it was situational depression or not, but I thought that I was the only one having these feelings and I was embarrassed to talk about it. I just kept it all inside because you see the outward appearance of everybody, like everybody is fine. You don’t know. Then I went to college, [my brother] died my senior year [in high school] and I started talking to a counselor there. When I started sharing my feelings I felt a little better about it. I realized that I wasn’t the only one that has had [these] feelings.
With my dad’s suicide last year, I don’t know if it is situational depression or the grieving process, [but] counseling helps. I would go initially once a week, then once every couple of weeks and now once a month. Now I am going more often because I had an immediate family member who has attempted suicide this fall.
[In counseling] you can get strategies and put things in perspective. I also learned a lot from [my therapist] because of course you have survivor’s guilt with suicide. My dad was the most amazing man that ever lived and I wondered how he could do this to our family. My therapist said, “You know when you have depression you have tunnel vision. So all the outside forces and people that care about you, you don’t really see.” For one thing, you don’t really see all the outside people that really care about you.
I’m so positive, even though I have depression, because life is so precious and I really try to see the good. There have been a lot of things in my life that could have made me a little darker in how I approach life. But I think that with medication as well as counseling, I am managing my depression well. As a 48 year old woman, I am a lot more confident with myself.