**I must preface this by saying I do not claim to be a psychologist, psychiatrist, or health professional of any kind. I speak only from my limited personal experience. Furthermore, my husband has discouraged me from writing about certain things here; but this is my blog, and my space. And if you judge me for what I'm about to say, then you're not the sort of person I need in my life.**
Depression is an ugly monster. He has chased me before, and despite a brutal battle, I emerged victorious, though bruised and badly beaten.
Ten or twelve years went by and life was incredible. I met and married the love of my life, gave birth to twin girls when I thought I'd never be able to become a mother, and I've been really happy.
But suddenly, I met my match: a tiny little gland in my neck called a thyroid. Turns out this little dude is responsible for everything from our metabolism to our mood swings. Several months ago, I started noticing changes in myself while undergoing fluctuations in my thyroid hormone levels. I began to feel sad, irritable, tired, restless, and depressed. I had no energy. I felt worthless and hopeless. I lashed out at my loved ones, I withdrew into myself, and I cried a lot, often without a particular reason.
There is no shame in depression. It's a disease caused by chemical imbalances in the brain (as well as thyroid problems). It's not something you can simply "snap out" of on a whim. And if I can reach people by talking about my experience, then maybe I will save someone from suffering needlessly. Perhaps one less person won't feel as alone or scared anymore. Maybe someone will read this and a lightbulb will go off.
If you can relate to these feelings or if it sounds like someone you love, then depression could be the cause. But help is out there, and you shouldn't be afraid to reach out and ask for it. Counseling and/or medication can go a long way. There is no shame in depression. Shame is created by silence. If we kick the quiet to the curb, we can potentially change the way the world views this debilitating disease.
I suffer from depression, and I AM NOT ASHAMED.