A Life of Major Depression By Kerri S. Johnson

Mental Health/Aging Resources & Advocacy asked Author Kerri S. Johnson for
permission to share her experience with Major Depression. She graciously consented to allow us to publish it. It is hoped that by
sharing we assist others in learning what Major Depression is and to
offer support to those living with Major Depression.

What is Major Depression?

Major depression is also known as clinical depression, major depressive illness, major affective disorder and unipolar mood disorder. It involves some combination of the following symptoms: depressed mood (sadness), poor concentration, insomnia, fatigue, appetite disturbances, excessive guilt and thoughts of suicide. Left untreated, depression can lead to serious impairment in daily functioning and even suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers believe that more than one-half of people who die by suicide are experiencing depression. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and represents a global public health challenge. According to the World Health Organization, it is the forth-leading contributor to Global Burden of Disease, and by 2020, depression is projected to be the second-leading cause. Devastating as this disease may be, it is treatable in most people. The availability of effective treatments and a better understanding of the biological basis for depression may lessen the barriers that can prevent early detection, accurate diagnosis and the decision to seek medical treatment.

Lorraine Currelley, MS MHC, CT

This comment was posted on a friend of Kerri S. Johnson’s fb post. She says, “It started out as a description to what I have felt.” “In my battle with this deadly condition.” “It is a shout out to the spirit of Robin Williams, and all of us that continue this battle.” “It became a poem.” “The first that I will post to this new space.” “For poems I nurse.” “For poems about my nursing experience.”

The Life of Major Depression

Not a choice. Or a decision. Or a goal. Or a lack.

It can come up on you. Take a hold of you so gradually. Even with medications. Even with counseling. Even with all of the walking and talking and loving and extra living some of us do to battle it back off of us.

And the worst thing in the world is to have really battled it a first big time. Really put in the work. Stopped self medicating with alcohol or drugs. Sought the help. Changed our whole world around. And overcome it. Get from under its dark, suffocating weight. See our life as beautiful again. See the world as worthwhile to keep pushing it. Set up routines of contentment. Set up our life so that we stay on top of this thing. Be doing EVERYTHING possible in our lives to stay positive and productive citizens. And mentally healthy.

And then it creeps back. Takes us over again. Slowly suffocating us. AGAIN?!?!? And even when we manage to beat it back during the daylight hours. When we engage with the world. When we are actively working on rewiring our brains. With life. Working at a job we love. Engaging with people we enjoy and love. Going to therapy. Taking our medications. It is the late night hours. And the wee early morning hours. When we find our selves. Truly alone. And we either can not get to sleep. Or we can not stay asleep. When there is no one else around. Or awake.

But me. And my thoughts. And this thing pressing down. Trying to suffocate me. The weight of it. Sometimes does not lift with meditation. Sometimes doesn’t lift with thinking about all you have to live for. Actually, that weight – dark can be pressing down on you so hard. That you can not think!! About anything else but getting it off of you.

It can be pressing down so hard. In the wee hours. When there is just you. And nothing standing between you and it. No noise. No light. No person lying in the bed next to you that you can reach out and grab hold of. To anchor you here. Til the wee hours pass. Sometimes. You just stop fighting.

To Follow Kerri S. Johnson on Face book at Kerri Nursing Poems”

┬ęCopyright Kerri S. Johnson 2014. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author is strictly prohibited.