Depression and Silver Ribbons

Posted By on January 4, 2012

It was a week or two after my birthfather Mike passed away that I met my friend Ellen Delap for lunch.

She asked how I was doing, and I told her that I made an appointment with a therapist to deal with the depression I had sunk into during the past year.

“Oh, good,” she said. “So we don’t have to have that discussion today.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. I am lucky to have such a dear friend who would speak up and tell me that it was time to seek help, and it made me love her even more. With the help of my therapist and medication, it took a good year for me to make my way out of depression. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I started feeling better. No wonder my friends and family were worried.

Earlier this week, one of my favorite bloggers – The Bloggess aka Jenny Lawson who is absolutely hilarious and irreverent — chronicled her battle with depression, and her post generated a huge response from her readers both on her site and on Twitter. In the post, she shares her hope of seeing  more people wearing silver ribbons, the symbol for the public awareness campaign for brain disorders and disabilities, including depression.

As someone who has dealt with serious depression, I cheered. I have talked openly about my issues with depression on my blog, with my organizing clients, during presentations…. You get the idea. I never have claimed to be a woman of mystery. I realized, like the lovely Bloggess has, that when you talk about depression or any other chronic illness, you find out that you’re not alone. You are in good company.

When I’ve talked about my depression, several people were shocked. “You? Depressed?” Yes, me. Yes, I know I’m outgoing and funny, but funny people can be depressed. Depression doesn’t really have a poster child. We’re not always in the corner, rocking back and forth. We go to work, go to the grocery store, pay bills and other normal things.

Most of us, depressed or not, walk around with some sort of weight on our shoulders. We all have issues of some kind, and some are more noticeable than others. Just because someone isn’t walking with crutches or is bald from chemo doesn’t mean that they aren’t fighting their own battle.

If you’re dealing with depression, please get help. Don’t try to do it yourself.
There’s no shame in talking to a therapist or getting on medication.

Sometimes, we all need a little help. If you have a loved one who is dealing with depression, check in with them, tell them that you care and encourage them to seek help if they haven’t.

This weekend, I’m going to buy my own spool of silver ribbon. It’s the sign for warriors.



4 Responses to “Depression and Silver Ribbons”

  1. Julie Bestry says:

    Brava, Clutter Princess. Perhaps you should sell buttons and T-shirts that say, yes, “funny people can be depressed.” Thank you for sharing your message!

  2. Janice, re-read your welcome message; it’s the perfect companion piece to your post about depression and silver ribbons. I’m happy you reached out and got help and I’m even happier you are feeling better.

  3. Ellen Delap says:

    Powerful! I love that the more we share openly, the better we all are. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sheron says: