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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Depression Hurts – A Personal Story

I took this picture of myself a couple years ago and did some photoshop to add a mood to it. I called it "paint it black"

I want to take this moment to lay off the makeup blogs and talk about something that’s been a part of my life and also relates to health and beauty.
I took my mother down to Chicago yesterday to see a doctor. She wanted an IV treatment as many people have told her that it made them feel better and gave them more energy. My mother is entering an age where her health is chronically weakening and I think she is very well aware of that. I have noticed her increase and interests for vitamins, medications, or whatever people claim to do any good to their health, she is willing to give it a try. By the way, she is 60 years old now.

When we got to the doctor’s office, I asked about the benefits of the IV treatment and the front desk clerk told me that it’s supposed to boost her energy, increase her appetite, and improve the blood flow; however, the benefits are temporary. He took down her health issues, information, and started the IV treatment. The process took about 4 hours.

We sat down afterward with the doctor and went over her medical history, her current medical condition, issues, and concerns. She just found out recently that she is anemic but we believe she must’ve had it for many years. She’s had high blood pressure for the past 5 years. She has arthritis on her arm, wrist, and fingers. She’s been experiencing a lot of pain on her neck, shoulders, radiating to her arms. She’s been insomniac since my father’s death, which is 24 years ago. She has also a severe case of depression and stress.
She told me to tell the doctor that she is willing to do anything or take anything to make the pain go away and being able to sleep at night. That’s when my heart felt a little tight.

I don’t know if she is even aware of it but all the problems and issues she stated to the doctor are mainly caused by depression. What she probably doesn’t know is depression is not something medicine can cure. Whatever they prescribe for depression are just relaxants or pills to control the hormone that’s being released due to depression. In my mind I was thinking aloud “mom, don’t waste your money on expensive medication and treatment…you need to start managing your depression and take control of it, that’s the only way you can make the pain go away!” Well, it’s easier said than done. For some of you communication between you and your parent might be a breeze but I find it very difficult with my mother and in most instances, I even avoid it. The reason for that is because she’s just a very difficult person to talk to, very stubborn, and her negative energy is beyond what I can handle. She’s always negative and I am not strong enough offer positive reinforcement because she’ll beat me to it with an overdose of depression injection. Depression is contagious. If you live with someone who is depressed or are around someone who is depressed, I guarantee you that you will also feel depressed. If you’ve been there, I’m sure you know what I mean.

There’s been time when I asked her “why are you depressed?” and she would reply “you’ll never understand! I’m depressed about everything!” Personally, I think she just thinks too much, has high expectations, and let’s everything get to her head. That’s how many Asian parents are, especially the older generation. Pride is one of their top priorities. She’s probably disappointed at everyone for not living up to her expectations, for not living the life she wished she could, for those who have hurt her…Angry at my father for leaving her behind with 6 small children, etc. I’m sure her list of disappointment is endless. I feel a little helpless. Me and siblings care and love her very much but sometimes it just seems it’s never enough no matter what we do. When you try hard to make someone’s life a little happier and they don’t seem to get better, it’s very discouraging and seems everything has been done in vain.

Anyways, to make this long story short, I just want to conclude that depression can affect and hurt everyone, even if you are not the one who is depressed. Depression starts with a traumatic life event and can cause many health issues such as high blood pressure, physical pain, insomnia, low energy, etc…When your state of mind is unhealthy, it takes a toll on your face. Depression can add years to your face and make you look older than you really are. People who are depressed have a shorter life expectancy. Depression can also affect your personal relationships with your partner, family, and friends. Believe me, me and my siblings have felt the wrath of depression through my mother. The only way you can overcome depression is talk about it, welcome positive support, manage your stress, be rational and reasonable with yourself and others, seek proper help, and take control of your life. Sometimes, all it takes is just a different perspective on life to turn everything around.
Don’t put your happiness in other people’s hands because if you do you will never be a happy person. Life is not perfect. People are not perfect.

Thank you for reading this long story. If you want to share any advice, tips, or personal story about depression, please feel free to do so. I still don't know what to do with my mother :(


  1. Depression really spreads. I think that when one person is depressed and they express it to another, it makes the other depressed too.
    I'm still in high school and I don't know too much but when my friends talk to me about their depression, I find they don't try to help themselves.
    It's like they're slowly drowning. Even though I try to help, I feel like they won't accept my help and won't try to change. I try to help but I really don't know how to. The only person that can help them are themselves.

    Good luck and stay strong! :)

  2. J you are right...the best person to help them is their own self but sometimes they need encouragement and support to make them see that.

  3. "The only way you can overcome depression is talk about it..." I think that last paragraph is so true! and I'm sorry to hear that you and your siblings are having to help your mom with her depression. I guess I don't really want to share my personal experience on here, but I will say that I wish I had gone to counseling and I still think about going. Sometimes opening up to someone can be very scary, but if you could get your mom to counseling I bet it would make a world of difference, her talking to someone she feels understands what she's going through : ) Thanks for sharing!

  4. You are exactly right, I had depression several years ago and I felt I took my depression out on my family. I took it out and use it an excuse on my husband and my daughter and it hurts me a lot because I had a miscarriage. But the only thing I could do is to look forward for the present days and cherish my husband and daughter. I'm not looking back and moving on of something that I can't control and thanks for sharing this.

  5. You are very brave for sharing your thoughts and for trying to do everything you can to make your mom feel better. It's very difficult to cope with someone who has depression, you have to be strong, because you have to know, she has the power to heal herself, and you have to accept her as the person she is, and you are so right when u say Don’t put your happiness in other people’s hands because if you do you will never be a happy person. Life is not perfect. People are not perfect. Focus on that so you won't put your selfesteem and happiness in other people's hands. Good luck.

  6. Thanks all for your support and thoughts.:)


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