Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Sins of the Mother

As if Mondays weren’t bad to begin with, the other day I saw this little number on the NYTimes website. It basically tells how Sylvia Plath’s son committed suicide recently. Oh man, this totally bums me out – I mean, really how can you not be with such a topic?

But what really upsets me about this article is how much people don’t understand about depression. This poor man had it in his genes and the genetic setback of his mom affected him too. I’m sure this poor guy saw a counselor and tried to get help but ultimately, there was no way around it. And this makes me sad because with some things, it seems as though you can’t beat genetics.

This whole topic is one very dear to my heart because so many people, including myself, have gone through periods of depression. It’s the most debilitating thing that can happen to you without physical manifestations. If someone breaks their leg, you see the cast. However, with depression, it’s all internal. The struggles with the thoughts and emotions are so tiring. It’s like going to the gym for hours at a time, picking up weights that are 4 times your size…you become that fatigued and sore. Life has no meaning and you never want to see the light of day or the darkness of night.

So many people go through this and yes, perhaps we are the prozac nation but I don’t think this is an exclusively American phenomenon. I say this because it runs in my family and I’m a first generation American. It existed in the motherlands of many people.

I’m one of the lucky few. With the help of my sister, who battles with this every day, I went to see a therapist – to talk. I’m much better today. Even though it’s embarrassing for some and it has a horrible connotation, I know it doesn’t mean a single thing if a person goes to therapy. I know they aren’t cuckoo or insane. They are trying to manage their feelings, emotions, thoughts and make sense of the absolute chaos surrounding them.

I’m sure other people who saw this article thought nothing of it. They probably even dismissed it jokingly. But it’s not a joke. Anyone who has ever experienced the utter helplessness of depression can certainly tell you otherwise.

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