There’s been a lot about depression on in the news, lately. It’s a serious problem and more pervasive than people think. Unfortunately, there are some, like DJT JR who make remarks as if this condition is a joke. And others thoughtlessly go along with his mocking.
Depression is serious shit. Recently it’s been close to home. I’m lousy at providing support. Maybe that admission is a good start for a ramble. I’d like to think we can all learn by sharing the challenges depression puts on those who suffer and those who love them and want to help.
One aspect of our society that makes things worse is we often look down on those who are depressed. As if it’s un-American not to be happy all the time, making it even harder on those who valiantly fight on and for those who care for them. COVID and social isolation have not helped. We don’t mock people who have cancer and yet depression is an even more insidious disease.
If you’re lucky like me and have been blessed with a “happy feather” in your hand, it’s difficult to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is depressed and challenging to provide help. I think that’s my problem – I’m a guy and that means that I’m always jumping into Solution Mode without thinking. If someone came to me with a brain tumor I hope I wouldn’t say “Give me a minute, I’ll wash up and operate.” [I’m not even a doctor.] And yet that’s the trap I’ve often fallen into. It only makes things worse and rightfully is perceived as thoughtless or callous.
It’s difficult for “Solution People” to stop and learn to just be there as support. But I’m finding that’s a first step. For us happy people, we should SHUT UP & LISTEN. Hold hands; take a walk together. Let your eyes say I LOVE YOU or a HUG confirm you’re alongside them in the front line.
I’m not a vet. I can’t even imagine what many of you have gone through. But I’ve read enough articles here in HAVOK to realize that for all too many of you, you’re now fighting a more difficult battle and it sucks being there alone. I’m trying my best to say I’m here, trying to understand and offer up my prayers and thoughts for you. Please don’t fight this battle alone. There are skilled people who should be in your squad. Please reach out, ask a buddy, or contact HAVOK. And God Bless.
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.
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