Thursday, March 21, 2013

When Your RAWR Goes Silent: Part 2

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This is the third of a series of guest posts by my friend Marie at All Things RAWR.  I have had the privilege of seeing her help and inspire so many people and just be a positive light in this world when the world certainly gave her a reason not to shine.  I asked her to write on a couple other topics related to [Fragile X] carriers, as I mentioned this is the second in the series.  Read her first one here:  Grief:  The Silent RAWR., and the second part here:  When Your RAWR Goes Silent, Part 1   I hope you are all as inspired and touched by her words as I am.

I've been agonizing for days in my mind about what to say and share in this section because Depression is such a complicated beast. The best I can describe Depression, from my layperson's perspective, is that Depression is your body's physical and mental response to being out of balance and overwhelmed for too long.

So many reasons exist that can cause depression. I say "can cause" because one event might trigger depression at one point, but depression does not rebound when that same stressful event happens again. Some event that is a trigger for one person might not affect another in the slightest. Also consider that many factors play in to depression, from your physical health state, mental health state, community support, environment and more.

Part 2: Other Causes of Depression

Depression is your body's way of telling you that something isn't right, that you are not in balance. Very often, there was a significant change in your life that altered your path. You may find yourself feeling like you don't even know who you are anymore because life is so different from what it was or what you hoped it would be. When we feel so much pain, it manifests itself in our bodies. Physical symptoms start to show, and persist as depression.

Depression doesn't travel alone either. It finds friends with grief, guilt, anger, resentment, hopelessness and negativity in general. As a crew, they are soul crushing, life sucking, terrible awful feelings to have. Then realizing you're having them just intensifies it all.

It's a vicious cycle. It's a cycle that can be broken, but it takes work, commitment, hope and love. Love can conquer all. Recognizing and acknowledging the cause of your depression is the first step to understanding it, yourself and your solution for relief.

A few of the more common causes:

-- Illness or injury, in yourself or family, can cause depression in those it touches. Life IS different, things have changed. Often family and relationship roles get blurry lines or changed entirely. You may feel grief for the life you thought you would have, then guilt for wishing for that life again. If your new role is much different from what society says your role should be, you may feel added pressure from the community to 'fit in' again. You may feel a stigma of being 

The loss of a loved rex can cause a depression to the depths of one's soul. Grief plus depression can be a deadly combination because it is so crushing. Whether the loss was obvious and eminent or entirely unexpected doesn't lessen the grief of the survivors. You will grieve for the life had and lost, or never touched. Holidays, big events and special occasions will be twanged with sadness at the soul not there in the flesh. Anger and resentment may flare up as life moves on for others

Moving and Divorce are huge life changing events that affect interpersonal relationships, environments and ultimately, physical and mental health. If you didn't grow up with a lot of change, recognizing that big changes may cause anxiety can help you find ways to reduce your levels of anxiety. What are you most nervous about?  When kids are involved, it's important to be respectful of their experience. Making new friends, losing old friends and starting over is really hard and has lasting consequences. Make a point to seek out tools to help them adapt.

Becoming a Preggosaurus Rex or Mama Rex, the whole process of pregnancy and motherhood is exhausting, taxing on our bodies and supremely stressful. You're growing a whole new brain and developing new circuits. You now have your heart running around outside of your body, exposed to the world, the elements and bad stuff. Having kids is stressful, trying and although rewarding (so I've been told), often overwhelming.

Un-diagnosed health issues can also lead to depression. A worrisome reason for developing depression because you might not even realize something is wrong until you're already experiencing depression symptoms. Those same symptoms may also mask what is really going on, such as cancer, heart disease and thyroid issues. So if you haven't experienced a big life change, get plenty of sunshine, and still feel BLAH, it's time for a check-up with your doctor.

***Author's note: having a thorough education in Interior Design, I firmly believe disability is a problem with the environment and NOT with the person.   A "disabled" person in a supportive environment can be enabled to succeed

If you recognize yourself in any of the above, please contact a professional for medical or mental health support. Finding someone to talk to and getting evaluated by your doctor are two easy steps on the path to bringing yourself into balance and wellness.


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