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Battling Depression, depression, emotional well-being, Health, overcoming depression, well-being

Why The Stigma?

Back in 2003, I went from being a happy, outgoing, strong person to a gibbering wreck that spent most of her time in bed, either sleeping or crying. Nothing made sense any more, I’d lost the plot, lost control and I hated myself for it. The situation wasn’t made any easier as I knew nothing about depression. In fact, up to that point, I thought that depression was for the weak and pathetic. How very wrong I was!

There is such a stigma attached to depression, which is so sad, after all it is an illness like any other. We aren’t chastised or laughed at for catching a cold or breaking a leg – then again, it depends how you broke your leg – so why should it be any different with depression. Especially today, when so many people suffer from this debilitating illness. Do not stop to wonder what others think of you; instead focus your energy on getting to know yourself.

One of my reasons for starting this blog is to spread the word and share with others currently suffering alone and in silence. It is important for anyone suffering from depression to realise that they are not alone; so many others are in the same rocky boat without oars. My second reason for starting this blog is to let others know that there is hope at the end of that deep, dark tunnel. Finally, having been through this vicious cycle twice, and come out the other end, I wanted to do something that benefited those currently going through it.

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of; you are not the first or the last person who will suffer from its debilitating effects. It is a well-travelled road, but fear not there are exits along the way! So often we lead with our heads without giving our hearts a chance to speak.

If everyone were cast in the same mould,
there would be no such thing as beauty.
[Charles Darwin]

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About D.J. Haswell

I battled with depression, brought on by stress, for 10 years. During that time, I made many mistakes, due in no small part to the fact that I perceived my illness as a failing on my part. It took me a long time, coupled with hindsight, to realise that I hadn’t failed in my life, but rather that the circumstance of my life had failed me. I started my blog to bring hope to those currently suffering from the debilitating effects of depression that there is light at the end of what may seem like an unending tunnel!

Discussion

19 thoughts on “Why The Stigma?

  1. I think part of the problem is that a lot of people confuse being sad about a bad happening (a divorce, job loss or death in the family), which is perfectly normal, with the Depression Disease. Depression is a disease where there is a chemical imbalance in the brain that throw you into a state of severe despondency and dejection accompanied by a feeling of hopelessness. It is no different from Diabetes, Crohns Disease or any other serious disease. I commend you for spreading the word.

    Posted by Vashti Quiroz-Vega | April 29, 2013, 1:49 AM
    • Thank you Vashti, the one thing I really wanted to do when the fog lifted was help others going through this debilitating illness. As the saying goes it takes one to know one, and I feel that only someone who has been through it can truly understand its effects on a person.

      Posted by djhaswell | April 29, 2013, 2:03 AM
  2. I think it’s great to talk about feeling and what is going on in your head! So many people do not do it! And, as a very much English culture that I live in I feel alone. I am a psychologist practicing in the UK and I have learned many different tactics to get over my winter blues! I think it’s great that you keep writing! You’re amazing! After all, life is a mindset! You get all of the negative stuff out and it will only make you a happier, stronger person!! Keep rockin!

    Posted by bugleboypublishing | May 3, 2013, 6:59 PM
    • Why thank you! In so many ways I’ve been lucky, I’ve always been able to express my feelings- to not do so would feel unnatural -, and I’m surrounded by a small group of wonderful friends. All this helped me when I was depressed! I’ve live in the UK, and I know exactly what you mean about the culture over there and feeling alone.

      Posted by djhaswell | May 3, 2013, 7:51 PM
      • where are you now? it is a wierd feeling… I have tried everything to understand the culture…but at the end of the day..I don’t fit in and I’ve accepted that…

        Posted by bugleboypublishing | May 4, 2013, 11:34 AM
        • I live in Brussels. A lovely, small cosmopolitan city that’s half the price of London. One of my reasons for moving over here was that culture and the fact that I didn’t fit it – and was very glad not to. Originally, I’m from New Zealand, and by nature we are a very outspoken bunch. I could never relate to the whole stiff upper lip phenomena that sadly is still going on in the UK today.

          Posted by djhaswell | May 4, 2013, 12:42 PM
  3. I applaud you for writing this blog. Keeping quiet only feeds the stigma.

    Posted by joeyfullystated | May 4, 2013, 3:31 PM
    • Hi Joeyfullystated, thanks for popping by and reading my blog. I couldn’t agree more. The only way to eliminate the stigma attached to this debilitating illness is by opening up and talking about it.

      Posted by djhaswell | May 4, 2013, 4:05 PM
  4. The stigma is very real and difficult but not impossible to break its fixation with popular imaginations. The one way to overcome the stigma and unite. To stay, yes, I have this disease, which requires close medical supervision for my entire life. Just like Diabetes. It is the medical condition where social behavior is influenced by how you feel, your emotions –

    Posted by Things That Never Made It Into Print... | May 9, 2013, 3:53 PM
    • The stigma is very real and difficult but not impossible to break its fixation with popular imaginations. The one way to overcome the stigma is to inform in as many ways as possible and unite. To say, yes, I have this disease, which requires close medical supervision for my entire life. Just like Diabetes. It is the medical condition where social behavior is influenced by how you feel, your emotions – which is really confusing for people who haven’t experienced the spectrum of these disorders.

      Most helpful for me?
      (And I am about to hit 60, so I have ALOT of experience with Depression and Bipolar Disorder. DBSA (Depression and Bipolar support Alliance. Others who feel as you do and who come together. Who know exactly what’s going on.

      Posted by Things That Never Made It Into Print... | May 9, 2013, 4:02 PM
      • Hi Things That Never Made It Into Print, thanks for dropping by and reading my blog. Personally, I never felt any stigma. I’m lucky to have a small close knit circle of open minded friends and that made all the difference!

        Posted by D.J. Haswell | May 9, 2013, 4:46 PM
        • I haven’t felt it (because I have always been up front about it, never hid) but I have seen it. And I have heard it. And I have experienced it indirectly from others. The lesson seems to be the same: change comes through education and sharing.

          Keep talking, in other words.

          Posted by Things That Never Made It Into Print... | May 9, 2013, 4:51 PM
          • I’ve never had a problem talking about my experiences, it’s second nature to me.

            Posted by D.J. Haswell | May 9, 2013, 5:01 PM
            • Just seeing this now. Have no idea when you posted it. So much for having any sense of time! I agree with you. I, too, have always very open about this disease of ours. You’d be surprised though by how many people are deeply ashamed of being stricken with this infliction – as though it is something totally within their control. It’s an unnecessary burden they carry. We have enough to deal with as it is. Then again guilt is a prominent symptom. So there you go. Try and establish a mathematical formula for Bipolar Disorder, for example. The variables are infinite? (By the way, I flunked Algebra.)

              Posted by Things That Never Made It Into Print... | June 27, 2013, 3:50 PM
  5. D.J. Thank you for stopping by my blog and liking my current post, Morbid Thoughts, having a terminal disease makes one likely to fall into the clutches of depression. And I will admit that from time to time I dabble in it. Your blog and your efforts will help many a person. Stick with it. Good luck — Bill

    Posted by FlaHam | May 10, 2013, 1:30 AM
  6. Great blog, shall follow! 🙂

    Posted by Be Well And Happy | June 16, 2013, 10:58 PM

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