Opinion: It’s OK to feel depressed, and it’s OK to ask for help
Special to the Sun
Resources for help
If you know someone who might be suicidal, here are some numbers to call:
Nevada County Crisis line: 530-265-5811
Placer County Crisis line: 916-787-8860
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK / 800-273-8255
This is a great website that has resources for depression as well: suicideispreventable.org/
For youth: reachout.com
I want to thank Lin Winetrub for opening up an honest conversation around depression in her March 15 guest column, “I am a survivor of severe depression.”
I too would like to “step out of the shadows” and share that I have experienced severe depression. I have cried myself to sleep too many nights to count. I remember feeling like everything would be better if I wasn’t alive.
And I want others who are suffering to know that there is light on the other side.
Forgive the cliche, but it’s true. I remember feeling like that hopelessness was going to last forever, but it doesn’t have to. We are lucky to live in a community with so many people who want to help.
If you are suffering from depression and especially if you are having suicidal thoughts, please ask for help in any way you can. I know reaching out can be tough and it takes immense courage, which is why I am following Lin’s example and writing this letter. I want to open a space for honest dialogue by being honest about things that we usually keep hidden from most of the world.
There are many options for reaching out: You can see a psychologist, you can visit any of the wonderful social service providers in our area, you can visit a church or spiritual center, you can call a depression or suicide hotline, you can visit your doctor, and if you have family or friends who you trust, you can talk to them — whatever you have to do to find help.
I want to let people know that it’s OK to feel depressed and it’s OK to ask for help. You are not alone; many people feel like this. I want people who are depressed to have hope that things can get better.
My experience of life is so much different now. I was fortunate enough to have parents who helped me find my way through the hardest points with a psychologist and anti-depressants. I have found long-term preventative help with my depression through meditation and spiritual support at For Goodness Sake, a non-denomenational spiritual center where I currently work.
I am no longer on anti-depressants or seeing a psychologist, and life spans the spectrum of feeling ecstatic to moments of hopelessness, but it leans much more toward the enjoyment of life.
I have found acceptance for my depression, which still visits sometimes, but I am now completely confident that when it comes, that this too shall pass.
I am even able to feel gratitude for it because I believe it has made me a kinder and more empathetic person and it has led me to my spiritual path.
It can be a tough road out of severe depression, but asking for help could be the first step toward healing and toward appreciating life again.
Jenny Roberts is a Truckee resident.
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