Hey bloggers, today I want to put a spin on things and talk about mental health.  Although my blog is dedicated to fitness, I dedicate the other half of my blog (health) to both physical and mental health. I believe many people have struggled with some kind of mental health during the period of their life, whether it was depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar, etc.  In my blog post today, I want to speak on depression specifically but do know that I will have post in the future of other mental health diagnosis as well, I figure I will get to each of them at some point and when new ones come streaming out, I will make myself aware of those as well. For the majority of people who have struggled with mental health, they do not particularly enjoy talking about it; it is of the past, and they want to move on. Reason being, well there are many reasons, but I know my reason was shame, and because I didn't want people to pass judgement on me. There was once a period of time where mental health problems were considered an "omen" and people thought anyone with these issues should be hospitalized and treated differently because they were not in their "right mind". Now I was not born nor did I live in those days, so I will not be able to give specifics on how people were treated, but I assure you, it was not pleasant.  For those of you who struggle with depression or have struggled with depression, I want to make you aware that you are not alone and if you want to speak on it to enlighten people or share your experience, feel free or if you need someone to talk to, also feel free to contact me. I may not be able to diagnosis or treat your problem, but I can be an ear to listen to your voice and maybe share some of my downward spirals.. and positive stories. Nonetheless, I do not want anyone to feel out of place or feel any less about themselves because of what they have or are going through.  "We all have skeletons in our closets, some people are better at hiding them" -Shay-lon

For starters, my depression/stress was never diagnosed or treated with medication.  I never went to see a specialist nor did I even think to do that, it was considered "weird" at the time I though to seek help from someone outside of friends or family. I didn't want to be labelled "crazy" or "weird" or "fucked up" , etc.. and I surely did not believe I needed help from people who did not even know me.  Mine in particular was probably minor compared to a lot of people's, and mine had spurts where it was moderate due to the relationship I was in at the time.  I think part of my depression happened while dating the first partner I was with, the relationship became toxic and mentally exhausting.. I sunk into a deep hole and didn't know who I was anymore. I was only 18 at the time, so still young and living life, but not able to cope with relationships and was horrible with handling arguments because they stressed me out.  Another reason I believe I had depression was because of what I had to see and endure as a young child with my mom's relationships.  It was heartbreaking and yet I was too young to make any kind of stand but I remember each of them like it happened yesterday.  I won't go into specifics because I don't think that is necessarily important but I will say it reruns in my mind now whenever she has dated someone, only because I have learned to not trust any man she has dated.. it was programmed in my head because of all of the anger instilled in me. I think sometimes my mom didn't know her self worth, but that is a discussion for a later time.  Most of you are probably wondering if my mom and I's relationship is toxic, well not exactly, we have our rough patches and more so than not we bump heads.  I won't say we can't be civil but when it comes to her dating, I cannot let go of the past sometimes.  Although I am learning fairly quickly, I know longer need to give a shit because I have MY OWN LIFE to live and have to focus on my well-being now.  I also believe the fact that I was moving state to state after 9th grade and losing and gaining friends, it might have taken a toll on me quite a bit, I was unstable and not able to grow bonds that lasted because I was constantly preparing myself for the time I would leave and getting close to someone meant being hurt and sad when it was time for us to move again.  I think having to worry about fitting in and constantly being made light of as a child, might have been a beginning of my hurt and pain. 

I think the cherry on the pie was the fact I didn't have any family at my high school graduation, that really burnt me, and the reasoning is beyond stupid, I am sure a guilt my mom and my younger brother will have to deal with in their own time and stepdad at the time.. However, at this time we were all seeing a therapist to sort out our differences, I pretty much came out the box and said how I felt and it felt decent but my mom isn't one for wanting others to feel how they feel, confusing, yes. Which is one of the many reasons why our relationship is tainted. Something I am in no rush of fixing anymore, like I said I have my own life now.. worrying about fixing shit that could have been nipped in the bud back when is no longer on my agenda. To make the story short, because this isn't about me.. there are many other reasons that obviously play into my past depressive episodes but the moral of the story is "you don't know what someone has gone through just by looking at them"-Shay-lon Hopefully with my opening up to all of you, you won't feel the need to hide behind walls, like I said I have yet to be diagnosised and don't take medication because mine is more minor than anything and I have gotten past it! thankfully, but stress, well that probably isn't going away anytime soon! 

Depression- Feeling helpless, hopeless and worthless that last many days to weeks and keep you from functioning normally.

There are many types of depression and I may not hit them all but here is a short list of some: 

  • Chronic depression
  • Bipolar Depression 
  • Major depression
  • Seasonal depression
  • Psychotic depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Substance induced mood disorder
  • Atypical depression
  • Pre-menstrual disorder depression
Common symptoms: (not everyone will have these symptoms, it will depend on the severity, the length of time and how frequent they occur)
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Fatigued and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • loss of interest in hobbies or activities that once brought you pleasure
  • loss of pleasure in life
  • loss in interest of sex
  • overeating or appetite loss
  • persistent aches or pains (headaches, cramps or digestive problems)
  • Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
There is mania and hypomania depressive episodes. Anyone can have depression, kids, teens, adults alike.  
Major depression: if you feel depressed most of the time for most days of the week
  1. Usually diagnosed if you have 5 of the above symptoms or more on most days for two weeks or longer.  One of the symptoms needs to be depressed mood or loss of interest in activities. 
  2. Usually talk therapy can help
  3. sometimes medication is prescribed
Persistent depression (Dysthymia): Depression that last 2 years or longer
  1. Usually treated with psychotherapy or medication and sometimes both
Seasonal Disorder: A period of major depression that most often happens in the winter months.
  1. Antidepressant can help
  2. some type of "light" therapy treatment
Psychotic depression: Have major depression but with psychotic symptoms as well
  1. Hallucinations
  2. Delusions
  3. Paranoia 
  4. most people will take a combination of antidepressant and anti-psychotic drugs 
  5. ECT could also be an option
Postpartum depression: Women with major depression in the weeks and months after childbirth.
  1. Antidepressant drugs are usually prescribed.
So hopefully this is something people will stay aware of, and make others aware of. Depression is not a joke, it should be taken seriously ALL THE TIME. If you know someone with depression, this is the time to be by their side more so, because depression can become very severe and can lead to much harsher things in the long run if not treated or given appropriate care in time. Also, if you are someone who struggles with depression, do not be like myself who ignored help, I am a bad example of how to go about handling it, yes I came out of it on my own and yes I am not diagnosed or treated for it, but honestly.. it wasn't an easy road and it isn't something everyone can do on their own. I highly recommend you make others in your life aware of your situation and allow for someone to help you if possible.  Please share this blog post among people you know and social media platforms because I definitely want to be part of the movement in helping those that suffer from mental illnesses, this should never be taken lightly and the more people are aware and informed, the less it will become of this social omen.  I would highly recommend that if you would like more information, that you speak with someone who is a specialist, someone who has suffered from depression and do your own research as well, because you never know who close to you may suffer from it and trust me it is better to know than turn a blind eye. Thank you for reading.
Your fitness blogger,
Shay-lon xoxo

Published by Shay-Lon Moss