Guest Author - Kelli Deister
Depression is a tough thing to talk about. It means digging up powerful emotions that one might be feeling. Anyone that has endured child abuse will have some very strong and seemingly overpowering emotions that arise when reflecting on past abuse. For example, anger is very powerful and trying to make sense of the anger that one feels is no easy task. Sometimes, when dealing with anger, one might not have a method of processing through that anger. Trust me when I say that anger is not an emotion that is perceived, but rather very real. How one deals with the strong emotions is entirely up to them as an individual. However, going to see a therapist can help the survivor to process through all the emotions and learn healthy ways of processing.
While in the process of seeing a therapist and dealing with depression one feels, it certainly doesnít help that there are stereotypes of people that are depressed. For example, when a person is depressed, some people joke about having to go to a therapist, otherwise known to some as a shrink. Many people say the word shrink as a joke, which only causes further stress for those seeing a therapist.
Some people feel that having to see a therapist is a bad thing. Perhaps they may feel as though they are weak because they need the help. Many people are secretive about seeing a therapist or counselor, for these reasons. They donít want to tell others because they donít want to be unfairly labeled. Please understand that seeing a therapist and getting help takes a great deal of courage and strength.
Depression, in my understanding, is a chemical unbalance in the brain. It doesnít mean that the survivor is losing their mind or going crazy; although some may feel as though that is the case. Depression is a medical condition that many times requires treatment. This is nothing to be ashamed of. For instance, if a person breaks their ankle, they need to see a doctor to get it fixed. The same applies to depression and the survivor. If the survivor is depressed, they need to see a doctor and get treatment. Sometimes it is resolved by medicine and other times it is resolved through therapy. However, it is my opinion that anyone who is struggling with depression should see a doctor and get help for it. It will not simply go away if it is ignored.
If you are struggling with depression, I encourage you to take that first step in getting help. There is no shame in needing to see a therapist, or in taking medication for that matter. Please know that you have done nothing wrong. As a survivor of child abuse, there may be many strong emotions that you might feel and needing help to sort through them might be necessary, in order to heal. I encourage you, if you are feeling depressed, to seek help immediately. You can find healing through therapy.