Throughout life, there are various ups and downs we experience, yet we feel completely alone and even sometimes depressed. That is OK if this happens from time to time, yet when it begins to occur consistently for two years or more one should seek help.
Depression that occurs for this length of time is called persistent depressive disorder.
According to Health Line, 5% of the world’s population—350 million—suffer from depression. In 2012, 16 million U. S. adults experienced one major depressive episode.
Some of the common symptoms are extreme irritability over minor things, anxiety, and restlessness, anger management issues, loss of interest in favorite activities, fixation on the past or on things that have gone wrong, and thoughts of death or suicide.
Physical symptoms can include insomnia or sleeping too much, debilitating fatigue, increased or decreased appetite, weight gain or weight loss, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and unexplained aches and pains.
I experienced a multitude of the aforementioned common psychological and physical symptoms as my depression began to take control over the course of my adult life.
“Going through heartache, aw you know I think I lost my mind for a time. And couldn’t get better. Couldn’t get no better. No matter, no matter how hard I tried.” — Jill Scott
Even with over two decades of success—starting at the age of 15—increasingly, I developed multiple football fields permeated with depression. My depression stemmed from being raped by an adult I trusted at the age of 15 (yes it was reported and went to trial), having a close friend die in a mortar attack while deployed as we served on active duty in the United States Air Force, accepting my sexual orientation which conflicted with my deep-rooted Christian values, diagnosis of skin cancer at the age of 22, loss of revenues from business ventures, and a widely publicized dissolution of a multiyear romantic partnership with a known A.M.E. Pastor and high school principal.
Truly, I am not looking to garner pity. Yet how much can one human being endure? As for me, in September 2015, I had reached the point where I was broken beyond belief to where plans began to formulate that it was time to “end it.” Yet God, the Creator, and the universe did not warrant the lethal plans of my self-destruction to be my fate.
“When I was in trouble, he opened doors. Confused, he opened doors. I didn’t know which way to turn, he opened doors. I was lost, he opened doors. Couldn’t find my way, he opened doors. I can say thank you TODAY!” — Karen Clark Sheard