If you’re a regular Tightrope reader, then you’re probably aware of my recent bout with postpartum depression. Until Monkey’s birth, I never had any real understanding of depression or mental health issues of any kind. I accepted them in the academic sense, but I had never lived them before. That all changed this past year.
Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Month, dedicated to increasing awareness of mental health issues. From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website on occupational health:
Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 22.1 percent of Americans ages 18 and older-about 1 in 5 adults-suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Mental disorders can also affect children. According to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), mental health problems affect one in five young people.
For those of you out there who are struggling with depression, there is help.
If you think you might hurt yourself or someone else, PLEASE call 911 immediately. Your life is too valuable to be taken away. Help is available.
If you’re looking for treatment, your family doctor or a local hospital is the best place to start. You and your physician can work together to find therapists and identify suitable pharmaceutical interventions.
If you’re looking for online camaraderie, check out Band Back Together, a community blog I just found that’s dedicated to busting stigmas. Or just hang out around here; I figure another mental breakdown is only a click away.
Whatever you do, don’t waste time feeling guilty. Life doesn’t have to feel this way. There is help. And it does get better.