by Nancy Laws
I was overwhelmed last week with the support that I received from sharing my story with you. So many women were happy that I had the courage to share my mental health journey with you, and some were encouraged and inspired to make a change. Seeing such an outpouring of love and support, inspired me to take it one step further.
It is clear that mental illness is something that is not spoken of often, this is shocking considering the fact that about 12 million American Women suffer from depression. Two-thirds of these women do not get the help that they need.
Although I am sure that many of these women know that they suffer from mental illness, I am just as sure that some may not. I have been on a roller coaster ride with my challenges, including being led down the road to considering suicide. When I look at my 4 angels, the little ones that God has blessed me with, and I think about the fact that I almost left them behind, my heart aches. But it took me getting to that point to understand that something was wrong and that I needed to get help. Thanks to a supportive husband, I got help and was diagnosed with Panic and Anxiety disorder. Honestly though, that barely scratches the surface of some of my struggles, but I continue to fight, and to push through because I know that I need to be healthy for my family.
I want this series to make a difference in the lives of some of the 12 million women struggling with depression, and those struggling with other classes of mental illness. But before you can get help you should know what to look for. Do you know what some of the signs of depression are?
What Does Depression Look Like?
It is our ability to hope for the better that allows us to stay positive when we are going through difficulties. Depression makes everything seem hopeless, as if you can no longer overcome anything. You lose the will and strength to fight.
You give up on yourself and those that you love most.
Loss Of Interest In Daily Activities
Why bother getting up if there is nothing you can do to change anything. It doesn’t matter how many times you clean, things will never be clean. There is no point in getting up and working, because you will never catch up on your bills. You are a bad mother anyway, so your children don’t need you. Depression is a liar, one that sits on your shoulder and whispers until you begin to believe everything that he has to say.
Are you suddenly losing or gaining too much weight, too fast? Some eat through their way through their problems while others lose their appetites completely.
Are you having trouble sleeping, or are you sleeping your whole day away?
For some feeling their lives crumbling around them can make it difficult to sleep, but some have a hard time staying awake through it all. You will have one or the other, I tend to lean more towards insomnia, and I suddenly become a light sleeper (which I am usually not)
Anger Or Irritability
Everything will begin to irritate you. The most patient mother will suddenly become snappy, unable to keep control of her anger. Those you care about suddenly become easy targets for your uncontrollable anger.
I remember feeling very unbalanced as well, suddenly breaking down in tears out of nowhere, and suddenly feeling angry. Losing control of my emotions unexpectedly.
Loss Of Energy
Depression will make you feel lethargic. Everything will be 10 times as hard as usual, you used to take pride in being fit and healthy but now just walking across the room feels like too much work. You wake up exhausted, even after over sleeping.
You are a failure as a wife and mother, a terrible business woman or employee. You are fat and vile, weak, and on top of that crazy!
Did I mention before that depression is a liar? But the more you hear something the more likely you are to believe it.
How about starving yourself so that you can look better. You know it’s wrong, but you are a fat slob, you need to do something, your husband is probably disgusted by you.
Or you should harm yourself in other ways, to punish yourself. Maybe start drinking a little too much when you are home alone with they children. Who cares, you need a pick me up.
Reckless behavior is something that can be detrimental to you and those who depend on you, but an unfortunate side effect to depression.
How can you concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds when you are dealing with everything above?
Unexplained Aches Or Pains
Sore muscles, headaches, chest pains. One thing I learned when I was diagnosed was that people have actually died from panic attacks. Although the struggle to breath is really mental, your body reacts physically and some have died because they could not breath. This really worried me, because I was pregnant with Ally at the time having 2 to 3 panic attacks on my worst days, and some of the time Corey was not there to help me.
Join me today on a journey to make a small difference in the lives of women as I launch my Healthy Mom Happy Home campaign. Let us make a difference one share at a time.
Nancy Laws: I began Afro-Chic Mompreneur to be a guide for the working mom. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people say, you can’t do it all. You can’t be a good mom and have a successful business, yet there are many great women doing it, and doing a pretty damn good job at it. I take it a step further and say not only can you do it, but you can do it and be fabulous. I hope that I can continue to share on other platforms, with great women.