Depression is NOT a Character Defect - It's Physical

For Jane R. #1

My favorite place to find information on depression is - hands down - Depression Bipolar Support Alliance. Their tools, education, peer and family support, and Wellness Tracker app are comprehensive. What's so cool about DBSA is that they don't assume you know anything when you arrive, so the info sections have basic descriptions right at the beginning. Plus, their website is pretty as well as functional. :)

It blows me away when I meet people that have no clue that there are physical symptoms associated with depression. I guess before I experienced a depression that I was one of them, but still... in this day and age? Anyhow, I like the Mayo clinic explanation because it's comprehensive yet easy to read. I know that when I had depression it was difficult to concentrate, so a simple list is something that I appreciate.

I remember being surprised when my doctor prescribed daily walks. Exercise is Medicine has piles of science on this, and it's a proven thing that relieves the symptoms of depression as well as anxiety.

I've learned a lot from the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community's about how important it is to say "when that happened to me" instead of using someone else's story to make a connection. That's the basic puzzle piece of peer support - that it takes one who's been through "it" to help someone else get through "it" - whatever "it" is.  Their peer support line is staffed by exactly these folks. They also have a free webinar on peer support group formation called Alternatives to Suicide which is literally a life saver.

For family and friends to learn about how to advocate for their loved ones who live with mental illness, I love National Alliance on Mental Illness Family-to-Family course and support groups.

Peace to you, Erica

Erica Kitzman