Depression Blindness

What is Depression Blindness?

I hope this story helps you to understand anyone going through rough times and how you might be able to help them.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my life, especially the last few years. I have made some huge mistakes along the way as well as some irreparable damage to myself and my family. I have learned a lot too. I am not as strong as I thought I was at one time in my life. I fell apart and became a shattered person beyond even my own recognition of myself. Who was this person that I became? She looks like me but who is she?

The Monster Within

Once upon a time I was fun and more outgoing, then I became a monster to everyone around me. I was hateful, angry and desperate to still live but not in a good way. My life that was once happy-go-lucky turned into a life filled with grief and depression from losing a child. I was filled with all the ugly things that I could not understand. I was lost.

Depression Blindness

My career in real estate was going to the wayside as I tried to start a business and failed. That failure led to deeper depression and financial abuse. My mindset effected my entire family and even my marriage. I have lost most of my friends due to my inability to be properly effective in my job. I have lost so much because of hate and rage.

I stayed in my home for almost three years after my loss except to do a real estate here and there. Then I created the little business to get me out of the house, but I lost that too. The next three years were up and down with everything that I try to do. Failure after failure because of depression blindness. I was really screwed up.

Time after time I tested the waters to see just how far I could go. My depression blindness kept me from seeing the good around me. I just kept being hateful and destructive. It never seemed to stop. My rampage did not seem to have an off switch. I just kept going full bore with my foot on the gas pedal.

Inside my mind, I was gaining a strong will to not only hate the world but myself as well. The value of my life started to mean nothing to me. Many times, I considered taking my own life and just could not do it. I was weak in every aspect of who I was. “Maybe the world would be better off without me” was my new mantra. That is all I could think of and it was tearing me apart.

A New Start

Counseling did help me a great deal because I needed it. I did not want to accept the fact that I was broken in every aspect of my life. The façade of strength was really just that, a fake front of rebellion. Knock me down and I will get back up. I will be bruised, tattered and bloody but I will fight you because I hate the world and I can show you just how mean I can be. Watch me!

That kind of attitude started to wain as I was sitting there and listening. Parts of me said “RUN” but another part said “LISTEN” and I did. My depression blindness started seeing new colors without the shadows of hate and rage. There was a glimmer of hope for me, but I kept fighting it.

As I slowly made my approach to land back in the real world, I began feeling again. It was strange to FEEL again but it was happening. I was becoming a human again. Tears of pain and sorrow began to flow as I looked back at my lengthy trail of destruction. What have I done?

My New Purpose

A new window opened for me and I started studying psychology of the broken mind. My mind was beginning to understand why loss can create such a hell hole for people. Life Coaching is a new step for me to start to help others in my shoes. My desire to help others is far reaching more than just grief and depression. It is helping others to understand how to gain a better mindset to live a better life. It is really about wanting a better life. My recovery has created a new world for me. It is a world filled with a greater sense of appreciation and respect for what I have in my life. This includes my family and my new perspective on life.

Responsibility and Accountability

Now the time has come for me to clean up my horrendous mess and get my life back together. It has taken some careful planning on my part because I have the will and determination to do this. I am excited about all the new doors and windows that are open now so that I can live again.

PS… my wonderful husband never left my side. He was always there even though I felt like I did not deserve his love or help.

Understanding the Grief Stages

What are Grief Stages?

Don’t Do It This Way

It is the emotional state of a person that has faced a traumatic event. Understanding The Grief Stages will help you to find where you are at. It is very lonely and hard to understand grief with depression coming right behind it. There is NO one way to go through it. It is one step at a time.

If you try to go through it alone, like I did, it may take a long time. From beginning to end, you will struggle harder and longer if you choose to go it alone. Do NOT do that.

You could possibly destroy your life, those around you and lose everything. That is what I did, I committed those around me to a living hell and was not even aware of the damage that I was doing to them. I could not hear them because of my grief and depression. I did not want to hear them. I would not hear them.

Do It This Way

Pay attention to what is going on around you. You may not really be able to understand what is really going on but you will need help. Listen to your loved ones. Pay attention to what they are saying to you.

You will need to focus on your life. You will need to regain control so that you can back to life. You need to be you again but with a newer part of you that you will have to learn to understand and live with.

It will not be easy. No one will do it for it. You have to get back on your feet and stand strong.

Help- 911

There are many support groups for those that are living with grief and depression. These groups are professionally trained to help you through each and every step of your invisible pain.

Take the time to learn more about the groups in your area. The counselor will be very willing to listen to you. That is what they are there for. Let them help you!

If I can help, let me know what you need and we can get started. Your well-being is important and I understand what the process of grief and depression is like.

As a certified Life Coach, my training and personal experience can be the difference in the amount of time and steps to help you get back on your feet.

NO matter which direction you choose, GET HELP! Do not wait and allow the pain of grief and depression ruin your life like I did, seek help and save yourself a lot of pain for yourself and those around you.

Who is Dinky Smith?

Dinky Smith hit rock bottom in the last few years. This is my story about my journey to recover from grief and depression. You learn to fall and then get back up or quit. You will see a lot of “I’s” in this post because I need to share this with my world. Hopefully, it is not too redundant.

Loss

I had both choices after I lost my daughter to a drunk driver on May 14, 2011. I fell and then kept trying to find a balance to keep going but it was really for me. My heart and soul became damaged and I became lost. I fell into a hole that was deeper than any I had ever experienced. I fell into the hole of severe grief and depression.

I lost friends, family, my job, a business, other income-producing opportunities and much more.  I made some new friends along the way, I am glad they are here.

My family life and marriage was in peril as well as my mental well-being. More than anything, else in the world I lost a child. It was a requirement that I learn how to live in this world without her. She was only 31 years old with a child that had now become an orphan on that day.

May 14, 2011, was my last best birthday. Everything in my life changed that day. I will never be the same. Life is never supposed to stay the same after a loss.

Damage Control

There was a need to seek counseling but I did not do that. I barely had enough courage to drive, so how could I talk to someone. I relinquished myself to near total isolation. I tried to work but I soon began to recognize my ineffectiveness. I had to quit.

Counseling was the right way to go but I wanted to heal myself. It took too long and I never really understood what I was doing most of the time. The doctors prescribed medications to me, it helped and then it didn’t help. My head got screwy and some days are just a blur. What a mess!

During my coming out phase, I tried several things only to realize that they would result in failures too. My life was in shambles. I felt like a complete failure at everything except failure. I guess I was good at something bad.

I needed to fight my demons. My home became a war zone and I was ready to fight anyone at any time. The Monster Within me was winning. The Depression was my best friend. I became the enemy in our home.

Finally, I needed to face the world alone and went away. I thought being alone would fix everything, wrong! My husband allowed me to leave without a fight because he knew he would be there for me, no matter what. He was there and watched everything that I did from many miles away.

Results

Starting over in a new world is very different. I came back home with a hard heart filled with shame and regret. I had made so many bad choices along the way, how could I hold my head up after all of this? Love! Amazing Grace saved me.

I sang that song over and over on my trip back home. I resurrected every damning wrong I had done over the past few years. Over and over like a D rated movie that never ended. I did not want to face the music of my wrongs but I had to make repairs for myself and my loved ones.  My husband loves me and so does my family. I could not see it because I was lost.

I have entered the last and final phase of repairs in motion. I have made amends for the most part. I am trying my hand at real estate again. I have to start over with marketing and gaining new clients.

I have started a new venture in Life Coaching. With my personal journeys, I feel this is a great opportunity to help, teach and learn with and for others as well as myself. So for my team of Me, Myself and I are back on our feet and doing very well.

By the way, I am sure that you have seen all my blank posts about Coaching, well, my website was in production. If you are interested in seeing my website visit www.dinkysmith.com and have fun. It is still a work in progress, leave comments if you would like to learn more.

Hugs to the World

Dinky

Depression- The Monster Within

Depression is a Monster Within a person that could literally kill a person!

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The Monster Within Causes

According to the Mayo Clinic, Depression is "A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life." This report should bring greater awareness to others about the Monster Within called Depression.

There are many triggers that can initiate depression; death, birth, illness, empty nesting, finances, divorce, moving, job loss, abuse, prescription medication, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, mental illness, genetics, change of the seasons,  chronic pain or any type of tragic event that is not expected or even handled well.

Depression is a severe and complex threat to a person. It can occur to anyone at any age. It can partner up with any change in life.

Really! What is Depression?

It is a mental disorder or illness. Depression may first appear as a change in mood and actions. This is very common for people that have experienced life-altering challenges. The effects will appear in how they feel, think and handle their daily actions. Depression will dramatically affect your sleep, work, and eating habits.

Signs and Symptoms

If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. Several persistent symptoms in addition to low mood are required for a diagnosis of major depression, but people with only a few – but distressing – symptoms may benefit from treatment of their “subsyndromal” depression. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness. Symptoms may also vary depending on the stage of the illness.

Types of Depression

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as:

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia) is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with the persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a persistent depressive disorder.
  • Postpartum depression is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.
  • Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder is different from depression, but it is included in this list is because of someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”

Examples of other types of depressive disorders newly added to the diagnostic classification of DSM-5 include disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (diagnosed in children and adolescents) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

What to do about Depression

If you or someone you know and love is dealing with Depression, get help! Without the proper care, you or your loved one could face severe danger in the future. Severe or clinical depression requires medical treatment with the use of medication, life changes or even hospitalization. Do not hesitate to care for yourself or the ones you love.

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Depression is a Monster

There is not a single day that goes by that I do not face the Monster Within. Welcome to Depression. It has eaten me alive for the past seven years. It is in my brain, my heart and my soul. It has almost taken over my whole being. This depression is all from losing my child. I never dealt with anything like this in my life and it has certainly changed everything that I am.
My depression led me to isolation because I just wanted isolation. Nearly every friend that I have ever had been shut out. I just quit being social because I was in such grief. I tried to do my job as a real estate agent but it started suffering badly. I could not focus on doing it well and my real estate boss or broker would take note and recommend that I take a break until I could do the job. I could not see what he or even they could see. I only knew that I had to keep working but there was a real problem. Grief was my real job at this point.
It was all that I could do to hold a normal conversation and I really sucked at doing that because I would only weep to whoever was around me. It was very sad as I created a world of sadness for them. They did not invite me to be with them to make them sad. They unwillingly became victims of the sad person in front of them. They became very sad for me.
The general population is never ready for someone that filled with sadness. Each person wants to live a life that is as happy as possible without the pain of any kind. When someone like me comes along and inflicts my pain on another person, there is a sympathetic tolerance for that person. It can only last for a short period because it is too much for anyone to deal with unless they specialize to understand the issue at hand.
I faced the isolation after I saw the look on a friend’s face. It floored me because that is not what I wanted or needed from that person. That look on her face made me realize that I was weak. I have not been a weak person for a long time. The death of my daughter changed that within me. I am weaker than ever. I am so weak that I have allowed myself to be consumed with every weakness possible as a grieving parent.
Not only did I start isolating myself from everyone but I started really bad habits like staying in bed all day, passing judgment on others, placing blame on others, not taking care of myself and not eating. I have never really been one to drink much alcohol but I did try some and it did not make me feel any better. I hated everything and everyone except for Dyrah.  I feel that I may have done more harm than good for this child. That is another story.
My Depression Monster has stolen the real me. I do not know who I am or what I am to do. I am just here and trying to find the real me within the Depression Monster. It is hard to know what is behind the doors that the Monster has for me to choose from. It is very scary because I live in fear. I live in doubt. I live in a world without certainty. I am alone.