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13 Signs You

Could Be…

by Jan Pitts

March 20, 2018

Kay and I were not friends.  We were just co-workers who shared a common space.  But one day, for a moment in time, we became bonded souls.  I had worked with Kay for two years, and if I had been asked to give my impression of her, I would have described her as funny, happy, and confident.  She was quick to flash a bright smile, inspire laughter with her dry wit, and debate an issue to its minutest degree. But deep inside, Kay was hurting and she hid it well.  For many days, we laughed together and then one day we cried.

It was a Friday afternoon, and we were taking a break from a busy day by having lunch in a small café near the job.  As we sat sipping tea, I felt sad as I recalled my recent breakup with a long-time love.  When I expressed my dismay at spending the weekend alone, Kay suddenly burst into tears.  I stared in stunned silence as she began to talk about her life, and the misery of being in an abusive relationship, that she didn’t know how to get out of.  She spoke of being estranged from her family, and not really having an interested soul she could talk to.  She also confessed that not a day went by without her feeling depressed or suicidal.

She was 35, never married, and suddenly candid about the misery she carried around in her bosom.  She admitted to envying women with husbands, and couples who walked hand in hand.

As we sat there in that quiet café, I listened intently to a tortured soul unleash the pain in her heart, as if a key had unlocked the door to her secrets.  I learned she felt rejected by every man she’d been with, and that she had no hope of ever achieving her greatest ambition…to one day be loved, cherished and honored by a man.  Our tears ran simultaneously, as she reflected on the physical abuse she’d suffered as a child at the hands of her father, and later as a woman.  She admitted to being weak and not knowing how to end her pain.

Two weeks later, on a warm August night, she committed suicide by jumping off the roof of her ten-story apartment building, and I cried for her everyday for two months.   After that, I became a student of depression and the effect it has on its victims.   I discovered that it’s a disease that strikes one out of four women, and it’s becoming more and more prevalent among women of color.  Many are depressed and are unaware, because they are functioning in a state that others deem as normal.  But there are 13 signs that may signal you or a loved one is suffering from depression.

  • Your television or radio is never off.  You wake up to it, and you go to sleep by it.  Sounds of life must be ever-present for the person who is functionally depressed.  They are usually afraid to be in silence or alone with their own thoughts. Something must always be on…even in the car.
  • You are prone to feel persecuted, victimized or disregarded, with the slightest infraction or bump in the road.
  • You are unhappy, but you pretend not to be.
  • You cry at the drop of a hat, and you blame it on stress.
  • You have a hard time filling the hours.
  • You drag to work and feel released at quitting time.
  • You don’t feel good…a lot.
  • You either sleep a lot, or can’t sleep at night.
  • You have serious mood swings.
  • Your personal hygiene habits are not what they used to be.
  • If the Board of Health did bedroom inspections, you could be fined or jailed.
  • You do everything in excess.  Eat, drink, etc.
  • Every minute of the day must be filled with activity.  You move ‘til you drop.

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you should seek professional help by calling The Crisis Hotline at a hospital nearest you, where you can speak anonymously to staff who is there to help you or refer you.

The important thing is to seek help so that the burden you carry around can be lifted, and your life can become normal.  Ultimately, joy will appear and your load will be gone.

Picture Credit:  NATURAL HAIR ART/www.addisonrenee.com

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