BUSINESS & LIFE: Tired of battling with depression

Valda Henry PhD
Valda Henry PhD

I received this article last week, with a request to publish it in my Business and Life Column.  I reproduce the article today in its entirety except for the removal of the names, to protect the individuals’anonymity and a few grammatical corrections, and after the approval of her doctor.  Incidentally, Mental Health Week was recently celebrated in Dominica.  This article touched me to the core and brought to the fore the stigma still associated with mental illness and because of that, the reluctance in seeking treatment, which may only serve to exacerbate the situation.  The author is a young, beautiful, vivacious mother, which also reinforces the point that mental illness, like all illnesses, is no respecter of persons.  This article is a call for and to action by those suffering valiantly with depression and for families of those affected to seek help from qualified mental health professionals.


The article follows:

“Can’t sleep, maybe haven’t slept throughout the night. My mind is like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Millions of thoughts flooding my mind I swear all at the same time. I wonder how and where I got to this point. I feel trapped in someone else’s body. Knowing me so bubbly and vibrant to now not knowing anything or wanting to do anything. The only language I speak is that of tears. The truth is I cannot help but cry.  You may ask.“What is causing you to cry?” “I don’t know.” maybe my reply.  Suicidal thoughts overpower my mind. While I pray and say my purpose here is not done and I have no intention of killing myself, my question now becomes, “What is really my purpose?”

A summary or some of my million thoughts.

I feel my father may have the biggest part to play with how I feel or what I go through. How I often act. Maybe if he were present or even after we got to know one another, we had built a relationship, then maybe things would be a bit different. I grew up never liking men, all because of my father.  I often wondered why he didn’t want me and why he never wanted to be in his child’s life.  Then comes my boyfriend, who decided on doing just like my father, leaving me to raise a child on my own. Did I mentioned I hate men? Well now, I really do. They are all just the same.

My daughter, I say is my blessing in disguise. I get tired of her very often because I lack patience. Though I love her, I don’t feel the mother daughter bond. What is the mother daughter bond anyhow? This little blessing keeps me on track one minute and throws me off the next minute. I say this in terms of me and my thoughts. When they take over my mind, I think of her:“What will happen to her? She was sent in my life for a reason. I cannot just leave and go.”   I asked earlier, what was my purpose?   Well this must be it: taking care of my daughter.  I often times ask, “Is this my only purpose?”.

Now everyone thinks my mother is impossible. How is she? That’s my mother who raised me all alone; who needs me and is asking a favour. I am at fault; not my mother. I always pull through with the little amounts. While I told my sister I can’t afford it now on my salary I should have told my mother the truth. Instead of telling her I would try. Truth is I did call the bank, but this is spreading myself really thin.

Then there’s work. Work back then used to be this place where I looked forward to going; where I rather stay because I was happier there than home. Now, work. Work is like because I have to go to work, I go. While I understand I am the senior person there, I feel like too much is expected of me. Note I said, too much is expected. I would not say demanded. When I say expected I mean if something is going wrong and I bring it to the boss, she would say you are the senior officer you know what is expected; talk to the person. How am I supposed to tell that person what they are doing and the working relationship remains the same? Then I suddenly get frustrated because of that. Or you eventually speak up and get more frustrated because now you have your work and theirs to do. You know all their whereabouts, because right now they tell you everything they do, everywhere they go, they show you everything they plan on doing and you proof read everything they plan on sending out. Mind you they have a higher degree than you. Like really I did not want all of that responsibility. I just wanted to bring to their attention the things they are doing so they can reflect on whether they are giving a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. It was becoming ridiculous they were more out of the office than in.

This now brings me to school. I have been having my depressed episodes from August.  I try my best to go to church on a Thursday morning. What however triggered all of this even worst are two things: My aunty and school.

I will say to you I commend those that work and go to school and do it well. For me, this is not my strong hold. My assignment was due a Saturday I attempted to do it but with no success. On the Monday at work I was able to complete it only to find out this week it was not graded because of the late submission. Like really University, couldn’t you have just removed some marks for late submission than just not grading my assignment? This broke me down.  It really, really did. Do you know this is my third time doing this course? Yes, it is.  I was determined to pass with flying colours this time. I know my potential.  I am not stupid but what would happen is me in my own world, feeling depressed or afraid and not show up for the exam. Who does that? Lord, I often times ask nothing from you, instead I thank you. I say to people am blessed beyond measure and that’s the truth. Open my mind, heart, body and soul to completing this degree. I need it as bad as I need air to breathe because for some reason I never tend to finish anything. As soon as it gets difficult or stressful I up and leave. Allow me Lord to complete this degree. 
Then there’s my Aunty who has her own battles to fight, whom I always talk to no matter what she is going through.  This time she was going through exactly what I am going through and while she was trying to comfort me, she too, was crying. Lord this broke me to a million and more pieces. With her depression, anxiety, MS and every other thing she is going through, she is able to complete her school work and still makes the Dean list. Why can’t I be like my aunty then? I love her beyond words can’t explain. It was she I met first and got to know the rest of my family including my father after.

Then I come to my friends. I dropped a few along the way. They were not improving me in one way or the other. Always drama and I love to speak my mind. They often say to me. They never worry about me speaking behind their backs because I say it to their faces whether it hurts or not.  An incident occurred recently with some of my friends and this too, is on my mind. I told them, it impacted me. We are all adults and we are supposed to say how we feel and move on. I told them I hold my family in high esteem and I regard them as family and wish they would work things out.  We formed a WhatsApp group to discuss the issue, but it remains unresolved.  I told them before how its impacting my life and they continued so I guess to them my life has no value. Well my life has meaning and mean a great deal to me.
I love one of my friends more than she can imagine. She says what’s on her mind I say what’s on mine, we say sorry when we hurt each other and we move on. We never get vex. Why can’t the others be like that? We were such good friends. It’s affecting my health so I let it go, though I was not the one they had the issue.

Did I mention my family is my everything?  I am not sure if I am their everything. Often times they demand a lot from me, maybe too much but because of my love for my family, I do it for them. For some, I am their only niece, grandchild or cousin they call in times of need, though there are so many of us. I asked why many times I was born into this family. To me, my obligations are to my mother, my brothers, sister and daughter. If they are happy and healthy, my heart will be in place.

With all of these feelings and depression, my one thing I had going is no longer there:  My Confidence.  My confidence level has dropped significantly. I no longer find myself pretty. I think I am too fat. You won’t find me in a different hair style every week like I used too. I no longer dress up, nor do I love cooking. I would often say my kitchen has to be bigger than my bedroom.  I doubt this still stands. My whole life is riding past me and am not in the mood to even stretch my hand out to try and reach it.

Earlier this week I was on the verge on being admitted to the psych ward, but my boss came to my rescue or did she? I was only allowed to leave because I am to stay at my boss’ home. Truth is, maybe I had to go on the ward to reflect on where I want to see myself or maybe then I would have gotten a reality check. This too, shall pass.

This is a summary of some of what is going on in this head of mine. Coupled with my health, my how to live, my many other things;  how is one to deal with all of this?  I am going through it telling myself somebody somewhere has it worse than me. Somebody somewhere did not wake up, but I am alive. How long can one keep telling oneself that; how long?  This thing is killing me slowly, I can tell. I feel sick, literally sick but my test results come back normal. Do you know what it’s like to feel hollow? I do. I feel empty.  I often times feel like something is eating on my inside.  I try not to burden anyone, but what I do know, is that I am not alone in this.


Day 5

Today I felt better, much better. Though I woke up with a headache and at after 6pm, it is still making itself known, I feel alive. Better than most days, for sure.

Today was my first day of my medication. The mind has a funny way of messing with us. Right after taking it, I felt my heart beating fast, I felt ill.  I felt like I could not breath; down to chest pain I had. I was like,“Really, the medication maybe in your throat making its way; it has not yet reached you blood stream!”I giggled about it and carried on my merry way.   Today I also went to church. Though I didn’t find it had much impact on me, it was nice getting out of the house.”

I pray for God to continue to carry this young lady and others suffering mental and other illnesses, through this difficult time, granting them His Peace, Grace and Mercy, leaving just one set of footprints in the sand of this episode of their lives.

In the coming weeks, we will feature articles prepared by mental health professionals. 

May the Lord continue to Keep Us in the Palm of His Hands until we Meet again.

I can be contacted at [email protected] and Tel: 767 449 9649

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  1. Not alone
    November 6, 2016

    You are not alone in what you are going through. I know this thought doesn’t always help.

    I think many people put on a facade, but in fact have the same kinds of thoughts as you. I know I do. I am a working mom, studying as well. We are not crazy people, we are human.

    You care about others – your family, friends, colleagues – and that makes you a good human. If you lacked empathy then you wouldn’t have tese internal struggles. I wish you all the best. I know that these struggles, while they are weighing you down now, will build character and strength and make you into an even better person.

  2. Magwaysa
    November 2, 2016

    Before I had respect for you and your qualification……….but since after I see you support wrong in this country and u cannot admonish yr nephew to allow the country u claim u love sooooooo much to have free and fair election…..I have lost all respect for you………..i really wonder how you sleep…..we know u cannot therefore u must find something to occupied yourself especially at nights

  3. Pres_Donald_Trump
    November 2, 2016

    Stupes depressed about what, some children in Iraq sold into slavery in syria. You not living in Saudi Arabia where they treat women like dogs. We not at war like Syria, u not a migrant in Paris and u depressed :lol:

    • Dee
      November 2, 2016

      You idiot! This is the reason why people don’t seek help. I am so mad at you for your careless cruel comment but because this medium means you are anonymous according to Trump I won’t be able “to punch you in the face!” Ugh

    • Phenomenal
      November 2, 2016

      I dare you to walk a mile in my shoe, remsin sane better yet remain alive, then and just then you may come back and comment.

      The thing about it is you haven’t been through it so you will never understand.

    • It's MsAlie
      November 3, 2016

      You are being completely stoic about a dire situation! You don’t have to live in a certain country to experience depression; it’s the human struggle that is universal and real.

      This person is gravely overwhelmed, and I hope the best for her. She is facing a mountain and trying to figure out how to climb it to see what the other side is about. As a mom, I encourage her to find out why she can’t feel the bond, because that’s crucial.

      I do believe that faith is an answer, but those around have to execute it practically like Jesus was. Encourage her to pray individually and be a support as she faces this hindrance.

  4. Lulu
    November 1, 2016

    Courage, dear sister. I don’t know you at all. However I identify with some of what you’re going through. I have recognized that at 48 I am starting to go into menopause. And according to my doctor, the various symptoms attached to menopause can make you believe you’re going crazy.

    I say to you, hold strong and keep taking your meds. One day you may not need them at all.

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