Those of us who blog about living with diabetes have - as a group, anyway - a number of goals. We hope to make connections with people in similar situations who may be feeling alone or incapable. We hope to raise awareness outside of our community. We hope to use group action to influence media and government.
- We need community members who experience depression to know that they're not alone
- We need community members who have these symptoms but have never been diagnosed to recognize that what they're experiencing may be something that's happening TO them rather than something they're causing.
- Though decisions about what, if any help to seek are very personal, people with depressive symptoms need to know that there are options.
- We need our "Type Awesomes" (family members of people with diabetes) to have enough awareness to perhaps recognize depression in those they love.
Depression and other mental and emotional conditions still carry stigma, and not everyone who have them are going to feel it's appropriate to be open about them. No one should blog on this subject if they're not comfortable. But those who DO feel comfortable in discussing their experiences can benefit others by doing so. When I finally - after more than 20 years of episodes - saw a psychiatrist, the best thing - the freeing and exalting thing - about that first meeting was that the strangeness my life had become made sense to him. To a lesser degree, I've found the same comfort in reading posts by others who experience depression.
There's also work to be done by those who advocate outside of our community. We are just beginning to see health providers and organizations show awareness of the potential emotional impact of our disease. But much more needs to be done in this area.
Depression matters. Be aware.
This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/february-dsma-blog-carnival/.