Ilene Rush wrote a great article about her son’s depression this past week. Called “We would not let him fall”.
He got better. With therapy, medication and her support.
It sounded as if he suffered from what’s termed a Major Depressive Episode. He had been quite the leader, always achieving. Never having a problem. Even a little emotionally hard to connect with. Then in his junior year of college, symptoms began to surface. Triggered by some unexpected losses. When she visited him, she could see that he wasn’t caring for himself. He looked sad and pale.
She goes on to describe sleep disturbance, flat affect, isolativeness. All classic signs of depression.
Like someone else was inhabiting the body of her once engaging son.
He reluctantly agreed to come home. To seek help.
Ms. Rush was attuned to all this because of her own struggles with depression. But what she may not be giving herself enough credit for is guiding her son to accept the need to seek help.
Accept that he was depressed AND could do something about it.
Michael Yapko, an internationally renowned speaker on depression, talks about depression’s etiology as threefold. Biological, psychological and social. If your mother or father was depressed, there is some likelihood, male or female, that you might struggle with it yourself. But men are far less likely to see treatment than women. About 1 to 3.
That’s what got my attention.
He went into treatment.
I don’t know if our culture is changing – that would be fantastic. Perhaps this generation is more apt to be open to going to therapy. Perhaps young men in this generation view themselves differently. Or perhaps it was this family. Ms. Rush and her son.
This is a beautiful story. Ms. Rush did the right things. She didn’t push. She was just there.
I fear that men do not come forward more often and admit their depression is because they fear judgement. “Why can’t you just pull yourself together?”. ‘It’s not manly to admit vulnerability”.
That’s a bunch of nonsense.
Depression is not weakness. It’s a disorder like pneumonia. You can get over it.
So “Brava!” to Ms. Rush. Thank goodness your son is better.
And to the guys out there?
“C’Mon Man”. Accept if something is wrong.
Please get the help you need, when you need it.
If you enjoyed this post or know of someone who is depressed and needs a little encouragement to get the help they need, please send it on! And, as always, a sincere thank you for taking the time to read this post!