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      National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016   05/01/2016

      Proclamation 9433 of April 28, 2016 National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016 A Proclamation Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need. Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another—and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us—we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues. This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve. In the last 7 years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for more people across America. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in individual and small group markets, and expands mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, which are estimated to help more than 60 million Americans. Nearly 15 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care. And because of more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past 2 years. Still, far too few Americans experiencing mental illnesses do not receive the care and treatment they need. That is why my most recent Budget proposal includes a new half-billion dollar investment to improve access to mental health care, engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, and help ensure behavioral health care systems work for everyone. Our Nation has made strong advances in improving prevention, increasing early intervention, and expanding treatment of mental illnesses. Earlier this year, I established a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, which aims to ensure that coverage for mental health benefits is comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care, improve understanding of the requirements of the law, and expand compliance with it. Mental health should be treated as part of a person's overall health, and we must ensure individuals living with mental health conditions can get the treatment they need. My Administration also continues to invest in science and research through the BRAIN initiative to enhance our understanding of the complexities of the human brain and to make it easier to diagnose and treat mental health disorders early. One of our most profound obligations as a Nation is to support the men and women in uniform who return home and continue fighting battles against mental illness. Last year, I signed the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which fills critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses, increases peer support and outreach, and recruits more talented individuals to work on mental health issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This law will make it easier for veterans to get the care they need when they need it. All Americans, including service members, can get immediate assistance by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well. Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real. Together, we can help everyone get the support they need to recover as they continue along the journey to get well. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.  
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Copeman

I'm Ashamed Of Being Depressed

9 posts in this topic

Posted

I was recently reading a book about how to cope with overwhelming emotions and it read, "If you're in a painful situation and your emotions are going to overwhelm you and possibly make things worse, then often it's best just to leave." This reminded me of the many times I've left a party, a camping trip, a get together with family, or a friends house because I suddenly became profoundly depressed, with a sickening ache deep in my stomach. I would feel an almost uncontrollable urge to cry, but if I was unable to get away I would just shut myself out from everyone else and be silent, saying I was tired if someone asked if I was okay. Many times I have said goodnight to retreat to my room and cry. It is this side of me that I am ashamed of and have always tried to hide. To this day I hide my depression from my friends and sometimes family, so that I can have normal relationships with people and not be given special treatment. I feel shy and embarrassed in public, it is hard for me to look people in the eyes. When someone who cares asks me whats wrong I can't be real because I would be too emotional. I want so much to be close but I'm afraid and ashamed of who I am. I feel inadequate and unwanted. I feel like no one would want to be with someone insecure, hurt, and depressed. I keep finding out how much depression has been affecting every aspect of my life and been the driving force behind my biggest problems. It makes me want to feel like I'm a victim and its not my fault, and to forgive myself. For some reason I continue to feel like I am fundamentally flawed and should be rejected. I crave having a girlfriend to hold me and to be close to, and I feel ashamed of this desire, like it is childish or taboo. I do not feel like I am Okay the way I am, and even though I am aware of all the ways my thinking is flawed I haven't been able to feel differently. I can't lead a normal life when I feel like crying every day.

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Posted

I was recently reading a book about how to cope with overwhelming emotions and it read, "If you're in a painful situation and your emotions are going to overwhelm you and possibly make things worse, then often it's best just to leave." This reminded me of the many times I've left a party, a camping trip, a get together with family, or a friends house because I suddenly became profoundly depressed, with a sickening ache deep in my stomach. I would feel an almost uncontrollable urge to cry, but if I was unable to get away I would just shut myself out from everyone else and be silent, saying I was tired if someone asked if I was okay. Many times I have said goodnight to retreat to my room and cry. It is this side of me that I am ashamed of and have always tried to hide. To this day I hide my depression from my friends and sometimes family, so that I can have normal relationships with people and not be given special treatment. I feel shy and embarrassed in public, it is hard for me to look people in the eyes. When someone who cares asks me whats wrong I can't be real because I would be too emotional. I want so much to be close but I'm afraid and ashamed of who I am. I feel inadequate and unwanted. I feel like no one would want to be with someone insecure, hurt, and depressed. I keep finding out how much depression has been affecting every aspect of my life and been the driving force behind my biggest problems. It makes me want to feel like I'm a victim and its not my fault, and to forgive myself. For some reason I continue to feel like I am fundamentally flawed and should be rejected. I crave having a girlfriend to hold me and to be close to, and I feel ashamed of this desire, like it is childish or taboo. I do not feel like I am Okay the way I am, and even though I am aware of all the ways my thinking is flawed I haven't been able to feel differently. I can't lead a normal life when I feel like crying every day.

Hey Copeman!

Before I start, I want you to know that I can only speak from a place of someone who does NOT suffer from depression - I am on the outside looking in. I joined this forum in order to learn more about how to support the people I love who have depression. That being said, the kindest thing MaBeau ever did was tell me, on our first date, that he had depression. No, it wasn't like, "Hi, I'm Beau and I'm depressed", but he brought it up in the course of conversation as we got to know a little more about each other. To this day, I appreciate his honesty and candor - I realize it took a lot of courage to share such an intimate aspect about himself. I know it is difficult for most people to present themselves to the world in a truly genuine and sincere manner - especially those aspects of ourselves that we don't feel comfortable with. And I feel that at times it can be even more difficult to share those truths with the people we love and care about most, because we don't want to be a burden. I say we, and realize I should be careful with that sort of generalization, so I apologize if that is how it comes across. I speak this out of my own observation, and my own experience. Everybody is flawed in some way - it is part of being human. From what I read, this is an extraordinary challenge for you, and I would like to commend you for reaching out here - it sounds to me like it is taking a tremendous amount of energy and courage for you to share these feelings. I haven't been on these boards for very long, and I am not by any stretch of the imagination an expert on depression, but I can tell you, in my opinion, that this appears to be a good, safe place to reach out to others and speak your truth. I don't know if these words offer much in the way of a solution, but I do want you to know that I honor your courage to talk about this, and I do hope that someone will post that can offer more than I can right now. But for right now, just know that I am in your corner, pulling for you. That is the best I can give.

Peace,

LMS

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Posted

i'm sorry you're feeling so down now. LMS is right, this is a good place to reach out and share what's going on. No need to feel ashamed here, you're not alone in your struggles and there is a great deal of support here. Please come back often and share what's going on.

I know what you mean about being ashamed of the depression. Logically, I know it's not right to feel that way, but I'm like you in that I can't tell people about my depression. My wife and my therapist know but that's all. I can't bring myself to sit people down and explain that I'm depressed and that there are times when I just want to withdraw so I make up excuses (tired, not feeling well, etc). If more people were like LMS, we would have an easier time with depression, at least someone would understand a little about what we're going through ( thanks LMS! ).

You might want to think about counseling. A trained counselor is there to help you through the depression and not make judgements about your illness. I know this is helping me.

Good luck and let us hear back from you.

mallard.

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Posted

Hi Copeman,

First off, there is nothing to be ashamed about being depressed. It is the largest mental illness in the world that affects millions of people. It is also the most disabling MI. You are aware of what it's doing to you, which most people deny. It's also difficult to talk to uninformed people about depression-there's the stigma attached to mental illness to break.

If you haven't sought professional treatment, you should consider doing so. You can start with your GP or if your health insurance doesn't require a referral, contact a preferred mental health provider within your health insurance network (call your insurance for a list of MH providers in your area.) Depression can be a result of an imbalance of serotonin, dopamine or norepinephron that anti-depressants can help. Therapy can help also, but you have to put in the effort and self-work necessary for it to be successful. With proper treatment, your life can be better and more fullfilling. Don't continue to suffer when help is available.

We can listen, understand, give you support and feedback and share our experiences with you. However, we're your peers and none of us are professionals.

Sheepwoman

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Posted

Hi Copeman,

You certainly don't need to feel ashamed for having an illness. Sometimes there are people that we limit as to what to share about our depression to. When it comes to friends or family especially if you are close to them, then it can make you feel worse and I know it's easier said then done. You seem to feel so much shame for several reasons and you don't need to feel that shame, with the right help and support you may come to understand depression better by sharing here with others who understand but most importantly if you haven't already you may want to think about professional help as they can also be of help with therapy and or meds. Keep posting. We are here.

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Posted

I totally know what you mean about being ashamed about depression. The strange thing is that I'm very open to talking about it. I wish I had people asking me if I was alright so I could have someone to talk to about it. Yet, I still feel bad about myself because I have depression. That's kind of a crazy self-perpetuating cycle.

I also hate that when I feel depressed or get depressed while out I retreat to my isolation. The next time I'm going to force myself to stay. It's not like my time would be better spent in isolation or that I won't be going back to it at the end of whatever I'm currently doing.

Finally, depression is a mental illness. It's only harder to accept that it's not your fault because it isn't physical. A broken leg is so much easier to see, fix, and get over than little chemicals in your head not being balanced or whatever. Maybe if our heads glowed red when they were malfunctioning it'd be easier to accept ourselves. I'm still ashamed of it and I still hate that I have it and give into it but I'm open to talking about it and understand it for what it is. It's sort of one step forward and a half-step back ... so still progress.

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Posted

Hi Copeman, As others have said, its nothing to be ashamed of. Part of the stigma of mental illness is that we should be able to control our emotions. As others have said, depression is a physical illness. The chemicals in your brain are not working properly. It's no different from any other physical illness. You wouldn't be ashamed of telling people that you had heart disease, an ulcer or diabetes. Although, as Secretmist says, you may want to be careful at first who you share this with.

When you hide it, you are isolating yourself and not allowing important support that you need from others in your life. Just think, if you found out that a loved one had an illness and told you, you'd be there to offer support.

Iowa

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Posted

Thanks for reading, I really need to vent sometimes and it helps when I don't know what to do. I've been getting help for a couple of years.

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Posted

hi copeman, please dont feel ashamed of your depresion. im not ashamed im am who i am this depression only makes me more determined to beat it... there is no way in hell im letting it beat me i want a carreer so im studying only a week ago i was at my worst i have ever been to the point they really thought about hospitalizing me they didnt i went home took my little magic tablets and god only knows how i managed to go to college next day it was really tough and felt like getting up and running away but instead i kept repeating myself no you can do this fight it , i felt i achieved something by doing so i got an extra boost when my tutor told me i had passed my exams . everyone around me knows im very depressed sometimes its not hard for them not to know as normally im the bubbly crazy one who has the caring side where people come to me with their worries and woes i love to make people happy see ythem smile when im really low and cant its such a burden too me so to make mostly me happy and others i fight it with my ninja sword lol .. accept it who cares what people think the ones who mock are those who dont understand and if one day they suffer with depression lets hope they have people to care about them.. sorry if im rambling on you dont have to tell anyone about your depession if you dont want to but if you do dont see it as your burdening them your just wanting them to know why sometimes you wanna say ,you know what i dont feel like talking today .i have certain people i can call who will lift me in 5mins and there are others i avoid if im low anyway i will give your poor eye balls arest now as youve gathered im a right wee chatter box lol . take care catherine x :shocked:

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