It’s difficult to admit you’re depressed. It’s even more difficult to make that admission when you’re a public figure. However, junior Senator John Fetterman from Pennsylvania did just that at the start of the year, putting a spotlight on the importance of mental health and proving that this disease is anything but partisan. While his detractors might try to paint him as weak, there are more reasons why his move is heroic.
It Doesn’t Take a Big Man to Make a Big Decision
Senator Fetterman is known for his formidable figure at 6′ 8″. But it doesn’t matter who you are, how strong you are, or what you look like, if depression comes for you, it’s there and you must make decisions about how to handle it. Senator Fetterman admits now that he was indifferent about his life, about his big win, about everything.
Fetterman admits that the day he won his Senate seat, he wasn’t all that excited. In fact, he didn’t feel much at all. For him, it wasn’t just a matter of exhaustion after a difficult race and suffering a stroke during his campaign. Maybe those factors contributed to his struggles, but the reality is that he was already living in a years-long private struggle with depression, and it was time to do something about it.
Give Yourself Room to Heal
Many people struggle through their daily life with depression because they don’t think they have the time or space to tend to their mental health needs. Senator Fetterman checked himself into a military medical center for a six-week stay even though he had just been sworn in as a new senator – but he also couldn’t get out of bed, not even for his children, entering rehab on his son’s birthday.
Depression is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your job is, how wealthy you might be, or the gifts that are in your life – if your brain has hit a low, treatment is the only way to get relief and save you from your own depths of misery. Even though Senator Fetterman had just been elected to a new position, he prioritized himself because depression isn’t something that just goes away. You can’t will it to disappear or try to overcome it on your own.
It’s easy to think that your job is more precious than it is and that it can only be done by you. You may worry that your partner or other family members can’t manage your children or pets or home well enough if you’re not in the picture. But think about how well you are or are not dealing with your major responsibilities as someone who is depressed – could you be doing it all much better and more happily with mental health support? With a new zest for life and a lifting of that heaviness of depression?
Different Types of Depression
Senator Fetterman was diagnosed with clinical depression, but there are nuances to this mental health disorder. Some of the most common but misunderstood types of depression include the following:
- High-functioning depression: Having all the signs of clinical depression but still managing to function day-to-day so your condition is not apparent to others – or sometimes even apparent to yourself.
- Anhedonia: Associated with major depressive disorder, this condition is characterized by a lack of desire, motivation, and pleasure from things that used to excite you or offer enjoyment.
- Treatment-resistant depression: Failing to respond to standard doses of antidepressants after they are continuously administered for a set time. Other types of therapy can be more effective beyond medication.
Mental health treatment is apolitical, as Senator Fetterman has made clear. In fact, he’s set a precedent for many families, showing the importance of caring for your well-being when you need it so you can live a happier, more enjoyable life with the people you love.
Diagnosing Your Depression
Emotions are good, though some can certainly make you uncomfortable. Feeling sad, upset, or tearful does not make a person depressed – the lack of these emotions and any others, however, could be an indication of depression. You don’t have to diagnose yourself.
Get the mental health support you need, no matter what condition you find yourself in. Taking a break from the difficulties of your life to figure out your moods and emotions is essential for everyone.
Look to the holistic rehab and customized mental health services at Beachside Rehab in West Palm Beach, Florida. Our facility offers inpatient and outpatient rehab for mental health and substance abuse, detox, and holistic recovery. Call today at 866-349-1770 to speak with a trained admissions counselor.
Photo by Uta Scholl on Unsplash