Chemical or Existential?

Since my post of a couple of days ago, where I wrote that I am depressed, I have received a number of emails from people telling me their depression stories. Some of the people I know, I have bumped into them at the local park, we have exchanged beaming smiles and how are yous, and never guessed that a depression might a lurked behind a smile.
Of course I am encouraged by their assurances that I will get better, and I know that I will, I have been through it before. But in the same way that until Andrew died I had no idea that suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst adolescents; until I wrote and spoke about my own depression, I had no idea that so many people suffer from it.
My question is, is it all due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, or is some of it existential? Or both?

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5 thoughts on “Chemical or Existential?

  1. My dear Esmerelda,
    I highly doubt that your depression is due to a chemical imbalance. Rather, it would be a consequence of this most grave event in your life. Your natural chemistry seems to have lifted you up, with a joyous buoyancy and strength for most of your life. It is rare that the neurotransmitters in your brain would change suddenly. Clinical depression would usually begin earlier in life.
    I must tell you that after Joshua died, two friends bought me a gym membership, came to my door every morning at 6:00 to take me, and made sure I swam laps for 30 -45 minutes every day. I also used some of the equipment, cardio stuff, like an elliptical machine, and weight training machines as well. Any form of exercise is imperative to getting out of depression, no matter what the cause. Even if it is just a walk, albeit, somewhat lively, every day. This has been proven to be helpful in all recoveries from depression. Myself included., on more than one occurrence in my life.
    with love, lisa

    • I have been lying down most of the day for days. Today I agreed to go for a drive, we topped by some friends. My friend insisted on taking my husband and I for a drive to show us a secret garden, once there we got out and walked in the freezing rain, I wearing Andrew’s rain coat. It did me good. I even ate some dinner tonight.
      Night is upon us again, I pray that when morning comes I can get up before lunch time. Love, Esmeralda-Andrew’s Mummy

  2. I encourage you to find a self-expressive way to explore these feelings of depression. If the depression you are experiencing is chemical or existential, self-expression in music, art, and writing are great coping skills. If you have any questions about some of these methods, feel free to contact me. I am a music therapist with a strong background in mental health and would be glad to help you with some of these creative explorations.

  3. How many children have been told to put on a “happy face,” if there not happy or not feeling well.
    How many parents are teaching by their example to hide their secrets, drown their pain with perscription drugs or alcohol?
    How many parents are not teaching their children to be open to talk about their emotions. It starts with children. If a child is abused (physical, sexual, emotional) and or not feeling well, has had some emotional experiences in their past or present. How many have been taught to share their pain?
    How many children on the path to adulthood have trust with their parents to share how their really feeling?
    The hotline ought to be with their family. Trust is created early on. Young adults / adults would rather leave to find peace rather than share their pain. Why is this?
    So many walk around with “depression lurking behind a smile.”

    • Indeed. And I have written about this. I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post and for the blog as well called
      A motherùs movement to stop suicide

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