The Other Big D

Edwin C. Hofert

Hampton, N.H.

formerly of Marshalltown

While the holiday season to most is a cheerful and love-filled time. To others it’s something quite different.

First of all, the opinions and suggestions offered in my letter is just that. I am not nor claim to be trained in the field of medicine or the treatment of depression.

However, after spending a lifetime dealing with moderate to severe depression I think I might know something of value to someone new to the struggle.

As a child I often played alone in my room. Only now 50 some years later do I wonder if there wasn’t a depressive tendency even back then. My first actual memory of being depressed was when I was seven years old.

I was drying the dishes my mother washed when I was suddenly overwhelmed with sadness and I began to cry uncontrollably. When she asked me what was wrong, my only response was that I didn’t know.

The reason it’s etched in my memory is because she kept me out of school for the next two days and took me to work with her. I remember that first episode was like suddenly being wrapped in a blanket of sadness. Over the years it’s arrival has become much more subtle. And often I don’t even sense it happening until I’m knee deep in it.

I can’t tell you that I remember each and every time, but I can tell you at times I was in danger of giving up.

And if there is one thing that I could offer someone in the way of advice that is struggling with depression it is this:

Reach out to someone! Preferably someone qualified to prescribe medication if needed but reach out to someone!

The reason is not just because of the help they might bring to the table. It’s because I believe something happens in your mind that starts a change in the way you think. You’re suddenly a part of a solution. An active participant in your own recovery. You are now a fighter. Unstoppable!

There’s a million ways and theories on fighting depression. But one thing is for sure. They all begin with a first step.

Let your first step be the one to change your direction. Tell someone. Even if you choose to remain indiscreet and join an online interactive site. Acknowledgement of the problem is the beginning of the remedy.

Merry Christmas. And to all a good night. And remember, you are not alone!