We need to take the stigma out of depression | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

"As a Renton resident, I understand the anguish of severe depression."

Kudos to the Renton Reporter for providing an article on depression treatment following headlines about the consequences of depression (i.e., “Ask a Doctor: How Does Clinical Depression…,” Aug. 8). In providing this article, the Reporter found a positive way to respond to recent news events.

As a Renton resident, I understand the anguish of severe depression. I tried to take my own life just over two years ago – a response to intertwined clinical depression, a physically painful medical illness for which there isn’t yet a cure, and unemployment. I regained consciousness in a hospital three days following my attempt.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where depression is stigmatized.  In my case, I became increasingly depressed while seeing specialists for the medical condition I got sick with in 2008. I was so determined to not be identified as depressed – due to the stigma around it – that I worked hard to cover up my worsening depression.

Several months before I reached a suicidal state, one hospital sent me for an automatic psychiatric assessment (they do psychiatric assessments for all patients whose medical conditions require prescription pain medication). I worked so hard to cover up my “embarrassing depression” that their psychiatrist reported that I had no mental-health issues.

Since my attempt, I’ve opened up about my experience by publishing a journal I kept for 10 months following my suicide attempt. Anyone interested in increasing their understanding of severe depression is welcome to contact me at bking@activechangepress.com.

In an effort to get people talking, I offer free electronic copies of this publication to individuals who are themselves clinically depressed (one woman who read it said that I had articulated her experience that she hadn’t been able to find words for).

Bekka King,
Renton

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