Weather Center | Classifieds | Advertise With Us 

Tampa Bay Online Edition

Last Updated: Aug 16th, 2007 - 19:28:08 

Front Page 
 
 Top Stories
 Features and Series
 Finding Florida
 Community In Focus
 Links Mentioned
 In Your Words
 
 News & Community
 Community News
 Business
 Where In South Hillsborough?
 Observing The Web
 In Uniform
 Obituaries
 Community In Retrospect
 
 Commentary
 
 Nation and World
 
 Columnists
 Fishtales
 Positive Talk
 Saturation Point
 View From the Road
 Wandering Florida
 Savvy Senior




Observer Classifieds

Place a Classified Ad

Send a Letter to the Editor

Send a Press Release

Staff Directory

Archives / Search 2003

Community Links
 

Commentary

Commentary: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
By Mitch Traphagen mitch@observernews.net
Nov 2, 2006, 20:29

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Id like to thank the many people who wrote after my recent article on depression many of who suffered from it themselves.  Conventional wisdom might suggest that the worst thing someone with depression could do was hear from other depressed people but that is not the case.  There is healing in knowing that you are not alone.  I suspect that is what prompted many to write in.

I heard from several professionals who seemed relieved to be able to talk about it.  Their occupations, apparently, did not allow them to reveal such things publicly.  

I heard from one man who was simply passing through the area and picked up the newspaper at Dennys restaurant.  He was traveling to find some temporary relief and he, too, found that he was not alone.
In every case, the words and names are private and will never be shared.  I know hearing from people has helped me I hope others have been helped as well.

But more than ever, I know that depression is a critical issue in South Hillsborough.  And more than ever, I know that it is important to talk about it.  It was a tough decision for me to reveal something so personal to thousands of people but doing anything less would have been hypocritical at best and a lie at worst.  

It is important to realize that clinical depression is a disease it is not a weakness.  I have never felt weak in my life well, at least up to this point.  But I have never been afraid to take on any adventure or challenge.  This, however, may be my biggest challenge yet.  And Im but just one example.  There are many people who have accomplished much in their lives but yet suffer from this.  But it doesnt have to be forever there is no need to live like this since help is out there.

Things have gone OK over the past few weeks.  Im sure anyone who has suffered from depression can relate when I say that it is often a matter of taking two steps forward and one step back.  Sometimes its five steps back but other times everything seems back to normal.  Its a long-term process.  As an impatient person, its taking some time to realize this wont be fixed overnight.  But things will be fixed - this will get better.

The support of my family and friends and hearing from all of you - has helped to a great degree.  For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I hope that I have or will return that favor someday.

In the coming weeks, I will revisit the subject, this time talking about the hard work people are doing in the area primarily through the Coalition for Mental Health and Aging in Sun City Center.  There, people are volunteering their time to help their friends and neighbors through a difficult period.
There is a better road through life out there and there are people with the directions to that road.  But first we need to be able to talk about it - and we need to remember that were not alone.


© Copyright 2007 by The Observer News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.

Top of Page

Commentary
Latest Headlines
Commentary: Losing A Friend, Gaining Some Faith
Saying Goodbye to a Friend
Together We Can Create A Miracle