In Depression There's Strength in Numbers

Jeanne Sager
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smiling girl

Not a gray day. Photo by Jeanne Sager

We all want to be one of a kind. But in my search for acceptance of my depression, I've found relief in being just one of an estimated 20.9 million Americans who struggle with a mood disorder.

Don't fret ladies -- the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) estimate we're at a much higher risk for depression by the simple fact that we have a uterus. But like my mother said (okay, she borrowed it from somewhere), that which does not kill us makes it possible to get up in the morning and run after our kids. My daugher is now 4 1/2, and I'm still running.

Even though I was diagnosed with depression in 1999. Even though there are days when my mood is grayer than my cat, I'm living with depression, and I'm okay with talking about it, even chronicling my day-to-day experiences here on The Stir.

That's because the folks at the NIMH estimate just one-fifth of women with depression ever seek the help they need. Is it because we think we're supposed to handle it all -- the household, the kids, the job, and our gray moods without an ounce of help?

Helen Reddy had it wrong. We might be strong, but we're not invincible. And take one look at the little girl above -- getting help isn't just good for us. It's good for them too!

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