We drove through Aberdeen, Washington today. Aberdeen is the hometown of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. I have been a huge fan of Kurt since I was 12 years old. It was interesting for me to see where he grew up. He was incredibly talented. It is awful to see what depression and addiction can do to people. I think that is why I am so touched by his music. I can relate to the feelings of depression and horrors or addiction. I wish he had found a way out. Unfortunately, so many people don’t find a way out. Since this is my soapbox, let me take a minute to talk about the lack of understanding and treatment concerning depression and addiction.
The two illnesses often go hand-in-hand. And yes, they are illnesses, the same as cancer or diabetes. These are not moral issues. Depression and addiction hit all different kinds of people. Too often in our society we look down on people who are suffering from depression or addiction. We judge them or blame them for their illness. Would we judge a caner patient the same way? I doubt it.
We must realize that depression and addiction is no different than any other illness. It is nothing to be ashamed of and should not be looked down upon. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with depression or addiction, don’t be afraid to ask for help. These are life-threatening diseases, but they are treatable.
I don’t normally disclose this information, but in the interest of helping others who might be suffering from depression or addiction, I will share than I deal with both issues. My family has a tough history of depression. I too am dealing with my own depression. The key is that I’m dealing with it. When I am proactive and doing what I need to do, I have no problem. I am loving life and having a blast.
I also deal with addiction. Almost everyone is touched by addiction in some way or another. Whether it be a family member, friend, or loved one; addiction is a prevalent disease in our society. Know that it is just that: a disease. Once it has a hold on you, it is incredibly difficult to break free. But it is possible. I’ve been sober for years. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction, feel free to email me and we can talk.
That is my personal story. Now time for my rant (I’ll keep it short). We don’t have adequate treatment or understanding of depression or addiction. We need to take these diseases seriously and bring them out of the basement. We shouldn’t be ashamed to seek help or talk about these illnesses. Every family deals with depression and/or addiction in one way or another. Let’s bring these diseases out in the open and shed some light on the matter. That way we can start to seriously deal with what is wrong.
We need improved addiction services in this country. It is nearly impossible to find a bed in a detox or treatment center. Why is that? Why would we turn someone away who is seeking help? Treatment centers lack the funding needed to provide help for enough people. Why are we not adequately funding treatment centers? There are people dying from the disease of addiction everyday, yet we don’t have enough facilities to treat the people that are seeking help.
This is a disease that every family faces. A cousin, nephew, sister, father or spouse; every family is touched by addiction or depression. It is time we speak up and demand that our loved ones be treated with the respect they deserve and be given the care they need to recover. Drag these diseases out of the dark! Once we realize that we all have “one in our family”, then we can stop pretending and start to take down these diseases and save our loved ones.