My Experience Talking About Women and Depression on Dr. OZ
This past week I had a remarkable once in a lifetime opportunity. I had the chance to be on television on the Doctor Oz show. The topic for the show was women and depression. I want everyone to know that I would not have had this opportunity if it were not for my friend and co-writer here on My Depression Connection, Deborah Gray. So thank you Deborah, I am so very grateful.
I have watched the Dr. Oz show before and I really like it and I have a lot of respect for the doctor. At first I was not at all sure I wanted to do this. I am an extremely shy person and phobic of so many things including airplane rides and public speaking! So this was multiple frights in a row with the plane travel, going to a huge city (New York) and talking in front of an audience about my depression. I am sweating right now just thinking about it all. But in the end I thought to myself that if this helps someone out there then it is all worth it. This was simply another chance for me to give back.
New York City was absolutely overwhelming in every sense of the word. Does anyone here live or work in New York? I felt like a country bumpkin there with my mouth agape like a goldfish dumped into the ocean. There was an ever moving sea of people, revolving doors (which I kept getting stuck in), and constant honking of horns. And it truly is a city that never sleeps. It was crowded in the morning, noon, and night. All sorts of people going somewhere in a hurry. I took my eldest son with me and we both agreed that this was a great place to visit but we would not want to live there!
My anxiety was out of the stratosphere knowing that I would be on national television but it was also surreal like some ethereal out of body experience. I kept reminding myself that this was not as frightening as let's say...surgery. I would somehow get through this and be proud of myself. It is so hard in these situations to foresee the next minutes you have been anticipating for weeks. You just never know how it will be until that time actually comes.
And it went well. I didn't faint or stutter or any of the other horrible things I imagined I might do. I had to squelch all the inner voices which say negative things and just move forward. I had to basically tell my inner critic to shut up once and for all or at least until this twelve minute TV segment was over!
I was very happy that I was joined on the show by other women who had also battled with depression. I wished that there had been more time to fully hear their stories. I find that anyone who has survived depression has some amazing stories to tell.
When Doctor Oz asked the audience if they have experienced the symptoms of depression so many hands went up. I think the statistic he gave is that one in four women will experience depression in her lifetime. That is a lot of people.
I was asked several questions on the show and one of them was something like, "What things do you do to cope with your depression?" I had a huge list but could only say a couple of sentences on the show as time would allow. So I thought maybe I could pose this question right back to you all. What would you say if Doctor Oz had asked you this question?
I thought that this question was a great inspiration for some future posts and features on My Depression Connection. I am planning on doing a weekly (or bi-monthly) video where I will give some of my personal ideas of how to manage depression on an on-going basis.
Some of the symptoms of depression were discussed and I could relate to all of them as I am sure many of you can too. Again I thought that we can delve more deeply here to share our experiences with the individual symptoms of depression and what solutions we have come up with in order to cope with them.
There is so much more I want to say but I don't want to give away the whole show before it airs. I guess the main message I want to give is that there is hope. There have been times in my life when I was so low I felt like giving up and worse. But when you share your story with others and reach out from your own pain to help someone else you are giving meaning to your suffering. You are worthy and you matter. I don't get to see or hear from so many people who might stumble upon this site and read my words or the words of other members. But whoever you are, whether you are silent or not, I do see you. I see myself in every person who is battling their depression. I know firsthand how hard this is.
So take my hand. We are going to make it. We are going to survive this minute, this hour, this week, and this year. We are going to do our best here at My Depression Connection to give you some of the support you need. We do not replace your medical doctor or professional help from a therapist. But we can share our stories of survival and strength and help each other along the way.
Thanks for letting me share my news. Life is full of surprises and sometimes they are actually good! Look for the light and let some happiness in. You deserve it.