Sometimes a dark cloud of melancholy descends upon me. I feel deep sadness for people who are gone, opportunities missed, and lots of other things. I feel misunderstood, under appreciated, and sometimes taken advantaged of. I’ve never shared these feelings with anyone and they generally do not last very long either. Maybe a day at the most.

I’m by nature a very optimistic person. Sometimes when bad things are looming on the horizon, I just think about what the worse outcome could be and suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad. I’ve gone through longer depressions than a day before. But I have always been able to find my way out of them.

I’ve known people who suffer from depression. Their depression was so deep and so gripping that they couldn’t handle it by themselves. They needed to seek professional help and medication in order to deal with it. I know there are chemical imbalances in the brain that require medication. Part of me understands that and part of me doesn’t. Since I’ve always been able to work my way out of my depression, I find it hard sometimes to have empathy for those that can’t. I wish I could say I do, but I really can’t.

I don’t understand suicide. Especially people with families that care about them. It seems so selfish to me. But I do understand that during an episode of deep depression a person may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But how can you look into the face of your child or someone that loves you and still in your head think that taking you own life is the solution to your problems.

I think, through no research of my own, that so much of this begins early in life. During childhood. Children are bullied, made to feel worthless, have low self-esteem. Sometimes even in their own homes.  I think all children experience this at some point and to some degree. Children need encouragement and they need to feel special. I hate to hear a child, especially a boy being told to “Suck it up.” Hugs go a long way, even when we are adults.

As adults we don’t know what our co-workers, friends, and other acquaintances have gone through in their lives or what they may be going through today. Sometimes its just a matter of making eye contact, smiling, or making an effort to understand to make someone feel like a viable contributing human being.

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