Living with treatment-resistant depression is one of the hardest chronic diseases imaginable to manage. Imagine having a regular chronic, physical disease — like diabetes — but because it’s invisible, people don’t even believe that you have a disease!
Why can’t you get up this morning? Why don’t you have the energy to get your work done? Why are these dishes piling up in the sink? Why haven’t you smiled in more than a month?
Now, on top of that, imagine that your treatment team — doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, nutritionsts, and more — have no idea on how to help you. That everything they’ve tried hasn’t worked. Or it worked for a short period of time, but stopped working.
That’s treatment-resistant depression. That’s the living hell that is the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every day.
Hope is one of the first casualties of regular clinical depression. You lose all hope you will ever feel happy again. You lose all hope that tomorrow will be better. And you lose all hope that anybody understands how you feel. You would do anything to stop feeling that way.
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) takes away any remaining sliver of hope you may have left. It kicks you while you’re down with a, “Ha. Not only are you depressed, but every treatment you’ll try simply won’t work, or will stop working after awhile.” Professionals may even point the finger at you, blaming you for their ineffective treatments. It’s beyond frustrating.
Long-time Associate Editor Therese Borchard has lived with treatment-resistant depression for years. Last year, she got frustrated with all of it combined with the lack of support she found online for this condition. So she began a Facebook group called Group Beyond Blue. As it quickly grew to over 3,000 members, she decided to do more with this idea.
The “more” turned out to be the creation of a new non-profit foundation called the Beyond Blue Foundation.1 It has moved over to the Ning social platform and Project Beyond Blue can now be found here — quickly closing in on 4,000 members. Membership in the community is free.
But the foundation has big plans and wants to do so much more to help those with TRD. While it can help people who have TRD to find the community — so please tweet and Like this on Facebook! — it helps even more if you can show your support for the foundation. You can donate here — any amount helps. (The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit in the U.S., so your donation may be tax deductible as allowed by law.)
In any case, I hope you spread the word. People with treatment-resistant depression no longer have to feel so alone and hopeless. There’s a growing group of others like you who know what you’re going through and would like to offer their support in your struggles.
- Full disclosure: I’ve helped Therese with thinking about the foundation and currently serve on its board. Psych Central also helps out as a sponsor. [↩]