Without Shame

| May 18, 2009

Seeking help for depression is a sign of strength, not weakness


There was a time when I simply dismissed depression as a state of mind that is as easily corrected as tying your shoes. I often quizzed a close relative about why he seemed so melancholy. “Just depressed,” he’d say.

“Someone say something you didn’t like?”

“No,” he’d reply, offering no additional information.

This line of questioning would go on until we were both frustrated.

“Well, think of something that makes you happy and snap out of it,” I’d offer at last.

It was only after I married my lovely wife, Olivia, who would occasionally get depressed for reasons I couldn’t put a reason to (other than having to put up with me), that I began to understand depression as something much more complicated. We discovered her depression, while never severe or long-term, was linked to her having diabetes.

That’s the thing about depression that many people like myself have a hard time understanding – depression is linked to many different root causes. Finding out what is causing it means admitting to yourself that you have a problem that you need to address. If it’s a major form of the illness, it may require medication. But the good news is many other forms of depression triggered by stress can be treated with simple therapy – some of which we outline in this issue. See page 20.

There are many myths about depression:
·Depression only affects women. Obviously spread by the males in our species. While women report being affected by depression twice as much as men, depression definitely affects men also. In fact, men have a higher rate of successful suicide attempts than women.
·Depression will go away by itself. If depression does go away on its own, it’s likely to be temporary. If you’ve had depression in the past, you’re almost guaranteed to have it again until you deal with what’s causing it.
·You can will depression away, and if you can’t you’re weak. As I said before, that was my theory, and I was wrong. Depression needs to be dealt with like any medical problem.

Because of the rigors of the trucking lifestyle, drivers who suffer from depression are likely to allow the problem to go unchecked. That’s both unhealthy and unwise.

Unfortunately, even for those who realize they have a problem, there is an unfair stigma associated with depression that often serves as an obstacle for those who would seek help otherwise.

There is no shame in having depression, only in not doing something about it so you enjoy a happier and healthier life.


Murdered for a Measly $7
The tragic story of trucker Jason Rivenburg is one that makes you mad and concerned at the same time. On March 5, the 35-year-old Fultonham, N.Y., trucker parked his rig at an abandoned grocery and convenience store in St. Matthews, S.C. He planned to make a delivery the next morning at a grocery store about 30 miles away. Sometime after 10 p.m., a thug fired two bullets into his head, leaving his wife a widow and three small children (his wife has since delivered twins) without a father.

And the murder and robbery netted the coward who shot him a total of $7. In addition to the shooter, police have charged two other men with accessory after the murder. A proposed bill in the U.S. House of Representatives called Jason’s Law hopes to provide grant money to increase secure parking for truck drivers in areas where parking availability is scarce. See page 14.

Hopefully, this senseless murder will bring more attention to the problem of truck parking in heavily traveled truck corridors. And maybe it will bring some comfort to the Rivenburg family that Jason’s death was not totally in vain.

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