My turn: Depression not sign of weakness

By Lonie Newby: Military matters

There is a topic that I’ve been nervous to approach but the more I interact with military spouses I have realized just how prevalent the problem is: Depression.

It exists. It is out there. It is probably closer to home than most of us like to admit. And more than anything, it is not a sign of weakness.

Honestly, the first step is admitting that there is a problem. Initially, this doesn’t have to be to a doctor or even a best friend. The biggest obstacle is facing yourself and saying something isn’t right.

We could all be happier. We can all take action to improve our lifestyle. But there are times when a chemical or hormonal imbalance is giving an unfair advantage to those dark thoughts that do us a great disservice.

There are many larger issues that can arise when bouts of depression go ignored, or worse when people begin to self-medicate with alcohol or other substances.

I’m not saying that everyone needs to run to the doctor and get a prescription. For some people medications available can help take the edge off so that the playing field is leveled a bit. For others, exercise and diet are used to naturally increase your endorphins, serotonin and balance out your vitamin intake.

Another viable option is to simply talk it out. There are many times when I simply feel better by expressing myself vocally.

I encourage any of you experiencing the blues that, just don’t fade away, to take action. The fear of repercussions for ‘coming out’ with your depression are far less drastic than the potential of living with it untreated and ignored.

This is a tough role for anyone, and there is no shame looking for help when you don’t know where to turn. The best thing that you can do for yourself and your family is be the best you possible — even if that requires outside assistance.

Loni Newby is a Clovis mom, married to the Air Force. Contact her at: Loni.Newby@gmail.com