Depression Support from DBSA, Houston
Depression support groups are able to help many people with mood disorders. Today we had the honor of attending the Help, Hope and Healing Luncheon of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) of Greater Houston. For those of you that do not know about DBSA, take the time to learn more. This is a magnificent nonprofit organization that provides free high quality support, education and tools for people who suffer from depression or bipolar disorders, or who are touched by someone who is – that means almost everyone! The Houston chapter is the largest in the country and offers over 70 groups a week. Todays event was attended by approximately 450 people and is estimated to have raised $350,000 to help with depression support in Houston. I will use “depression support” for short hand, but please know that depression and bipolar disorders have a lot in common, but have important differences – more on that another day; DBSA provides support for both. The lunch today featured Tim Gunn. Frankly, I did not know who he was until today. His professional credentials are impressive, but in a field that does not overlap much with mine. He gave the most wonderful talk on struggling with depression as a youth. Depression is such misunderstood illness. Part of what I admire about DBSA is that in providing depression support, they education about how common this illness is and how it has a physiology. The old notions that there is something to be ashamed of is indeed old school and outdated. Gunn was able to talk about the pain and isolation he felt, but he is one of the few speakers who can also tell the story with candor and humor. Lacking depression support, as a boy he would want to run away or hide, but the family Bassett hound always knew where he was and would thwart his plans. Trying to take the dog as a proactive measure meant packing food and water, which can become untenable for a struggling youth. Being able to laugh at yourself is a sign of maturity and maybe even Mental Health. By incorporating humor, Gunn allows the listener to understand the pain of depression, but be able to stay present for the full story. Gunn rightly wondered how his pain might have lessened earlier if depression support like that provided by DBSA was available in his youth. Thank you Tim Gunn and thank you DBSA.