• Depression: We Wish We Had the Choice

    The following post was taken from our friends at DepressionBloggers. We thank them for offering insight into the issue of depression, which impacts so many sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder.


    This morning reading the papers from across the world, I came to an article about how Jennifer Anniston, an American actress, talked about her experience with “poor people’s food.” It seems that she was forced to eat at a McDonald’s and it totally upset her pure system that was used to whole, natural foods.

    It saddened me that she was so removed from the world, but even more importantly it brought to mind how this is so like people who have never experienced depression, either in themselves or in their loved ones.

    Those people who don’t know what depression is like will not understand the fact that unlike them, we do not have the luxury to go somewhere else and shop. We cannot tell the one we love to “suck it up and get better” or to decide to seek someone else who is more fun. We don’t have a choice as to whether we can get rid of the cloud over us or not. We don’t have the money to get the best treatment in the land.

    Instead we have to deal with the good days and the bad day – the days at the Four Seasons and the days at McDonald’s. We have to face the cloud over us each day and hope that it is not a thundercloud; that it is instead a grey cloud that with medication and direction can dissipate for the day. We have to do the juggling act of insurance, hoping that we can swing treatment and medication along with food and clothing and shelter.

    I am not jealous of Ms. Anniston’s success in life. I’m glad she is a healthy individual and treats her body with respect. I only hope she is able to look at the world more expansively, to realize that others do not have the luxuries she has and that people deal with a great deal of crap in their emotional lives and sometimes McDonald’s is the only choice they have.

    – Bernadette

    One additional comment from me, Shelly. Jennifer Aniston has served as a spokesperson for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Many families are forced to move across the country to seek treatment at St. Jude and stay in Ronald McDonald Houses. My godson Johnny  spent many of the last months of his life at St. Jude with his family. They stayed in the Ronald McDonald House, thanks to the generosity of the McDonald’s corporation. And while Johnny’s parents are devoted to the healthiest possible choices for their children, budget and the constraints of living at the Ronald McDonald House while balancing treatment and a sliver of family time often meant grabbing a hamburger in the car. A gentle reminder, Ms. Aniston: many people–a good number of them who are caring for their split families in children’s hospitals–don’t have the luxury of “clean” eating every day.

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