GUEST POST: By Brelin LeAnn Davis, 15 years old, daughter, actress, writer and motivational speaker in North Alabama and Seattle. As an active advocate in spreading education and awareness on mental health issues, Brelin splits her time between Alabama and Washington. Brelin shares her story and message in loving memory of her mom Lesley Kay Mason who lost her battle with depression to suicide March 14, 2009. www.brelindavis.com
What many people don’t understand is that not all sickness can be overcome or cured by medication alone, or at all. It can depend on the specific person’s body and/or state of being. Many major research studies have shown that over 50% of people do not respond to anti-depressants, one of whom was my mother.
My mom suffered from depression and OCD. It was hard throughout my childhood, but more so as a preteen and young teenager, to cope with and understand her illness. I began to understand and see more of my mother’s pain at that time in my life. Her mental health issues had always been there. I picked up on little things during my childhood, but as a preteen and young teenager I really began to understand.
My mom was constantly on various medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety. These medications did not help her feel better, but more or less made her afraid and miserable. By this I mean my mom, like many other people, believed and said things that were totally not true. She believed that if she did not take her medication she could not function like a “normal” person. Like many others, my mom also believed that if she did not take her pills that something horrible might happen.
But the medications my mom was on did not help her. As a result she began to come off of them, under the supervision of her doctor, and went through major withdrawal, and eventually began to have worsening thoughts of suicide.
I am NOT saying these types of medications are necessarily bad for you. I AM saying that if medication does not work for you, there are other ways to cope with mental illness. If one or two or ten things do not work for you, don’t give up! Period, point blank, end of story. Do not give up!
If you try and nothing seems to help you, that does NOT mean you are “broken” or “can’t be fixed.” There is more than one way out of any situation. The decision may not always be easy to make or stick with but there is always MORE than one choice.
It was very hard to watch my mom in her hurt and pain, die slowly at the young age of 31 years old, with no joy in her life. My mother, Lesley Kay Mason, died March 14, 2009 twenty one days before my fourteenth birthday by suicide.
I hope to be an inspiration to men, women, teens and young adults around the world, by sharing my mother’s story and to lend a helping hand to anyone who may need it. So please take this opportunity. If you need help or if someone you love tells you they want you to get help, please don’t be afraid. Just asking for help is the first step. Talk to someone who understands, someone WITHOUT condemnation, hostility and non-encouraging judgment.
You like any other person in this world, including myself, want to be encouraged and not judged. We want to hear caring words from someone who won’t beat what they are saying into you, but will help calmly, and possibly even share their own personal story with you, so that you know you are not alone.
So please NEVER give up!!! THERE IS HOPE, AND A WAY OUT!!! If you or anyone you know would like encouragement, more background on my mother’s story, or just needs to talk, feel free to contact me at www.brelindavis.com. You may also read my Aunt’s story about my mom on this blog.