The Great Depression

Listen, I know you’re busy. And you probably don’t want to read anything super long. So I’ll make it quick. I promise. Once I’ve typed 2,345,402 words, I’ll stop writing.

But I’m worried about you.

No. Please. Don’t stop reading yet. Because I’m serious. You are not all right. You haven’t told your family what you’re going through. Your friends don’t know either. You’re depressed. And depression is a real thing.

Sure, it’s easy to hide it right now with everyone quarantining. But you’re drowning. And I just want you to know you have a friend.

The weird thing about depression is that it’s like a mosquito bite that infects you with yellow fever. On the surface it’s a little swollen area. No big deal. It’s just a tiny bite. Suck it up cupcake. But underneath the skin it’s Hiroshima. And yellow fever doesn’t just go away until it’s done some damage.

So when people tell you, “don’t be sad,” or “cheer up,” or whatever stupid things they say, they’re talking out of their hindparts.

Telling someone to cheer up during depression is like telling a man with pancreatic cancer to “snap out of it.”

The concept of mental health among most Americans is totally screwed up. We get it all wrong. To many, the term “mental illness” is another way of saying, “Whoa, that guy’s a whack job.” And this makes people who suffer ashamed to admit they’re suffering.

It’s not fair. And it’s downright cruel. A guy who breaks his leg in a skiing accident is likely to get more genuine concern from his friends than someone with clinical depression.

But we can’t change society, so I don’t want to get off track by talking about that. I don’t have enough room. Besides, the real reason I am writing this is because I want you to know that you’re not alone.

Look, just because nobody ADMITS they’re depressed right now doesn’t mean they aren’t. They’re just not telling you about it.

Don’t believe me? Well, the U.S. Census Bureau just announced that one third of Americans are probably clinically depressed due to the pandemic.

One. Third.

Take a second and think about that little statistic. One third of all America means people you actually know. Right now. This is like saying that the entire population of roughly 17 U.S. states suffers from major depressive disorder.

This is not just a tiny problem. Depression is stabbing people faster than a knife fight in a closet. A federal emergency hotline reported a 1000 percent increase in depression cases since the pandemic began. Online therapy companies have reported a 65 percent increase in patients.

And right now suicide rates are the highest they’ve been since World War II.

“We have people now who don’t know how to feed their family,” says American Psychiatric Association President Jeffrey Geller. “There are masses of people who are quite worried today because they don’t know what is going to happen… That kind of anxiety exacerbates fragility.”

Even though you might not realize it, a mass psychological trauma is happening in your backyard. This pandemic is more than a mere virus. It’s anxiety, fear, unemployment, addictions, overdoses, isolation, and you have every right to feel depressed. You’re not crazy. You’re human.

You are undergoing real trauma, and trauma alters your brain. I wish I could explain how it all works, but I can’t. Because I don’t know how it works. I’m a plain hick from Nowhere, U.S.A. without credentials.

Even so, I do know depression. I’ve had it myself. And I know you’re humiliated to admit that you have it. Which only makes it worse.

You have no reason to trust me—I think we’ve already established I’m a hick—but if you can’t admit the truth to yourself, you’re not going to get better. And I’ll bet you really want to get better.

We all want you to get better. And that’s the key here. Other people. Other people are going to help you.

You can’t get through this on your own. You probably think you can, but that’s the illusion major depressive disorders create.

You can’t yank yourself out of this funk any more than you can find your way through the Grand Canyon blindfolded and drunk.

That’s not the way it works. If you try to get better by yourself you will fail. Please read that last sentence again if you need to.

You need friends. Family. And professionals who know what the heck they’re doing. These are your golden tickets. But they can’t help you if you don’t tell them what’s going on.

So I’m running out of room here, and I know I promised I’d keep it short. But I lied. Still, maybe when you see these words, they will find you at just the right time. Maybe you’ll be having a terrible day. Maybe you’ll be a mess.

Maybe you were contemplating doing something infinitely stupid to yourself when you came across these poorly written paragraphs. Maybe you actually read this all the way through.

If you did, I hope you know that this guy is your friend. This faceless stranger stayed up into the middle of the night writing you this letter because he loves you.

But then, my words don’t mean much. Yours mean everything. So share them. Tell someone how you feel.

If you can’t find anyone, I know a hick who is ready to listen.


  1. Lucretia - August 9, 2020 7:01 am

    Thank you, Sean, thank you.

  2. Steve Winfield [Lifer] - August 9, 2020 7:01 am

    I’ll gladly share this. If it only helps one person…
    I hope everyone that reads it does the same.
    Thanks Sean. We love you back. Really.

  3. Steve Winfield [Lifer] - August 9, 2020 7:05 am

    Thanks Sean. I’ll gladly share this. If it only helps one person…
    I hope everyone who reads it shares it too.
    We all love you back.

  4. Steve Winfield [Lifer] - August 9, 2020 7:07 am


  5. everylittleting - August 9, 2020 7:28 am

    Bless you and your wise words. This needed to be said.

  6. Vasca - August 9, 2020 8:57 am

    Sean, it’s 3:40 A.M. here in Fort Worth and I’m unable to sleep. Not because I’m depressed; I have a stomach ache from creamed spinach which I was served for lunch. I’m recuperating and don’t want to go back to bed ’til I’m better. I read your writing every day and I can tell you, as one writer to another, you are what America needs. I am just a blog writer who does it to encourage others. This piece is wonderful and I pray those with depression will start spilling what they’re holding inside. I appreciate your transparency. I overcame my depression which lasted 13 years of Valium but I didn’t get over it until my family stepped in with a serious intervention. Without that I wouldn’t have lasted more than a few weeks. I ‘healed’ when I was 63…now I’m 89 and 100% transparent. I hope your words written today will help others. Thanks for being truly you!!!

  7. Mr. Jack - August 9, 2020 10:04 am

    Nailed it! Thank you.

  8. Joan - August 9, 2020 11:35 am

    Thank you. Just what I needed. I’m a depression survivor because I had help from counseling and the conscientious awareness to watch myself and seek help when needed, to practice mindfulness, and to have a morning dose of Sean Dietrich to start the day on the right path. You are my friend. Bless you.

  9. Grace - August 9, 2020 11:37 am


  10. Nan Williams - August 9, 2020 12:02 pm

    Thank you for writing about depression due to the pandemic. As a recently relocated senior, this has shut me away from all social activity in a new city and state. It’s closed all the places (churches, restaurants, gyms, shopping, etc) I was going and frequenting with my new friends. And since things have [somewhat] opened up again, now everyone has to maintain a 6 foot distance and wear a mask. Just yesterday in Publix I asked the helpful deli clerk 3 times about the sliced turkey. I never understood whatever she said and finally just said, “OK.”

    I have no health problems or personal financial concerns and have made good inroads into making a new home here in my daughter’s city, but without avenues for socializing, I’m dying inside.

    Last night I took my grandsons to a very rural eatery (really couldn’t be called a restaurant) way, way down in the woods at a marina. I went there because I heard the food was really good. But what I found was NORMAL LIFE!! There were several hundred people there – of all ages – milling around, waiting for a table, drinking beer, playing games with their children, checking out the boats. We had to wait over an hour for a table. The food? It was well worth it! But the atmosphere? Lots and lots of people acting perfectly normal – no one masked and no one social distancing – was the tonic I needed!! It was so very wonderful to find that rare pocket where nobody was talking about or adhering to or concerned – in the least – about this big bad virus.

    I enjoy and appreciate all your columns, but this one really hit home today.

  11. Molly - August 9, 2020 12:31 pm

    Love your words. Thank you and God bless you!!

  12. RCK - August 9, 2020 12:44 pm

    How very weird that the one thing uniting us all is our isolation.

  13. fleming143 - August 9, 2020 12:47 pm

    Thank you again

    Read you every day before or after the Daily Bread

    Keep writing Yo make a difference in this mess

  14. Carol Rothwell - August 9, 2020 12:50 pm


  15. Wanda Corbin - August 9, 2020 1:03 pm

    God bless you!

  16. Rhonda - August 9, 2020 1:04 pm

    Thank you Sir for taking the time every now and then to write “to us” and not just about us. This situation we are in has made MOST of us stand back and really watch this world we have created. Not the Lord’s world but the one we humans must take responsibility for. Yes I have seen many good things that have made my heart swell. But the bad is out weighing the good right now. When the subject recently came up the trashing started immediately. Apparently their happiness is achieved by being hateful to others. This is a true statement and not an opinion. I have the scars to prove it.
    AT 65 with a respiratory condition I have tried to be smart. Not fanatical but good ole common sense, cover your mouth when you cough, manners and common sense. On the other hand our neighbors decided to hold an Easter Beer Hunt, complete with over weight folks in little bitty shorts, hollering, “hey, I got yer virus!”. I still have our ration cards from WWII and I think to myself, when did we become so self centered.
    Every generation thinks they are working to make things better but when you look back we keep fighting the same things over and over repeatedly. Thats where the depression comes in. To see how quickly it comes undone. To see hatred 2 centuries old is still rampant. To see the stupidity of ” the younger, we are smarter than you generation”. They won’t take our advice but are more than willing to eat up old garbage with a big ole spoon.
    I take much solace in the fact that I would rather be depressed than hateful hearted.
    Your morning notes are my first medicine of the day!

  17. Phil (Brown Marlin) - August 9, 2020 1:06 pm

    Strong, but intensely caring words that needed to be written. Thanks for sending this, Sean. If your message helped just one person, your effort was well worth it.

  18. RCK - August 9, 2020 1:08 pm

    How very weird and sad that the one thing uniting us is our isolation and depression.

  19. Denita - August 9, 2020 1:16 pm

    You are so correct! We’ve lost patients that did not have virus but died from depression families could not not come and love and touch them.
    I’m a nurse and I was so depressed, 4 months of going at speeds unknown and not knowing where you’re going or how to do anything, testing people and trying to be careful to be sanitized and not take nothing home to family member, spraying down in Lysol before you left work, Clorox bath and cloths watched before any food is eaten or touched. Day in and day out never knowing what to do learning all on your own because no one else knows what to do, having your hours cut and still have to do your job and 3 extra things. And unemployed getting 2400 extra to sit at home and do nothing🥴 Can’t hug and love people like normal. This is SO DEPRESSING! Thanks for addressing it.

  20. Dianne Steinbeck - August 9, 2020 1:20 pm

    Thank you!

  21. Jane - August 9, 2020 1:21 pm

    Thank you!

  22. Sue Ellen Terrell - August 9, 2020 1:23 pm

    I’m 71 and lost my husband last Christmas Eve. We had been married a short 30 years. Wish I had another 30 with him. Depression and grief just naturally go together. Its like climbing out of a hole some days. I talk to
    Jesus a lot, He understands and has given me peace, but it’s still a struggle.
    Thank you Sean for your emails each day, they are uplifting and like you am partial to dogs.

    • Sharon Brock - April 7, 2021 1:33 am

      Sue Ellen, prayer pulled me up out the snake pit which is depression. Expensive therapy would have cost me my job so I turned to God and Jesus. They give me the strength to struggle on. So VERY HAPPY you are still here.

  23. Michael Bishop - August 9, 2020 1:29 pm

    A hick is a person, according to “The New Oxford American Dictionary,” who “lives in the country” and is “regarded as being unintelligent or provincial.” So, even if you live in the country, which I’m not sure you do, you don’t qualify. You are far from “unintelligent,” as this piece demonstrates, and if one of the definitions of provincial is “unsophisticated or narrow-minded,” you miss the mark there, too, even if you drive a pickup and consort with flatulent but loving bloodhounds.

    One of our favorite books, by the way, is Alan Paton’s “Instrument of Thy Peace: Meditations on the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi,” in which Paton, a South African anti-apartheid activist who also wrote the novel “Cry, the Beloved Country,” declares “God’s love, though it is not limited to us as instruments, nevertheless uses us as instruments, so that those who are in need of it, find it in us. It is possible that some will never find it if they do not find it in us. And it is also possible that some will not believe in it, because they do not find it in us. ‘If YOU are a follower of Christ,’ they say, ‘I want no part of him.’ ”

    Paton, before a prayer at the end, concludes his own words in this brief meditation (Chapter 5) with these remarks, “So the matters of faith and love are seen to be inseparable. If we do not love, then others will not have faith.” And so, in almost every piece you write, sir, you allow yourself to become an instrument of God’s peace, and, forgive me if this discomfits you, you qualify as a saint, at least of the lower-class variety, and we all should do our darnedest to qualify as lower-class saints too.

  24. Brenda McLaine - August 9, 2020 1:32 pm

    Thank you Sean. I needed to hear this today.

  25. Judy - August 9, 2020 1:39 pm

    Thank you Sean. As others have said, reading you first thing in the morning is helpful. I also find I do better when I take time to read God’s Word and spend time with Him in prayer. While this is true, I do find myself struggling…everyone else seems to know more what is going on in this world than me. I see them cut their eyes when I express hopefulness. I am 65, a cancer survivor but otherwise pretty healthy. I have things I want to do, people to see and places to go. If I stop moving, I will die. But then I am being told, if I do these things, I will die. And then there are those things I am not being allowed to do. The frustration is swelling…

  26. Charles - August 9, 2020 1:55 pm

    Thank you for today’s column. We have so many people in our community who suffer from serious mental illness. While better, there is still a stigma with mental illness for too many people.

  27. Steve Moore Watkins - August 9, 2020 2:01 pm

    I love you, too.

  28. Sarah - August 9, 2020 2:17 pm

    You have such insight into the human condition. A day can’t begin without a strong cup of coffee and your column!! I deeply enjoy every single one of your essays on this nutty world, and your grand sense of ridiculousness and hilarious sense of humor make it wonderful!! (No, this isn’t from your mother)!!!

  29. Bobbie - August 9, 2020 2:57 pm

    Bless your heart, Sean Dietrich !! Where were you forty something years ago? I suffered from clinical depression. I thought since they gave it a name my family would realize it was real, and I was “not being depressed because I wanted to be.” Anyone in their right mind would know what a stupid and ignorant remark that is! But this was how I lived for many years, keeping it to myself, which began a whole new way of life, hiding away in my room. I had grown children at the time. Began to worry about going out due to panic attacks. No one offered advice to see someone, that there was help out there. I honestly didn’t know that, until I admitted myself into a Sanitarium for two weeks. That was an eye opener! I call it the ‘Crossroads’…it was for me but made no difference in my family’s view. Only by the Grace of God am I still here. I would love to write a book about it but feel a bit inadequate , and there are soooo many books out there already!
    I’m almost 85, and have had a good life in spite of everything. I thank God my depression is under control and I have some good friends who continue to be my support group. I hope anyone who Has depression and reads this will be encouraged … please get help. You have a friend in this beautiful sweet man named Sean….and I love you too❤️

  30. Robert M Brenner - August 9, 2020 3:05 pm

    God bless a man of compassion which you surely are! If people were aware of the people who suffer from depression they would be amazed. It can
    happen to all ages!❤️

  31. Robert Chiles - August 9, 2020 3:07 pm

    “Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God and everyone who loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He who loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. Beloved let us love one another.” First John 4: 7-8

  32. Mary Jo McIntosh - August 9, 2020 3:10 pm

    You are a terrific hick!! Yes, I believe we all can’t help but be a little depressed. I am and unfortunately I can’t see my friends but thank God for the telephone,,,,,I can hear them and that is the ultimate help. God bless you. Keep using your gift.

  33. Jo - August 9, 2020 3:15 pm

    Thank you, Sean. ❤️

  34. bill strawn - August 9, 2020 3:18 pm

    Darn it! Got me again. I keep crying like this and I will look like a 30 day old grape. Keep up the good work.

  35. Ron Wachs - August 9, 2020 3:25 pm

    As a mental health counselor, I would like your permission to post this (with attribution) in my blog, musings,meanderings and mutterings.
    I post as “Satchel”, the ageless pitcher.

  36. Earle Wright - August 9, 2020 3:55 pm

    I have had manic depression my whole life, but it was thirty-something years ago that I began to be treated for it. I did the usual “off the meds” when I felt better and “on the meds” when friends suggested that I might think about getting back on them. My doctor finally chastised me to quit the yo-yo game and take them for the rest of my life. It was sage advice. I encourage persons who exhibit any form of depression to be patient in working with your doctor to find a medicine or a combination of medicines that will help alleviate this debilitating condition that shows up in various symptoms. More people are learning that there is no shame in having depression, especially those who interact with the depressed. There is help for you! I’ll add my name to Sean’s as your friend, not only for your depression, but also as another person dealing with this pandemic and living day-to-day as we never expected we would.

    You may not want to hear this, and that is your choice, but for myself, I have found great comfort in laying my successes and defeats at the feet of a loving God. I am accepted even when I feel there is no hope. There is comfort and grace for me even though I don’t deserve it. That’s all I’ll say about that, lest you think I’m preaching to you.

    This was certainly a good article because it lets the reader know that he or she is not alone in depression or in the difficulties brought to us by the virus (I’m sick of writing or saying COVID-19).

    I iive in a state of gratitude that works wonders for me. Live in and realize gratitude in your own life. Reflect on all that you have to be grateful for and think how much more fortunate you are than most of the rest of the world. Finally, do something every day to help someone else. If possible, do it secretly, so your ego doesn’t get a chance to be front-and-center. You’ll be amazed at how good it can make you feel!

  37. Kathy - August 9, 2020 4:26 pm

    Good words.

  38. Linda Everett - August 9, 2020 4:40 pm

    Sean, yes, I will admit freely that I am very depressed and feeling alone. I lost my husband, the love of my life and my mother, my rock, my friend always there for me in 2019, 11 months apart. I told you this when I was talking with you in Fairhope, Al just before shutdown for virus. Your daily column helped me thru my overwhelming grief and I was just beginning to find my way, and the virus stopped our world. It has been an awful, rending experience trying to stay balanced since March. I know you are with us, your many fans, for that thank you Sean, you are a lifeboat in rough seas. God bless you!

  39. Sondra - August 9, 2020 4:41 pm

    Thank you!!! We all needed this today!!

  40. Cheryl - August 9, 2020 4:51 pm

    Sean, you are the best thing that has happened to me today. Thank you and Bless you.

  41. Linda Moon - August 9, 2020 4:56 pm

    I hope I live long enough to read the 2,345,403rd word you’ve typed. My family knows when someone’s drowning. We will listen, and no hindpart talk is ever allowed. Thank you for this needed column today. If you ever show up on my front porch, it’s a good listening spot for as long as it takes to say and share words. I love you, too.

  42. jane - August 9, 2020 4:58 pm

    Sweeeet to the bone…meaningful and needed…thank you for being a sensitive guy- even if you are a hick. We need more sensitive hicks♥️👌🤗😉

  43. Louis Plotz - August 9, 2020 5:05 pm

    A lifesaving message for me at this juncture in my life 🙏

  44. meg widmer - August 9, 2020 5:13 pm

    ths is an interesting post. I was raised to always look at the silver lining & it has worked for me nearly 80 years, Despite all sorts of unexpected, unwanted and challenging things happening in my life. THAT IS LIFE! YES, buttercups of the world it is reality. What you do with it, to it, for it, etc is your choice. Always remember, YOU HAVE A CHOICE. You can sit down and cry yourself into oblivion, you can take it out on a friend, a spouse, family member or the family dog or cat, but ultimately it is your ‘stuff’ to deal with AND the quicker you do, you can get on with the good stuff in life…and there is plenty more good stuff waiting for you. i must say, also, that prayer has been an instrumental practice I have resorted to over the years. I have a running conversation with my Maker. Sometimes I am bereft, sometimes I am sily/happy, sometimes I am just reflective or working on settling or solving something.

    Having said all this, I also realize we are all different and what has worked for me all these years…will not/cannot/should not be expected to work for you. BUT give it a try…you never know. Be a child again, and just jump in and do things in your life differently. It’s fun and you can learn a lot along the way.

    Hope this helps some soul who is struggling, feeling overwhelmed, sad and unworthy to even walk this earth. If there is only one that my message reached…it’s a win/success. Take care out there. we need each other to get through our journey. And smile…it helps! :O)

  45. Ann - August 9, 2020 5:55 pm

    So true….so many are depressed/ sad/down on many different levels….finding a listening ear….just talking to a person or God….or dog or cat..can be some easing…not solution..but release….these are the strangest times any of us have experienced….just trying one step at a time..then maybe another…if only there were magical solutions…thank you for putting it out there…..make contact…blessings and peace

  46. MAM - August 9, 2020 5:58 pm

    Thanks for your strong positive thinking. And I agree that you are definitely NOT a hick. Your writing shows a strong knowledge and understanding of people. And you know how to uplift and encourage. And how you come up every day with a poignant last line is simply beyond my grasp. Keep up the good work, Sean. You help us every day with your words!

  47. Mary M Berryman - August 9, 2020 6:09 pm

    Hi Sean! I am normally a very upbeat, optimistic person, but I have to say that this pandemic is getting me down. Being a widow, I’m finding the isolation extremely difficult. Thank goodness for my friends who I get together with to walk a few times a week and my tennis buddies because life is pretty normal out on the tennis courts. If not for those, I think I would really be struggling. Thanks for bringing this difficult and painful subject out in the open. I love you, too, Sean!

  48. Sherry - August 9, 2020 6:35 pm

    Wow. You have no idea what a blessing your column is to so many. You have a true God given talent. This was spot on. Thanks for putting this debilitating disease into words. I know that there are others like myself who needed to see this today.

  49. Barbara A W Hood - August 9, 2020 6:37 pm

    You could not have paid a higher tribute to your father than you have done with this piece of you sharing you. He is beaming with pride at your sensitivity, kindness and wisdom. God Bless You. Nana

  50. Karen - August 9, 2020 6:39 pm

    Oh Sean, you wrote this for so many. One of them being me. Thank you.

  51. peggybilbro - August 9, 2020 7:36 pm

    Sean of the South< you are amazing, and special, and loved, and powerful. Thank you for this column. I’m the eternal Pollyanna and even I am depressed. We all need your boost today. And I’m sending a loving boost right back to you!

  52. Nikki - August 9, 2020 8:05 pm

    Thank you.

  53. Linda Moon - August 9, 2020 8:38 pm

    P.S. I talked again today to a beloved family member who is a survivor of the “drowning” of a loved one from several years ago. After reading your earlier post, I hope I listened better and will do so the next time. Thank you again, Sean, and I’ll listen to your spoken (or written) words anytime, too.

  54. Melanie - August 9, 2020 8:45 pm

    You just may save someone’s life Sean. Many people do not have friends or family and have not for years or even most of their life. It is a very sad and hard row to hoe.

  55. Helen De Prima - August 9, 2020 9:23 pm

    Years ago, a friend suffering clinical depression told me it’s so bad that if there were a pill to cure it, she wouldn’t have the strength to take it. Sometimes, I skirt the abyss and feel its cold breath, like the exhalation from a deep cave.

  56. Ann Mills - August 9, 2020 10:09 pm

    Thanks, Sean. I’ve been there, and I know what you mean.

  57. Gene - August 9, 2020 10:32 pm

    The words of the song “You’ve got a friend in me” kept going thru my head while reading today’s message. Thanks!

  58. Marion Weger - August 9, 2020 11:42 pm

    Thanks, Sean.

  59. Patricia Gibson - August 9, 2020 11:42 pm

    Bless you Sean

  60. Joann Thompson - August 10, 2020 12:44 am

    Thank you for this. I don’t think my sadness is clinical, but some days are hard to get through. I still have my husband, so I’m not alone, but I miss my friends and grandchildren. So many plans cancelled and there seems to be no end in sight. One day at a time is the plan.

  61. 1taterbug - August 10, 2020 1:46 am

    Sean, thank you for being there for people who feel they have no one else. You bless the world with your words and your caring.

  62. Ann - August 10, 2020 3:21 am

    Hi, Sean. Once again, you have knocked a home run. I have a chronic low level depression that I have had for over 20 years. I have taken medication for most of that time and have also tried to manage without the medication. But, the meds help and I only take one tablet once a day. I can go along fairly well for a few months without meds, but gradually, the world seems to become a murky gray mess, that I cannot find my way out of. The meds open me up to the beautiful world God intended and the sunshine comes back. Thank you for this column. I

  63. Christina - August 10, 2020 5:44 am

    We need more hicks who are vulnerable, kind and brave. It makes us feel less alone and more hopeful!

  64. MR Russell - August 10, 2020 6:17 am

    Thanks for being vulnerable, wise and loving toward your fellow man. ( and woman).

  65. MyPlace - August 10, 2020 9:46 am

    I have struggled with clinical depression for most of my life, it is exhausting and debilitating. You, my friend, are a bright spot on that field of gray and I am so grateful for your words and caring. Just knowing there is someone who WILL Listen when ya need it is such a gift. Thanks for all you do, Sean… Just THANKS~~~!!!

  66. Cheryl Hatter - August 10, 2020 12:56 pm

    What a wonderful message Sean!

  67. Gordon - August 10, 2020 2:44 pm

    Very well written, Sean. I’m sure there are many folks who needed this. Blessings.

  68. MM Marks - August 10, 2020 3:07 pm

    Thank you for this…means a lot to me that you took the time. Also, I particularly like your point about “mental” illness as my sister thinks of herself as mentally ill. We both are being treated for depression and I am trying to convince her that there are other ways to describe what she is going through. Mine is probably a chemical imbalance–per one of my OB/GYNs who was most experience with women and such situations. Bless everyone dealing with this…hope is there.

  69. Christy Taylor - August 10, 2020 5:08 pm

    You change perspective and hearts and lives. So very thankful for you and your heart.

  70. Marilyn Scarborough - August 10, 2020 5:46 pm

    Thank you, Sean. Yes, I’m depressed. My husband has Parkinson’s and has had a horrible year. We are in Florida where it is hot as Hades and can’t go to our home in N.C. because of the virus and , he’s not well enough to make the trip. And, I’m depressed because I know how horrible it is to be depressed about that when people are worrying about feeding their families and keeping their lives going. I know we are blessed because we’ve worked our rear ends off to have what we have and shouldn’t feel bad about anything. I have too many friends that have recently lost their husbands and others that probably soon will. I am thankful I have my husband of almost 54 years with me. Thank you, Sean for all your columns … and, my Mama was from Brewton, Alabama… Marilyn

  71. Richard Young - August 10, 2020 5:49 pm

    Hoping this gave hope to many out there. It is hard, no two ways about it !

  72. Dawn - August 10, 2020 7:07 pm

    Sean, I lost my son to suicide 2 years ago. The loss of my beautiful son has devastated my family. Thank you for writing about suicide prevention. There is hope. I wanted to share some important information that was passed along through the local Suicide Survivor’s Group (SOS). This group has truly helped me and each individual in the group has made an impact on my life. I encourage anyone suffering from the loss of a loved one due to suicide to look for their local SOS chapter for help and support.

    Getting back to what I wanted to share: On Facebook, if you are concerned about someone harming themselves and want to get help for this person, you can click on the three dots to the right of the person’s name who posted on Facebook and you will see ‘Find Support or Report Post.” If you click this link, you will see some options (many deal with inappropriate content, but there is also a link for suicide/self-injury). If you report this, Facebook’s staff will reach out to a Crisis counselor and put them in touch with this person..

    Also, anyone who is contemplating suicide can text HOME to 741741. This will put the person in touch with a Crisis Counselor through text, which is especially important for teens and young adults who use texting almost exclusively. There is recent legislation enacting a 3-digit number for the suicide hotline, similar to dialing 9-1-1 for an emergency. It hasn’t been enacted yet, but it’s in the works.

    Thank you again for your discussion regarding depression and suicide. You are a beacon of hope for so many who suffer. Thank you for your blog and your love for all.

  73. Donna Richmond - August 10, 2020 8:10 pm

    May God bless you for your big heart and healing humor.

  74. Jon Dragonfly - August 11, 2020 12:26 am

    Thanks, Sean, for putting me back on the right track. I had become annoyed with my widower neighbor who calls or comes over almost daily with petty problems which he has worried into huge problems. He just needs some compassion which I was letting slip away. As my Dad used to say, “Keep me honest”. Thanks, you’ve done that.

  75. Michael Bishop - August 11, 2020 11:37 am

    Sean, in my comment in this thread I made a horrible, horrible mistake that I only realized last night about three a.m. when I finally understood that i wrote “lower-class saint” when I actually meant “lower-case saint,” as in saint with a lower-case small “s,” as opposed to upper-class saints like Saint Francis and all those canonized by the Catholic Church. I meant to uplift and affirm you, as you do so many others every day, after reading your sensitive piece “The Great Depression,” and I inadvertently wound up doing the exact opposite. I’d never use that expression deliberately and am appalled that I used it online in my comment. My dad was born in 1930 and raised on a farm in Arkansas. My mother was born the same year and raised the daughter of a small-town barber in Ashville, Nebraska, and I am so, so sorry that I came off sounding like a snobbish jerk. Please forgive me that stupid and inadvertently insulting lapse. I can’t begin to say how much I admire and respect you, and I obviously didn’t say that, clearly, in my comment.

  76. Irene Torres - August 12, 2020 11:09 am

    I feel like you could be my bestie.

  77. Teresa Schneeman - August 12, 2020 10:36 pm

    As an ICU nurse in the middle of this nightmare and as a woman proud to have been raised in the country and in the South, thank you. This year has tested me and my courage and health beyond anything I would have imagined. I am not sure how it will end. The emotional and physical fatigue of it all can be and is overwhelming at times. But you keep getting up and going even when you don’t want to or think you can’t. Just say a prayer for us and keep writing.

  78. Niko - August 15, 2020 2:56 am

    I needed this, but I fear a lot about myself right now. I have depressive bi-polar and have been convincing myself, I’m realizing now, that I’ve been surfing through this okay. I’m not. My mom had given up on her fight with cancer (more her body, but she was beginning to herself) before this, but now I’m going to lose her and I couldn’t be consistently there for her in end. We have said goodbyes a few times at this point. I feel like scum not being there now, but I still have some degree’s of unknown/contact through a roommate and some work interaction, that I don’t want to bring this home to them, we met up just as this was peaking, not having been out of the country or traveling, we knew we were safe at that time, knowing it might not be until Winter again if we could meet up.

    I was isolated in a sense before all of this, life wasn’t simple and I was still on a journey to recovering my passion and path in life once again after some suicidal thoughts and scary times (before I knew I had bipolar, this is all within the last three years). I’m worried about myself when it comes to the funeral… I’m just so numb with fear, anxiety and everything ya mentioned, and the virus just makes me angry now.

  79. Kathy Jackson - September 14, 2020 7:48 pm

    You may be a plain hick from Nowhere, USA without credentials, but you are a truly beautiful human being. There are no telling how many lives you’ve saved today. God bless you, Sean Dietrich.

  80. Meg Widmer - September 15, 2020 3:01 am

    I am way behind on keeping up with the computer these days, which, now, after reading your above …I realize it is as a result of depression that I am ‘dragging’ getting much of anything done on time. I had not put 2 and 2 together. I thought somehow I was ‘guilt’ of feeling put upon by family, pets, friends, whoever Thank you for your insight and also making me feel like it’s o.k.. It is not BAD, it just IS, and because I understand now why, it is somehow easier to accept. I will join the others who thank God for you and also I thank those who work front and center in hospitals, nursing homes and even in Wal-Mart and other retail stores where people still have to be polite and helpful despite everything that is going on ..and maybe don’t have the time or energy at the end of a long day to get on your site and thank you. I’ll say that thank you for them, too.

  81. Sharon - September 15, 2020 6:45 pm

    I sought help for depression once. At that point, I was a single Mom of a daughter in college and a daughter in high school. My doctor gave me a standard questionnaire and asked me to bring it to my next appointment. At this point, I was not sleeping enough, I was super stressed at work and begging for help from the volunteers of the non-profit organization I headed (without results), and had recently lost 3 family members. There was other background drama involving a.vicious ex-husband, and a manipulative boyfriend.I was drowning and had no idea how to save myself. I go back to the doctor with my filled out questionnaire. She says, “Sharon, from what I see, you’re just tired! Get some sleep!” I literally couldn’t answer her. I felt totally dismissed. I had opened myself up to her, and that’s the response I got? I will never do that again. I will do what women have had to do for ages, and figure it out for myself.

  82. Teri Pittman - October 3, 2020 3:50 am

    Sue Ellen, My second husband died the end of January this year. He was the person that helped me deal with the death of my first husband, after 37 years of marriage. I know how you feel. It just wasn’t enough time. But there is a reason for you to still be here. You have a purpose, something only you can do.

  83. Liz - April 15, 2021 4:56 am

    I’m fortunate to be an introvert, and always enjoyed or even required some solitude every day. Thanks for reminding me that some people are having a difficult time.


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