Clinical Depression also known as unipolar or major depression a state of depression so severe as to require clinical intervention by a health care professional. It has several treatment options, including psychotherapy, antidepressant medication, and electroconvulsive therapy. When five or more symptoms listed on a standard depression quiz are present for at least two weeks, but tend to continue for four to six months, the mood disorder is considered clinical / major depression.

In the fall of 2004 I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I had lived with depression for at least 23 years undiagnosed and untreated. From my parents’ and grandmother deaths, brother’s imprisonment and the sudden halt of my professional football career all within a span of 13 years, sadness was something I lived and wallowed with at times. Mental illness wasn’t considered a possible reason for my state of mind. For years when I would stay in my room for days on end or simply not wanting to be around family or friends I put it off as being moody. Many times I promoted the description of myself as “Not wanting to be around people.” Family and friends also described me as a standoffish person and sometimes I was, but my illness was the cause of the behavior at times. Melvin Glenn my father passed away at the age of 46 in 1977, I was only 15 years old. The next day we had a high school football game and I played, nothing could make me feel weak, even my father’s death. I didn’t attend my father’s funeral, mainly because I didn’t want to see the strongest man in the world in that state. My grandmother past in August of 1983 and the college football season was about to start and we had an important game coming up. I didn’t attend her funeral; we were going to play SIU in Carbondale and letting down my teammates wasn’t an option. However, I wore a black cloth on my uniform honoring my grandmother’s death. My brother’s imprisonment in 1985 and my Mother’s death in 1990 finished off 13 years of tragedies I didn’t expect. I lost in that short amount of time every caregiver I had every known and a young brother who remains imprisoned still to this day.

The doctor who diagnosed my illness said I had lived with my depression and simply didn’t know it. He explained to me in my four day hospitalization my illness and treated me with Zoloft. But I didn’t like it and I haven’t taken medicine for my illness since 2005. Last week I had my first episode with my illness since moving to Dekalb and I was devastated. One reason for my hurt was I also associated my partying lifestyle with my depression. Some of my life was filled with fast cars, hot-ass women, drugs and alcohol, and that was just during the week. Life was raw emotions and wants, savory desires matched by my sordid imagination. The meaning of life was whatever I wanted it to be. Sad feelings were associated with thoughts of over during it or spending to much money. Depression wasn’t a thought for my mood swings and feelings of isolation. All the same, I had made lifestyle changes and this was the first episode that caught me by surprise. It made me understand that I’ll suffer from depression all of my life. Depression for the first time wasn’t associated with an event or behavior choice. My illness was clear to me. I’m a clinical depressive person. Hell, I’m foaming at the mouth right now, just joking.

My quest now is to decide if I’ll have medication prescribed for my depression. I’m not one for taking prescribed drug; I believed it has something to do with feeling not in control of my faculties. I’ll have a meeting with my therapist and we’ll make a decision together. My therapist has being a great addition to my life’s journey for happiness. Treatment for my depression has become a topic for concern but not worry. Getting my illness properly addressed is what’s important. If anyone suffers from depression and would like to share any fellowship I’m more than willing to sit, listen and learn.

Hollar at your boy,