Depression is serious business!

This is a true story of how I botched my teaching job, a six-week contract, because I was depressed. The problem wasn’t with the students, I would have messed up had I been teaching babies, but I did become very agitated and nervous when I realized that my brain refused to function properly and even though I had notes, I was not prepared for freestyle teaching.

I was the Nutrition Consultant, Tutor and Coordinator for the Jamaica Self Defense Academy. The Academy was responsible for the Fitness and Nutrition program at the University of the West Indies. This program was organized and paid for by the Student Union, which assisted students work while they study in the fitness industry. Not only does it help them to stay fit but it gives them a lifetime skill as well.

I have written numerous fitness and nutrition programs for hundreds of clients. I have written students handbooks and manuals on nutrition. I have implemented many nutrition programs for several gyms and fitness centers. I was responsible for preparing the course work and nutritional needs for students and clients of the JSDA, respectively. Now here I was teaching a class with my brain burning, I mean I could feel the burning sensation in my head when I tried to think. The first day of class went fine as I introduced myself and the program. As the program progressed and the students started asking questions, I realized that my mind had frozen and the section of my brain that retained academic information was also frozen and refused to melt.

I had been having memory problems. I would be in the middle of a discussion and totally forgot what I was about to say. I forgot things very easily. Things I wouldn’t need to write down I had to have notebooks for. It was so bad that I once forgot my middle name. I would walk into a room to fetch something and by the time I got there I would forget. I am telling the truth!

Depression can shatter your mind, it does shatter your mind. I felt dumb, numb and dunce. I forgot what I learned and taught. I have never seen that before. I know people forget things but how could I have forgotten all the things that were taught to me? It made no sense.

There I was, unable to answer questions on a subject that I wrote about and taught to students who went on to become soldiers, nurses and fitness trainers. The funniest thing about that event is that the last two classes were taught by one of my students! She had no idea why she was finishing the classes, because my boss understood what was happening, as a matter of fact he was the one who figured it out.

Here is my advice!

If you start forgetting things, seek help.

  • If you feel a burning sensation in your head when you try to think, seek help.
  • If you find it hard to concentrate or focus, seek help

What happened?
With a lot of patience and encouragement, I didn’t lose total control. My boss was my friend and I had to relearn my job. I started working at the JSDA in 2000 and left 2002. I went back to work in 2008 and that’s was after my attempted suicide and a nervous breakdown. I was still depressed and hadn’t quite regained my self-confidence and a stable state of mind. I was literally fighting to gain control of my life.

If you know someone who might be suffering from depression, please help them. If you happen to know or suspect that you are depressed, seek help before it’s too late.

Don’t wait too long. Depressed people often think they have things under control, but they don’t.

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