Facing my fears – Ruth Nissim’s struggle with clinical depression

October 14, 2010 by Odile Faludi - Maccabi NSW
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“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

Ruth Nissim

When you meet Ruth Nissim she greets you with a warm smile she seems so totally at ease with herself. The last thing you would think is that she suffers from depression. It is a silent disease which haunts many of its victims. Ruth openly explains, “For the last 20 years I have suffered bouts of clinical depression which at times has been so debilitating that I didn’t want to leave my apartment for days. I was cocooned in my own safe world.” You may be wondering why Ruth, President of Maccabi NSW, is revealing something so personal. Her reason is simple, knowledge is power and through seeking the right information she got the direction and support she needed to deal with this problem and she wants to help others. Depression is treatable.

Her struggle with depression is an all too familiar story. Ruth in a flash recalls, “I was in my early 30’s the depression was at its peak. I felt like I was wandering in constant darkness with the bitter ash of failure constantly surrounding me. Life was a total blur lacking any meaning. My self esteem hit rock bottom. I was unreasonably critical of myself. I began to internalise all my fears and avoided any social occasions. My mind would often feel cloudy, with a constant internal chatter over analyzing and thinking about everything. Life became truly a struggle.”

Ruth a few years later recognised she had a problem and needed to take ownership and do something about it. She saw a psychiatrist and was lucky enough to find her “life coach” who has supported her for many years. Ruth explains, “When you have a predisposition to depression anything can set it off. A death in the family, a relationship struggle or even stress at work. You just don’t manage things as well as others and you can easily lose the plot.” Ruth’s psychiatrist prescribed anti-depressants after evaluating her and discovering she had a chemical imbalance. The medication levels out the imbalance and makes mood swings more tolerable. With a weekly exercise routine plus the medication and a regular trip to the psychiatrist Ruth has broken the cycle. Ruth jokes and says, “Some people need a monthly chiropractic adjustment just to keep their body in check I need my regular chats with my shrink to keep me in shape. Openly speaking about the condition also has given me great inner strength. The support of family and friends has been essential in my recovery.”

Next year is a milestone for Ruth she is turning 50. Ruth has set herself a personal challenge, to trek to Everest Base Camp in November 2010. She has decided to make it a charity challenge with the aim to support, The Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit education, research, clinical and community oriented facility offering expertise in depression and bipolar disorder. Therefore, if you would like to support Ruth with her challenge and reach her target please go to www.gofundraise.com.au/NissimR . All the money raised will go directly to The Black Dog Institute www.blackdoginstitute.com.au

Ruth finishes by saying, society today puts us under enormous pressure to succeed however my understanding of success is. “Aspire not to have more, but to be more.” Oscar Romero

Recommended Reading: The Dance of Anger – Harriet Learner. Feel the Fear and do it anyway – Susan Jeffers

Comments

One Response to “Facing my fears – Ruth Nissim’s struggle with clinical depression”
  1. Barry Smorgon says:

    Good on you Ruth for discussing your circumstance in such an open manner.
    I am sure your courage will help others who may not be able to seek help without someone like you to guide them.
    well done & enjoy the treck.
    regards
    Barry

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