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#41 Depression -

Depression often starts when the eye doctor says, “You have macular degeneration. We can’t cure it.” You might have missed the words the doctor said after that. “There are ways to adapt to it, to live with it, to do what you want to do. It means doing things differently.”

Doing things differently often means using other senses instead of your eyes. Here are some examples:

  • Want to know what time it is? Instead of looking at your watch or clock, you push a button and listen to the time.
  • Want to go for a walk? Instead of looking where you’re walking, you feel what is in your path with a white cane.
  • Want to read a book? Instead of reading a book, you might try listening to an audiobook. Another solution might be putting the book under a magnifier.
  • Want to set the oven or microwave? Instead of reading the dials, feeling for bubbles placed on the dials is a great trick.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video for some more thoughts about depression.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmqdotz0lxs

One of the first blogs on this site is all about support groups.  This is a great way to tackle depression. Meeting other people who have low vision and learning how they not only function, but function well, helps. It’s kind of an if they can do it, so can I experience.

Millie and I went to a low vision conference. It was like a national support group on steroids. One of the lectures at that conference was titled Yes I Can. Millie and I added to the title – Yes I Can with God’s Help. That lecture impacted Millie’s life. It empowered her to face challenges.

Often when Millie would think, “I can’t do this,”  she would make an attitude adjustment. “Yes I Can. Stop and think how?” Here’s an example. This has nothing to do with low vision but suppose she can’t open a jar. She thinks, “I can’t do this.” But then she remembers her rubber jar opener.

Here’s a low vision example. Let’s say Millie receives an invitation to play cards. She thinks it would be embarrassing to ask to bring her special playing cards with large numbers. “I can’t ask to bring my cards, can I?” Then she stops and asks herself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” The answer she received – ASK!

Her friend replied, “Absolutely, bring your cards. And I will have extra lighting at your place.” With the lighting, large numbered cards, and her hand-held magnifying glass, Millie had a great time. Fun times with others are a great way to fight depression.

https://lowvisionmd.org/low-vision-depression This is a wonderful site for a discussion of low vision and depression. I love the sentence in the article – Many are told that nothing more can be done to enhance their low vision. We don’t believe that nor do we accept it. (The bold type is mine)

My husband, Harry, got another Be My Eyes call last week. The caller, holding a white pair and a tan pair of slacks, couldn’t figure out which pair of slacks was the tan pair. The caller was delighted to know and dress the way he wanted to dress.  Receiving the call helped both Harry and I feel good, knowing someone who needed help found it.

I have said it before and will say it again, Being a volunteer for Be My Eyes is a great way to help someone who can’t see what they need to see. And it’s so easy! All you need is a phone that has a camera and a willingness to help others. If you sign up, don’t worry about being flooded with calls. 1,805,104 volunteers help the 105,406 folks who are blind or have low vision. Here’s the link to sign up www.bemyeyes.com

Readers: When do you struggle with depression? What helps? If you have suggestions, please go to the contact page and share your ideas. Your idea might be just the thing that helps someone else.