Monday, May 16, 2011

The Dreaded "D" Word

My dreaded "d" word is depression; many of you don't know this (but you will soon) but I've been clinically depressed for most of my adult life; I've sought treatment on and off for the last ten years or so, but have finally come to the realization that being medicated keeps me at an even keel and I've been on a low dose of antidepressants for about a year now.

A lot of people say "but you don't ACT depressed" and "you're so HAPPY, how can you be depressed?"

Here's the thing; depression doesn't just mean people aren't "happy". I'm plenty happy; I have two amazing kids, a great hunky hubby and an awesome support system around me. I'd say I'm happier than most people I know but that doesn't mean I am not depressed.

Depression hits me physically; I am in pain a lot. I am hypersensitive to most touching which sucks when all your little ones want to do is climb all over you and smooch and snuggle. Most days I struggle to have energy to do day to day tasks; I force myself to do it because I have to, but given the choice, I'd probably just lay around and not do a damn thing for 99% of the day. I have issues with motivation; I have things I want to do, but can't get them started, or get started and get very discouraged. As with the activities that require my attention and energy, I force myself to get motivated and do things or they wouldn't get done. I'm not "sad" so much as I am angry and negative. I tend to fixate on things that piss me off and they affect my mood; I get angry, irrationally so, many times, about stupid things or comments made that shouldn't bother me.

It's hard for me to talk about this because of the stigma attached to the word depression; as a general rule when people hear "depression" they think of people laying in bed wanting to die because their lives suck so badly. A lot of people assume that depression is all in your "head" and you just need to get over it/deal with it. People don't understand that depression takes a physical toll on you, they don't realize just how hard it can be to do the day to day activities that one needs to do to keep up an appearance of being "normal" I hope by writing this, someone will read and realize they are not alone and seek the help they need. It's humbling to "need" help, but a chat with a doctor can help immensely. I have done talk therapy and it did nothing for me, it takes an antidepressant to get my chemicals in balance and I'm okay with that. For a long time I was not okay with it and I, along with the people around me, suffered because of my own pride. If you're on the fence about seeking some help with your depression, take it from me, it's worth swallowing your pride to be able to get back to "normal" and life life to its' fullest the best way you can. If you can't do it for yourself, then do it for your family...your pet...your job. Whatever it takes to motivate you to get healthy; mental health is just as important, if not more so, than physical health.

Some resources for help with depression:

Signs and Symptoms of Depression
The Difference Between Post Partum Depression and Regular Depression
Depression in Men (yes, it's different than what women experience!!)
Children and Depression
Self Help Tips for Dealing with Depression
 Hope Line-Suicide Prevention Hotline

1 comment:

Marisa said...

Thank you so much for writing this. You're well aware of my struggles. This is a wonderful post that I hope people who are in the limbo of it all can seek the help they want/need.

I'm so glad that I did.


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