I have a secret, well, not really but for a good portion of my life I was told to keep it as one.
I suffer from depression.
Depression is one of those taboo subjects to talk about because it is still looked at us something that is not normal in human nature.
I can say my depression peaked around the time of my grandmother’s death but intensified once I went to college. The pressure of going to college and still trying to find myself was often to much to bare. I remember going into restrooms in between classes and getting a good cry in. I remember eating countless foods with empty calories to fill the void of unhappiness. I talked to my mother about it but it was often looked at as stress, so she would give me comforting words to keep me at ease…temporarily.
I would say my depression went into full force after a breakup from an ex. Yes, I was one of those girls who became severely depressed and almost suicidal after being heartbroken over the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I remember going to my grandfather’s house when I felt the lowest in my life and he took me to a mental health center. I won’t lie being admitted to a mental health center was both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that I was able to get the help that I needed, but the curse was that I was forced to face that I indeed had depression and that my problems were dismal compared to some of the people I interacted with at the center. They had stories of their depressions resulting from being burned alive, abuse from a spouse, or lost of a job that was needed for a family in need. Here I was a 19 year old crying over a broken heart caused by a knuckle-headed boy.
I later was prescribed a couple anti-depressants and took them for years.The medication helped me get through the stress of graduating college, but it did not for me when I found out I was pregnant at the age of 23.
I made the concious decision to avoid taking anti-depressant while pregnant because I feared what the side effect may have on my baby. Although it was a smart decision at the time, it was a nightmare going through not only depression but also the hormonal ups and downs of pregnancy. I will tell you this, if it wasn’t for the support of family and friends, I don’t know what would have happened to me because I was severely depressed that all I did was sleep and cry, I barely ate during my pregnancy which I feel was one of the reason why I had so many complications during my pregnancy.
I thought my depression would subside after having my daughter but postpartum depression reared its ugly head and was a whole different level of depression I never want to experience again. I won’t say too much about my experience with it but I suggest you research about it to get a better understanding if you haven’t already.
The stress of being a single mom, and working at a job I hated was too much to bare and again I slumped back into my depression and emotional eating. The eating caused me to gain over 60 pounds. After being fed up with the depression and weight gain I went back to my doctor who prescribed me anti-depressants and again they worked temporarily but it was never enough even with getting higher dosages and different brands.
After over five years on different medications, and going through postpartum depression after having my daughter and emotional eating, I had had enough. I made a to decision to stop taking my anti-depressants cold turkey, I know this is not recommended but for my own sanity I could no longer take them. I won’t act like it has been an easy journey because it has had its ups and downs, more downs than ups but I am finding alternatives to keep my depression in check, with diet and exercise and avoiding or reducing stress which is a major trigger for my depression.
Is depression a pain, yes of course, it’s something I cannot control, but I am learning to live with it and make it my mission for it to not take over my life like it had in the past.
What are your experiences with depression?