I have depression…

Depression is commonly thought of as people being sad, not getting out of bed, or feeling suicidal. In actuality, depression looks different for everyone. For me, depression has been in my life for probably 10 years. I thought I had learned to somewhat cope with not wanting to do things, feeling worthless, and putting myself last. I thought I was being a good daughter by shutting up and not speaking my mind when I was against things. I felt in order to be a good wife I needed to be selfless and cast aside my own feelings.

About 6 months ago I realized I hadn’t gone for a run, I no longer would draw, or write; I didn’t have the desire to do those things anyway. Socializing became extremely painful for me, almost as if someone was forcing me to walk the plank naked in front of a million people. Meeting people seemed like an exhausting task. I would come home and need to go lay down in bed. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I didn’t want to talk to my friends and pretend like everything was okay because I felt like I was dying inside.

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When I told my (ex) husband I was depressed he really didn’t know how to take it, and said some hurtful things. In return, I felt even worse about being this way. Why couldn’t I just suck it up? Why don’t I just get out of bed? Why can’t I just be happy?!

When he asked me for a divorce (two weeks after I said I was depressed) I immediately made a doctors appointment. I explained my life in terms of “getting a divorce, work full time, college full time, just moved out, possibly going to die if I keep feeling this way” and what do you know- Major Depressive Disorder and Acute Anxiety.

Is this real? Someone listened to me? I am not making this up?! Two prescriptions and a $15 copay later I walked out of the office crying. I couldn’t tell if I was sad, or embarrassed, maybe even a little ashamed? Nope, for the first time in a LONG time I was hopeful.

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I knew I couldn’t go on “living” (if that’s what you want to call it) that way anymore. I wanted to stop over-analyzing everything. I yearned for the day I wouldn’t feel like I would die inside if I had to impromptu meet someone, or go out in public.

Almost 4 months have passed since I have been taking this medicine. I can truly say that I am a huge advocate for depression and anxiety medicine now, and also counseling. I have been able to seriously think about my life with out questioning every thing I’ve said. I no longer feel extremely low, and then shoot up to happiness. I am very even, and I have such a clear mind now.

I try not to slander anyone, especially my ex. But if there is one thing that I could have changed…. When I told my husband about being depressed he lied to me about the ramifications of antidepressants, and told me he was against me taking them, and that I should just suck it up. I wish I would have noticed things were wrong right then, made the appointment, and put my mental health first. It is my body, and no one can tell me what I can and can not do with it- especially when it comes to my well being.

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With all of this being said, I have one more thing to admit. I am a hypocrite. Before being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I did not believe in “happy pills” and I judged people who did use them. Until I got to the point where I was in bed all day, barely sleeping and even when I was sleeping I would wake up in panic attacks.

As of now, I take my trusty white pill every night with a smile. I know they help, I know they are what is best for my mental health, and now that my life is no longer a chore- I am a full advocate of mental health and prescription medicine.

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