Sunday, January 22, 2012

Depression Sucks

I suffer from depression.  I have for about 8 years.  I take medication everyday and hope that it continues to keep things under control.

This past year, most of 2011, things have not been good.  My medication did not keep things under control the way it should have.  There was no precise trigger to blame.  Nor did I just wake up one morning feeling depressed again.  I was a slow, gradual descent into a life I do not wish upon anyone.

At some point last winter, I started to slowly slip back into what would be a year long struggle.  In the beginning, I didn't even see the signs.  Henry would point it out the changes in my mood or personality and I would instantly deny it or blame it on something else.  In March, I saw my doctor.  I told her that I was tired all the time.  But I didn't tell her anything else.  I was still in denial.  I thought I was still in control.  She suggested SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  I agreed and promised to come back if things didn't improve with the weather.

My energy did not improve, nor did my moods, my motivation my interest in anything, my desire to do interact with anyone or my memory and concentration.  Nor was I any more willing to admit that there were issues or problems with any of these things.  By the end of the summer, very little in life gave me pleasure.  It was a struggle to get out of bed in the morning.  I had to push myself to do anything.  It was all I could do to make it through the day at work.  Aside for going to work and cooking dinner, I did nothing.  

My house was a mess, my gardens (which are normally therapeutic for me) were full of weeds, I had dozens of unfinished projects around the house and yard, Liam and Henry weren't getting the amount or quality of attention that they deserved from me, there really wasn't a single aspect of my life that wasn't affected by this.  But I really didn't care.  I was full of excuses for my actions and promises to change but I couldn't do a thing about any of it.

By the end of the summer, I was finally ready to admit that there were problems.  But I still wasn't ready to do anything about them.  But it gave me an excuse, a scapegoat.  My depression became my excuse for everything that I didn't do, didn't want to do or didn't do correctly.  

Finally, in October, I couldn't put it off any longer.  I had to see my doctor.  Not only did I need a prescription renewal, I needed help.

By this point I was drowning in feelings of hopelessness, sadness, loneliness and just about every other negative  emotion you can think of.  My ability to focus and get things done was non existent as was my memory.

I was practically shaking as I waited to see my doctor, afraid that I wouldn't be able to convince her that there was a problem.  But at the same time feeling like I could wait it out a little longer to see if things got better without help. (I knew full well that it wouldn't but that's how my brain was functioning at the time.)

Within a few short minutes of talking with my doctor, she was giving me a prescription to increase my meds by one dose for three weeks and by another dose for a second 3 weeks if needed.

Just having that piece of paper in my hand made me feel somewhat better.  It is amazing how our brains function sometimes.

After the first three weeks, I felt a slight improvement.  After six weeks, I felt more improvement but still not enough.  I still didn't feel "normal".

Back to the doctor I went.  Again, she was helpful and added a second medication.  More than a month of being on a higher dose of my regular meds as well as the second medication and I am feeling much better.

There are still day (and probably always will be) where I have to push myself to do things and I still don't have quite then energy that I wish i had, but things are definitely much better.

Now, i face a new challenge - breaking the habits that I formed while suffering through this past year.  But that's another post, for another day.

My goal for 2012 is to learn how to control my depression and not have it control me.  And to write about all the ups and downs along the way.


  1. I am so sorry that you had to go through that last year. I know how horrible that deep dark pit is to get out of. But I am so super proud of you for reaching out for help. That takes more strength to to more than anyone knows.
    Last year, I slipped deeply. I was diagnosed as bipolar. I barely remember last year and the parts I do remember are horrific.
    I made it.
    You'll make it.
    Promise you that.
    Sending you lots of strength

  2. It was rough year, but I am already starting to see things getting better and I am so thankful. I h ave so much I want to do this year and I'm not going to let depression get in the way. Glad to hear that you are also getting help, hope things are getting better and stay better for you too!

  3. Depression does indeed suck. Well done for getting help and talking about it.

  4. Thanks for your honesty especially about feeling better but still needing to break those habits that form during depression. We don't just pop up and are fine again with meds.

  5. Hi Nicki,
    Hope to meet you someday! I totally understand what you are going through and your post was so honest. It touched me deeply. I'll follow with interest- looking forward to following your journey back up..