I wanted to start out by being very vulnerable and telling you my story with depression and anxiety. This is the first time I am coming forward to tell my story. I am actually going to back to February 2010 when I had my son Brayden. Before 2010, I had no history of depression or anxiety. Once Brayden was about 2 weeks old I started to deal with some postpartum depression. I didn’t tell anyone because I was a new mom and my first thoughts were that I am a bad mom for feeling this way. Thing’s at the time were also very stressful time due to my boyfriend going back to work overnights. Brayden had colic and acid reflex, his biological father was not around but was wanting to cause problems in my life. Things started to calm down, I got the hang of being a mom, I figured my depression and anxiety would go away but it didn’t. My anxiety got so bad, it even got to a point where I couldn’t even go through a fast food drive thru in case I would be stuck in line and couldn’t pull out. I hated leaving Brayden with anyone for any reason. It didn’t matter if it was with my boyfriend or with my family. I didn’t like to leave my house; I had unreasonable fears of something bad happening to myself or Brayden. But yet anytime I was at home alone I would cry because I couldn’t stand the silence. It was a very scary, hard time in my life.
Jumping to January 2012 my boyfriend and I broke up and I had moved in my best friend and her daughter. I needed to do something because my depression was spiraling out of control and it was getting bad. I went to my primary care provider and he put me on what he called “standard” depression medication Zoloft. The side effect of this “standard” medication was making me sleep 18 hours a day. My doctor said once I got used to the medication I wouldn’t sleep so much. Brayden was with my ex-boyfriend the majority of the time. I was calling into work almost every shift or going home because I was unable to function. My best friend and I were fighting because all I would do is sleep. The Zoloft was making me lose time with my child; lose my job and my best friend. The one thing it didn’t do was help my depression. Finally my doctor switched my medicine to Celexa. I could almost immediately notice a change and it felt amazing. I was able to function, work, I wanted to get out of the house and live my life again. I was happy and it was nice to feel that way again.
The thing is though; medicine will only do so much without the proper therapy to go along with it. I was taking my medicine for a while and thought I was “cured” because I felt like I did before I had Brayden. So I quit taking my Celexa. I would feel good until the medicine would leave my system; then I’d start to get depressed again. In June 2013 I met my husband Dalton. I had not been taking my medication at the time and I was so happy when we first started dating. I figured I had dated all the wrong men and then found the right one. Well then the “honeymoon phase” wore off and real life hit like ton of bricks and the depression hit in January 2014. Dalton and I would fight constanty. He didn’t understand why I would act the way I did, or why I would shut down and not want to talk. o be fair I didn’t talk about my depression to anyone at that point in my life. I had decided to get back on my Celexa and was also given Buspar for anxiety but was not taking them. I only took them on an “as needed” basis. For depression medication to work, it needs to be taken daily to recieve the full effect.
Depression doesn’t affect just you. It affects your significant other and those close to you like your friends and family. Those closest to you know you are hurting and not yourself but unless they have dealt with depression they will have no clue what to say or do to help. I have been told “you need to get back on your medicine”, “snap out of it”. Anyone who suffers from depression will know words won’t help but they will make it worse. I know for me it made me feel like I was only wanted around when I was medicated because it made me “stable”. It’s hard for your loved ones to understand what goes through mind when you can’t explain it yourself.
In July 2015 I got pregnant with my 2nd little boy Eli. This meant I had to stop taking my medications again due to pregnancy risk factors. It was a rough 9 months not only due to being pregnant and hormonal but also dealing with my depression. I had Elijah March 2016, before I was even discharged I had requested a prescription for my antidepressant due to my history of postpartum. They gave me the prescription since I was not breast feeding it was safe for me to begin taking it again. I will blame it on mom brain I was not taking it correctly and I was having blackout anger spells with Dalton. I wouldn’t remember saying or doing certain things during an argument which was really scaring me.
I had been referred to a psychiatrist 5-6 times and never went. In March 2017 I requested to have my primary care doctor refer me to one to see if I was bipolar. I have alway had a hard time talking about my personal issues to a complete stranger. Yet here I am writing to people I may have never met and probably never will about my issues. The thought of going at the time made my anxiety sky high mainly because I didnt know what to expect. I finally made myself go and I am so thankful that I did. Now I have only gone twice, but leaving that first appointment was a huge relief. I was able to leave my first appointment with a new diagnosis, a better understanding about my mental health and a new anti-depressant. I will still struggle for a while because this is not like the 24-hour flu bug this is a journey. I will still have ups and downs but I have come a long way since 2010 and still have a long way to go. ❤