Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mind over Matter

I'm not exactly sure if the title has anything to do with what I'm about to write, but it seemed good enough when I started. I've been gently reminded that I should get back here and back to writing.

So here I am.

The medication I have been on for depression has been working wonders. To feel normal again is such a blessing.

For me, the depression happened in an instant. I woke up on April 23, 2007, and there it was. No one died. Everything was going son, my husband...everything was normal---except for me. I found myself feeling utterly alone in the world, without friends. I cried for the next 4 days in a row. My husband said I was acting like my best friend had died, which was exactly how I was feeling. He determined I was not merely "sad" but was "depressed."

I really hate to use the word "crazy," but that is how I felt. My emotions were out of control. Some days I'd be full of sadness. Other days I'd be irritable, short of patience, and ready to snap. I was a far cry from the easy going, go-with-the-flow, happy-go-lucky person I normally was.

I'm lucky. I have angels looking out for me, prodding me. I got treatment early. I have a great support system. And I have great friends who have been so incredibly understanding and accepting. I've even learned that some of them also suffer from Depression, and I have been helped tremendously with their individual experiences and insights. While it is sad that so many people seem to have this, I'm glad I'm not alone.

I watched Oprah. I've read articles. I know Depression is an illness. I know there are chemical changes that occur in the brain which causes it. BUT, there is a tiny, insiduous part of me that clings to the idea that having this illness makes me a weaker person, mentally or otherwise. There's a negative connotation of Depression that makes people keep it a secret illness. After all, it does occur in the brain---we think...brain...mental illness...crazy. And while I don't think of others with Depression as crazy, when it comes to me, it's almost like I should be stronger...I shouldn't need to take medication.

I think Depression needs to be thought of as brain cancer, not mental illness. Depression eats away at every aspect of your life. Without treatment, it will continue to run unchecked and take over completely. I need to change the way I think about it and myself.

I refer to my medicine as "my crazy pill." I need to stop doing that. At the very least, it's "my happy pill" or "my normal pill."

What it truly has been is "my lifeline."


Tanya said...

You hit the nail on the head with this one. I'm so glad you are feeling better and I can so relate to everything you said. Luv ya!

Jellybeans Mom said...

I think you're right...depression is like a brain cancer.

I know what you mean about feeling like having depression is a weakness but you are far from being weak. You saw you needed help and sought it. That is a very empowering thing, a very strong thing.

I'm very happy that you are feeling better. (((HUGS)))

Love, Cayme

sherry said...

I have always looked at and explained depression as being similar to diabetes, a chemical imbalance in one's body that does not allow you to function like a healthy person does. The diabetic takes insulin, it's just a given; but why is there such a stigma placed on depression sufferers and the use of antidepressent medications?

Statistically, 1 in 4 people suffers from depression at some point in their life. You would think the public would be better educated about such a far-reaching disease, but they are not.

I think you are very strong for having the courage to see there was a problem and then quickly seeking help. Glad you are on the mend and getting back to your bubbly self again!

Anonymous said...

I to thought the same thing as you.
Depression is an illness that can take over your soul. Why when everything is right you feel hopeless, sad, alone. I have been there and still find myself saying every day that when I wake up I hope that I can see the sunshine even when it is cloudy. I hope that for you too. I am glad that you got help so soon. I wish that I had.

Your BCB friend