Dealing with Depression

Depression is something that is inevitable. When you spend years and years keeping things built up inside of you whether small or large. Or there is no break in a daily routine. Or you haven’t given yourself a day off in months. Or maybe life is just too perfect for you. Depression can by caused by so many different things, good and bad. But treating depression and its symptoms can be a challenge.

I have been a sufferer or depression for about two years. When it first hit me it was after I came home from a two week vacation from Washington to be in a friends wedding. I felt helpless. Everything that I let bother me and build up inside of me came out in so many different forms. For a month straight I cried and slept. I rarely ate or got out of bed. I lost about 15 pounds. I had no energy. I didn’t want to talk to my family or my friends. I refused to go outside and I didn’t want to be around groups of people.

I finally decided to see a doctor my grandmother had gone to for depression. He seemed to be uncaring and not listening to my symptoms. He gave me Lexapro and asked me to come back for blood work, which I refused to do. Depression is a mental and emotional disorder. No need for needles.

Lexapro had many side effects. I stopped crying and arose from my bedridden state, however I was struck by insomnia and I couldn’t stop eating or thinking negative thoughts including suicide. After two weeks of no sleep and feeling surrounded by a black cloud, I decided to go see my regular doctor.

He sat me down and listened to me and my symptoms along with what I believed triggered the depression. My doctor advised that I should have never been given Lexapro. He gave me Zoloft and a lot of understanding. After about two weeks on the Zoloft I began to sleep and eat normally and my negative thoughts were subsiding. I did still feel depressed and no motivation to do anything. But helping me got to the point of living my life, there was more that was needed than medication. I got the nerve to turn to my best friend. She suggested I set small daily goals for myself. Starting even as small as getting out of bed in the morning.

Each goal I achieved I would check off, it gave me the feeling of accomplishing something. Since I couldn’t go to work because I couldn’t keep my mind on my work, that area needed worked on. So I started reading. Story lines started grasping my attention and I was able to soon follow them and remember them. From there I was able to move on to bigger things, such as working on small projects and doing paperwork. I turned to music that had a positive outlook on things and also music that had a calming effect. I forced myself to go outside, even if it was for a five minute walk to the store to buy a candy bar. The fresh air and small interaction with people helped to put me back into the world. It took me four months to go back to work and re-enter the world. It wasn’t easy going back, but when I did, I was so happy and felt as though I made an accomplishment.
But depression isn’t fully gone, it lingers here and there. When I feel myself getting down or beginning to fear going out into the world, I set goals for myself, I call a friend, I turn up the radio, I think “If I go to work today, that is $100 closer to buying that new car I have been wanting.” or “Hey, that’s another day closer to that promotion.”

My advice to anyone who is going through depression, please seek understanding through your own doctor, and turn to your friends and family for support. But please realize that medication isn’t always the answer and as much as your friends and family can be there for you, you’re the one who has to take the initiative and push yourself to your goals. No one is going to do it for you. You can make all your dreams come true, you just have to do it one day at a time.

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