Recently I made the conscious decision to get help.
You see I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. Only first going to therapy when I was in my second year of college. Eventually after I had gotten about as much as I could have out of therapy I chose to start on medications.
I found medications helpful for a long time, and in conjunction with the continuing therapy I found myself soaring, healthier than I’d ever been. As I started to feel better I noticed more and more that my medications were causing me to suffer from vertigo, making me miss work frequently and vomiting more often then I am comfortable with.
It was at that point that I chose to stop the medications cold turkey – not recommended, always seek the counsel of a medical professional when stopping medications. After I got over the withdrawal on my own I found it fairly easy for a while to fight off my depression and anxiety and I did manage to live a relatively successful and happy medication free life.
That is until a few months ago. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me at first, and the signs were so subtle. I started to suffer from a never-ending low mood and was irritated a lot.
And then two months ago I went through the death of my grandpa, my pet bambino, my parents selling my childhood home and moving away, and my mother selling her business. It was a lot.
The first thing I noticed was fits of crying, for reasons I could not identify in the moment. This along with the consistent low mood led to me isolating myself from my friends and family, spending all day and all night in bed, but of course not sleeping.
Which was another symptom, I was endlessly getting the worst nights sleep. Taking forever to fall asleep and waking up a zillion times throughout the night when I did actually manage to fall asleep. I also lost my appetite, no hunger at all, averaged about 1 – 1.5 meals a day and only just because I knew I was supposed to eat, my boyfriend began to worry about me at this point, making a point to pack my work lunches for me.
And the final thing I noticed was that my concentration at work was becoming more and more difficult. It reached a point where a job that typically takes me about an hour to complete took me 3 hours.
Mid October I knew I needed help. I knew I was destroying myself but was too mentally exhausted to fix it. I made an appointment with my GP and my therapist as soon as I could.
First I saw my GP, who prescribed me medications that I have been taking for just under two weeks now. I spoke with him a bit about my symptoms, but my anxiety kept me from going into too much detail, he did however pull out of me that I suffered from constant thoughts about death an dying – although not suicide. He was understandably concerned about my state and made sure that I would be seeing my therapist as soon as possible.
Four days later I saw my therapist. I felt embarrassed to see him, I had made a big deal about booking an appointment and about how shit I felt. And then when it came time for me to tell him what had been going on with me over the past few months, I suddenly felt like things like dealing with the death of loved ones, and the “loss” of my parents was just small issues, issues that shouldn’t be causing me to feel that way I feel. I felt that I was over reacting.
He handled it with ease and helped me understand why these events may have triggered some not so great feelings within me.
When I explained to him all the symptoms I had been feeling, he confirmed that I am dealing with depression. Which I already knew, but it was nice to hear someone say it and recognize that I was struggling. And also to have conversation with someone who would be able to help me pull myself out of it and give me the tools to deal with it.
Along with taking my medication every day I was given some homework from my therapist, which over the past week I’ve been working hard at.
- Stop isolating myself, spend time with my boyfriend and his sister. Do not come home from work and go straight to the room, help with dinner prep instead.
- Hang out with my friends.
- Give myself permission to enjoy a book, don’t get annoyed by lack of concentration I may feel in the beginning and don’t allow myself to feel like I’m not being productive enough.
- Bake things alone and with friends.
- Call my mother and father.
- Go to the gym.
So far in the past week I’ve been trying to stop isolating myself at home, hung out with one friend, and baked some cookies. My mother is still running the shop until the end of December so I’ve still been able to see her pretty frequently.
I’ve been struggling with reading and unfortunately was involved in a car accident just a few days following my appointment so have not been to the gym until I feel better and feel it is safe to do so.
So I guess my point is, don’t be afraid to get help. You deserve to let someone help you, and you deserve to let people care about and love you.
Take care of yourselves.