Why I Finally Got Treatment For Depression

For me, depression was a day in and day out gloom. I didn't understand why people wanted to go out and do stuff because frankly, all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and stare into space. I rarely laughed, and when I did, I did it to please other people.

My mind would stick on subjects like "What's wrong with me? What did I do wrong? Why do I not have friends?" My heart ached all the time. When I slept, I rarely dreamed, and when I did the dreams were scary and I'd wake up from the panic attack caused by the dream. I cried at anything and everything. I didn't understand why I couldn't just 'flip the switch' and be happy.

So, I tried just being positive. I was determined to 'think myself out of it' and be a happy, normal person. That would work for short periods of time, but not in the long term.

That was normal, everyday life.

The Bad Days of Depression

When my depression was really bad, I didn't feel anything. I was completely numb. Life wasn't worth living. My head was in a fog and I literally could spend hours and days not doing anything more than staring into space between bouts of sobbing. I felt like I had a coating on me that prevented any feelings from entering my body -- like someone dipped my entire soul in candle wax and let it dry.

I felt like I was on a cliff of my sanity and I was running at top speed just inches from the edge. On the good days, I felt enough fear that I didn't want to fall over the edge. On the bad days, I felt as though I could look over the edge and lean and not feel that natural fear of falling that your supposed to have when looking over a cliff. I look back on those days now and realize how close to death I really was.

Getting Treatment for Depression
I can't remember exactly what made me want to pull myself out of depression. I think I may have looked at a calendar and realized years had passed me by. I think I finally got sick enough of myself that I was desperate for a change. I wanted to think more of myself.

One day, I did think more of myself. I remember that day as clearly as if it were yesterday. I was sitting at the dinner table, and I realized I was sitting on a wicker chair that had a hole in it. And I put a magazine over the hole so I wouldn't have to sink down in the chair and be uncomfortable. I know it sounds like such a small thing to most people, and something most people would have fixed right away, but to me, it was a completely new way of thinking: I was worthy of sitting on a chair that didn't have a hole in it.

The next day, I began looking for help, and reading all I could about self help and depression and what I could do to fix it. I made an appointment with my physician who referred me to a therapist. Slowly, things began to turn around.

When Treatments Began Working
I have learned that I have been depressed for much of my life. How I endured this for so long is because I had been depressed for so long I didn't know there was any other way to live. A little over a month after I got off birth control pills, started medication, and therapy I felt an incredible change. I realized I felt better than I had for years. I felt like a new person, and people started to tell me "Heather, you look better than I've ever seen you look."

My Experience Now
Even now, I sometimes feel sad. But the lows are not even close to what I experienced as "every day life" when I was depressed. I will always watch myself for it; I see depression like a cancer: once you have it, you always check for it.

I am currently using anti-depressants, and I make sure to exercise every day and eat good food. I have to avoid caffein because it affects me like 'a panic attack in a cup.' I no longer take birth control pills because they were a big cause of depression for me.

I also have several behavior modifications I use regularly: I avoid people and things that bring me down, and if I do get down, I journal about it. My journal provides me a way to rant about something and get it out of my system before it eats me alive. When I have a panic attack, I use EFT to alleviate it. And when I'm stressed out, I play with my dog.

Now that I've experienced life without depression, I'll never go back.

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3 responses to “Why I Finally Got Treatment For Depression”

  1. Carlie

    Thanks for the advice! This puts my depression into a whole new light. Suppose, I cant say I have all symptoms but some. Nice to know that someone out there can feel the way I do (errr.. not nice to have depression, just relating. You know what I mean)

    Hope your feeling better :)

    C

    Reply

  2. Michelle

    Hi Heather,

    I just found your blog and I hope you get this response. This (give or take a few details) sounds just like me. I am 25 now and really looking back feel that I have been depressed since my early teens. I too have taken anti-depressants (about a year and a half ago) but stupidly (and against my doctors’ advice) stopped taking them when I felt overwhelming feels of hope and found I had an ability to cope. No fast forward to the present day and I have been out of work since June 2009 and generally bed bound, barely leaving the house, showering and feeling more isolated that ever (even with my family around me – who I moved back in with late last year. Reading this has solidified what I already knew, I am not OK and magically better. On Monday I will be making the appointment I have been to depressed, numbed and scared to make to see my doctor to discuss how to progress from here and get myself healthy. I have (finally) realised that I have never been able to talk to friends or family about how I am feeling and this had resulted in me continually lying to them, keeping them at arms length and even losing some of them. It has really helped me to read this and realise that just like I have read I am not the only one going through this.

    I hope your road to recovery is going well and I look forward to getting back on to mine.

    Thanks for reading this,

    Michelle (from London, UK)

    Reply

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