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Sunday, November 16, 2014
Depression...what people really don't know.
Ever since the tragic passing of the great Robin Williams, depression has come out of the shadows. Now, Wayne Brady and other famous people are "coming out". People think "Well, what do they have to be depressed about? They are famous and rich!". Depression is not that simple. I have Major Depression. I have for years. I take medication daily to help but it doesn't take it all away. A person who has never had depression will NEVER truly understand what it is like. It is NOT just feeling down or blue. It is not about your material possessions, how much money you have or how well off you are. It is this deep down, sorrowful, gut wrenching sadness. Sometimes, it's not sadness. Sometimes it's anger, feelings of worthlessness and having no purpose. You don't want to get out of bed. You don't want to go out of the house. You don't eat. You just want to be left alone, in a dark room to hide under the blankets. It can have physical effects too. Causes you to have pain, migraines, muscle spasms and not make you physically able to get out of bed. Seriously! Ya know, I really didn't understand how a person can be so depressed that they physically could not get out of bed until it happened to me. I, truly, physically, could not get out of bed. I had just lost my insurance and was in the process of getting another. And of course, I ran out of my medication. The cost was over $350 for a month's supply. We could not afford it since I could not work anymore because of Fibro fatigue, pain and the unknown demyelinating condition. So, I was cold turkey off my antidepressant. (Never ever, ever, ever, EVER do!) That was the most God awful experience in my life! When taking Effexor and you stop it cold turkey, you not only create a MAJOR depressive episode, you have physical withdrawal symptoms. Nausea, dry heaving, tremor, electric shock feeling. I could not get out of bed. My body would not let me. I cried so hard and I don't even know what was wrong. I was so distraught. I would not and could not eat because I was so nauseous. I just cried in my bed. After a 2 days of this, my hubby knew I needed help but felt stuck because of no insurance, lack of money and was in fear of the worst. So, he scraped together enough for a weeks supply and prayed the new insurance would kick in before I ran out. Luckily, it did kicked in.
Many people do not seek treatment for depression because, I think, it makes you feel ashamed. You are supposed to be able to sail right through life. No problems. No worries. You feel as though you are judged like you are crazy or weak. For years, I just sucked it up because "What did I have to be depressed about?". I had a great job, awesome kids and finally a really good marriage. So, what did I need the meds for? So, I would be on the meds for awhile and then stop. Get depressed. Put off going to the doctor. Until, it started causing problems my marriage. I shut down. I shut myself off. Easily angered over stupid things. My hubby came to me and said "Jenn, something has to change. I know you are depressed again. You need medication. It's okay and I love you". Ever since then, I have taken my medication faithfully because I know that I need it. I especially knew that I needed it after going cold turkey. Never again!
I mentioned that I would be on the meds for awhile and then stop. This too is a big problem with people not only with depression but other mental illnesses. A person will have a depressive episode, get on meds and then do great. After awhile, that person, will stop the meds because they think they don't need them anymore. BOOM! Big depressive episode! Unwittingly knowing that the reason you felt so great in the last 6 months is because of the medication!
Depression is NOT "oh woe as me! I am so sad please feel sorry for me!". Depression is not something you can simply "snap out of". It does NOT go away if you "would just get out of the house more" or "stop feeling sorry for yourself". There is help. (Heck, you can even send me a message. I will do my best to help you!) Depression is real, is terrible and definitely misunderstood. But you don't have to hide anymore!!!!
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