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Depression....most of us have either dealt with it personally or know someone who has.  It is a terrible condition to have and unfortunately one that is often misunderstood.

My depression started in my teens.  I didn’t have many friends, I felt ugly and unloved (low self-esteem), and was convinced that I was the only girl in my high school who did not have a boyfriend.  I also lived with my mom who was divorced, very bitter about the divorce, and had multiple sclerosis and could not walk.  She was depressed as well.  

Then I had my first major depressive episode in my early 20s.  I had broken up with my first true love and my best friend had left to join the convent.  These were my only 2 friends at the time and I felt utterly alone.  I also was flunking computer science in college and felt like a complete failure as I had never flunked anything before in my life.  I did not seek any professional help during this time, but I eventually got better.  Also, I made new friends in college, I changed my major, and I got a new boyfriend.

My second breakdown occurred after I was married and I think was a result of too many changes at once.  In a space of a few months, I got married, started graduate school, started a new job, and moved to a different state where apart from my dad, I didn’t know anyone.  On top of that, my father had an aneurysm and almost died.  It was an extremely stressful time of my life.  This time the depression was so bad that I didn’t go to work for a month, I didn’t feel like showering or anything and felt like I was in a black hole.  It took the combined resources of a psychiatrist, psychologist, and some medication to bring me out of this episode.

In 2008, when we had our second child, we also sold our house and bought a new house in a different area of Virginia.  My husband was not working during this time either and this was a stressful time.  I started having trouble sleeping and got some medication to help me sleep and I went to see a counselor a few times.  I went right away to seek help and I think that really nipped the depression in the bud.

Now I am 40 and am happy to report that I have had no more major depressive episodes since my late 20s.  I was worried that I would have postpartum depression given my past history but I didn’t, thank God.  I am not on medication or in therapy.  It took a very long time, many, many years, but I am finally happy with who I am, I feel loved, and I am content and happy.

I wish I had sought help the first time for my depression.  I think I would have gotten better faster.  The therapy along with the medication really made a difference in bringing me out of that serious depression.

To those of you battling depression, my heart goes out to you as I have been there and hope that your depression is lifted soon.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anonymous wrote Nov 21, 2010
    • Thanks Dianne,
      I suffer from bipolar disorder which involves a very very dark suicidal component.  There are many times I would have stepped in front of a train if I didn’t have my dad or my daughter.  Having been undiagnosed and untreated for more than 25 years, I have evolved into a difficult person who has great difficulty with interpersonal relationships and self esteem as well as weight issues. I take medicine for the suicidal tendencies, but nothing lets me go back and “mend” my life.  I have found counselors to be hugely expensive and not helpful. I feel very alone.  Society lets you talk about depression, but bipolar disorder is still a big taboo.

      Dianne, I’m so glad things are working out for you.  You seem like a wonderful person and it’s great that you got the help you need! happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 21, 2010
    • Diane it sounds like there’s been a lot of sadness in your life plus a degree of lack of security and stability. I believe that your feelings of depression are warrented given the circumstances. I’m very glad that you have much more joy in your life now, plus a loving family. I know it’s been hard for you with your siblings, though, and I hope they come around and see the value of family soon.heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote Nov 21, 2010
    • Diane, thank you for sharing about this, and I’m so glad you‘re alright now. Your story is very inspiriting and hopeful.

      Sweetie (Ananymous, above), my heart goes out to you. 25 years is a long time to be living with this by yourself. I so understand about counselors and meds being expensive. My health insurance deductible is so huge it virtually eliminates help with stuff. Do you live near a city? Often, there are resources in cities where you can get help for little or no money. It’s worth Googling to see what you can find. Also, if you go to a church, they often have outreach resources. It’s pretty important that you get some treatment for the bipolor. I know someone who has it, and I know how much you are suffering. Another resource - some states have “mental health departments” - when I lived in Texas they had one - and they offer help. You are in my heart.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 21, 2010
    • Anonymous, I think we were posting at the same time - I just now saw yours. We have a dear friend who is bi-polar. He’s shared with us how his life has been and our hearts go out to him - and mine goes out to youheart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Brimstone1968 wrote Nov 21, 2010
    • Thanks, thanks for sharing about depression.  I had two traumatic icidents happened to me at ages 12 and 15 and never ever told anyone about them not even my parents.  When I met my husband (then boyfriend) I told him and he was the only person.  I am just about to complete counselling sessions and I am thankful for the counselling, just wished I had done it earlier.  I am so much more at peace and feeling my confidence coming back and I am liking the new me.  Thanks again for sharing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane17 wrote Nov 22, 2010
    • Thanks to all of you for your comments.  I mentioned in my article that my mother suffered from depression and unfortunately, she never got any help for it.  She didn’t “believe” in therapy and definitely did not want to take any medication for it.  I wish she had gotten some help...her circumstances, being a single parent with Multiple Sclerosis, unemployed, and not having any nearby extended family were terrible, but I can’t help wondering if things would have been a little bit different had she sought help.  

      Also, in my humble opinion, all counselors/therapists are not created equal.  They have different styles and sometimes you have to go different ones to find someone that you like and connect with.  Probably the same goes true for the medication, the doctor may have you try different ones or increase/decrease the dosage.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Nov 24, 2010
    • I can feel for you, Diane, as we have a history of depression in our family, along with physical conditions, and it is very difficult to live with.  My sister has MS and is currently on two anti-depressants, but she is a fighter and continues to go on, I, myself am on anti-depressants for my condition and our mom has dealt with emotional issues also...sometimes I am worried about my son, hoping he will escape the depression, but I can see this in him too...luckily, he stays active and healthy as we all do.  You are a beautiful person, remember that!!heart



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