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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.