Monday, April 12, 2010

How long have you dealt with depression? Do you take meds? If so, what kind? What other ways do you deal with your depression?

I could write a book responding to this question, but I will try and be succinct. My first episode (or 'sode' as I like to refer to it-) was about 10 years ago, when I was 19. Yikes! I think I was prone to it way before then, but the stresses in my life at the time pushed me to 'break', so to say. Ever since it has been a constant struggle to right myself and try to maintain a constant composure. It is a daily effort to keep my head above water and some days are easier than others.
I do take medication. I have tried several times to discontinue them, all without success. Looking back I am not entirely sure why I thought that was a good idea, so for now I am happy to be medicated, no pun intended. I take Wellbutrin, and have for about 10 years. I find it makes a remarkable difference in enabling me to feel like myself.
As to what other things I do to deal with depression, that is a lot more complicated answer. I believe that treating depression is at least as much about changing behavior as it is about medicating. I have recognized many, many things that greatly contribute to or detract from my well-being, but these are much more difficult to enact than simply taking a pill. Not surprisingly, these include diet (whole foods, avoiding sugar, flour, and refined carbs), exercise, not getting too little or too much sleep- All the things we know make a difference and what we should be doing, but are hard to put into practice. I am constantly reading and trying to practice cognitive therapy to change the way I think that contributes to depression. I wish there were an easier fix than the lifelong struggle this seems to be, but it doesn't appear to be going anywhere so I'm trying to learn how to deal with it.

Quiz Me!


Miranda said...

Gah! I just want to scream THANK YOU to people who post honestly about their depression. It is such a difficult topic that so many of us tiptoe around so it is nice to once and a while just lay it out there. Favorite quote: "I find it makes a remarkable difference in enabling me to feel like myself." I don't take medication to feel happy, I take medication to feel like myself. Otherwise I spend all of my energy just trying to breathe.

michelle said...

yep. I'm always happy to see people being honest and straightforward about depression.

I have a young friend who is struggling with it big time, but is feeling ashamed and too embarrassed to talk about it. I hate it that she feels that stigma.

My meds don't make me happy. They make me more able to cope. But it does make me wonder, what does being myself feel like? Is it my normal to be depressed?

Miss Mary said...

Jessie, you are truely amazing!!! Love you tons!

Natasha said...

I struggle more with anxiety than depression but have been on more than my fair share of antidepressants is the past 20+ years. I have been on anti-anxiety meds for 6 years but had to stop when I became pregnant. That was hard and now 4 months later I feel like I am still adjusting to no meds. I will probably go back post pregnancy. I wouldn't say it helps me tremendously but it does take the edge off.

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