Professionals: Doctors have different thoughts on the matter. Some prescribe therapy and/or drugs. They’ll validate your illness and help you overcome it, even if it takes trial and error. However, there are some that will tell you that it’s all in your head. I actually went to a female specialist for thyroid issues a few months after my son was born. I couldn’t lose the weight like I did after my daughter was born, and my hair was falling out. When the doctor was done with her observations and testing, she basically told me that I was 'clinically obese and that I should get off my depression meds, get on with my life and get over it’!!! Yes, she shared this with me all in one breath! Seriously, if I truly wasn’t depressed when I came into her office, I would have been when I left. I wanted to say, “Duh!! Of course I’m not depressed. I’m on depression meds!” However, I figured that since she was the specialist that she must be right.
So, I left her office and figured she was the expert and off my meds I went! I quickly spiraled downward once again. My kids were 3 ½ and just under a year… and all I could do was sit in a chair and stare blankly out the window. There was no joy, only emptiness. The stress of going anywhere or simply just trying to feed my kids was immensely overwhelming. It was a daily battle!
I remember the day when just before lunch (what was I thinking) I had finally found the energy to change my son into his daytime clothes. He ate a banana and ended up smashing some of it on his clean shirt. I yelled and cried like someone had just shoved me to the ground, because that’s what it felt like. I was too tired to clean him up again. I knew that bananas would stain if I let it set without a quick washing. This one simple, every day event knocked me off balance once again. The Bully was back in plain sight!
I made an appointment with my regular doctor and she listened to me with belief, validation and understanding. She was my hero! So, that was it. I went back onto my medication. Before long the idea of putting my children in the car didn’t overwhelm me. I smiled and had energy again. Life with kids is tough enough without having to deal with a bully like depression.
Some people don’t like medication… I have no problem with it at all. I was never ashamed of taking it. As a matter of fact, I met some of my good friends through joking around about depression and the struggles of motherhood. Oh, what a lesson I learned from that encounter. Trust yourself!! If it doesn’t sound right to you, then it’s wrong!
People who have had Depression - There is, however, something to be said for knowing others who live with the ever-present bully named Depression. It is comforting to know someone understands your daily battle. We may not be able to ‘fix’ each other, nor would we try. Just because we hang with the same bully, how he arrived at our doorstep is different for everyone. However, there is something to be said for simply knowing someone understands the struggle.
My suggestion is that we should not be ashamed of sharing our struggles. It’s OK to talk about it without being afraid of looking as if we are weak ~ if you battle depression then you are anything but weak! Your ability to share can be a turning point in another person’s private battle against depression.
TO BE CONTINUED:
Cindy Gagne Teixeira
Just like you, I wear many hats. I'm a mom, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and a writer. I choose to laugh (and talk... and write) about my problems because crying takes too much time.