I was officially diagnosed with depression in 2004, but I’m sure it was present for many years before that. For a long time, I ignored it, as I have always been someone who cries easily. I attributed it to the change of seasons and the extra-long winters we tend to have in western New York. I thought perhaps it was due to the fact that I wasn’t getting pregnant when all the people around me were having babies. But after a while, I was unable to ignore it anymore. I had no interest in activities that I had once loved, primarily scrapbooking and cross stitch. I wasn’t sleeping. I was eating all the time, comfort foods and sweets that weren’t at all good for me. I finally got up the nerve to talk to my doctor about it, asking her about a medication that I had read about online. She wasn’t a fan of the one I had asked about, but prescribed another one.
I was a new person after a short period of time. I was happier and I was finding myself once again loving my crafts. I was trying to deal with the fact that I might never be a mom. I was also gaining weight, a side effect of the drug I was taking. I can’t remember how long I took it for, before I weaned myself off. It was at least a year.
Since then, I’ve tried a series of drugs. I’ve participated in a research study for a new drug. I’ve taken medication for a while, stopped taking it when I felt better, and started again when I was feeling bad. I’ve learned strategies to deal with my emotions. I’ve learned the triggers for my more serious bouts with depression, and while I can’t always avoid those triggers, I can at least cope with them. Through it all, I’ve learned a great deal about myself, and I’ve become a stronger person.
And I became a mom! I had stopped thinking about, wondering about, and worrying about having a baby. That was when I discovered, in September of 2009, that I was expecting. While having my daughter hasn’t cured my depression, it has definitely helped.
Would I recommend doing things the way I did, taking myself on and off meds without asking my doctor? Definitely not! Would I recommend talking to your doctor if you think you have any form of depression? Most definitely! It was the best thing I ever did for myself!
There are numerous places online where you can check for signs and symptoms of depression, and quizzes you can take. As someone who has dealt with it for many years, I would also be happy to talk to anyone!