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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A penny for your thoughts.

Some people are resistant to accept medication as a legitimate form of treatment for depression.

I am not one of those people.

There were days that I honestly didn't know how I was going to find the energy to get out of bed and function like a coherent human being. I didn't know how it was possible to go on. Every day I did manage to get out of bed and go to work, but I felt so angry and hopeless. I could barely carry on a conversation with co-workers or students.

When I first started to feel like this at the end of last summer, I decided to pursue some hobbies to ward off the blues. I got certified to teach Pilates. I started teaching in December and found so much joy in it. Not only was the exercise itself helping me feel better, but the fulfillment I got from being the teacher was helpful as well.

But that started to wear off. As the uncertainty about Kev's job future constantly hung over my head, I couldn't find joy in my hobbies anymore. Walking Maddie was nothing but frustrating. Going to Pilates after a long work day was nothing but frustrating. Hanging around the house was nothing but frustrating.

When it got to the point that I was going to bed at 8pm to avoid dealing with life, I knew I needed to find something else to help me. I couldn't do it on my own. So I started talk therapy. After a month, it became clear to my therapist that I wasn't able to reroute my thinking on my own. She suggested I get evaluated for medication. I put it off for three weeks. She confronted me about it on a Friday. I made the call the next Monday and found that there was actually an opening that same week. I don't know why I wasted so much time.

There is a history of depression in my family. When my second therapist asked about it, I felt like I was talking about someone else's life. Things happened so long ago that it's strange to talk about. When she asked if anyone had ever attempted or committed suicide in my family, I had to tell her yes. She asked who. I had to tell her it was my dad.

I often wonder about him. After 13 years, I still wonder. I wonder if he's "better." I wonder if he regrets all that he did to himself and my family. I wonder if he misses us. I wonder if he realizes what he gave up when he gave in to his mental illness. I wonder if he has another family. I wonder if he's still alive.

The point is that I don't want my family to wonder what's happened to me. And I don't want to suffer through this life; I want to enjoy it. I couldn't do that for so long. I have hope that I won't need to use anti-depressants long-term. But if that's what it comes down to in order for me to make my brain work, I can accept that.

I accept medication as a legitimate form of treatment for my depression.

12 comments:

  1. There's good meds out there for depression. It's just plain dumb to ignore them. Great post.

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  2. you know how i feel about it. people who think that meds aren't a good form of treatment for depression obviously don't know much at all about the brain. i hope it helps you out!!

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  3. Great post. I have always, and continue to admire you.

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  4. So true. Mental illness runs in my family too and not only is helpful for the person with the problem, but it makes life better for those around them. You hit everything head on. I admire your willingness to be so vulnerable by sharing so much of your personal life.

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  5. You're awesome Liv, thanks for sharing your story!

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  6. medication has changed my life completely for the better. bravo to you and great post. :]

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  7. Liv, I totally support taking medication to help work through depression. There are some people in my family who have suffered from depression from time to time. After my mom had me, she had severe post partum depression and split with my dad because of it. Eventually, she started medications and was finally able to work through it.

    My brothers also have suffered from depression and I just know they have done so much better with the help of medication.

    The point is, if it works for you, do it. Get yourself feeling better, that's the most important thing.

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  8. Plus, the only person I know who doesn't approve of meds for depression is Tom Cruise. And he's just a weirdo.

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  9. Liv, I really love the raw honesty of your blog. I admire your willingness to tell it like it is. I'm glad that you're getting help for your depression. I think it's important for people to understand that it's a real condition and there's help if they need it. I think by being honest and unashamed you give people who are feeling the same way but afraid to admit it confidence.

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  10. Liv, my husband actually tried to kill him self two weeks ago and ended up in the hospital for a week. He has been taking anti depressants for a while. I think the meds are a must but they don't solve the problem. My husband is now in intense therapy three days a week while on meds. For him atleast the meds weren't the cure all I believe you need therapy and meds to help the disease. Good luck on your journey and seriously you should come with me to my group healing circle(therapy)Its AWESOME and its not like any therapy you will ever go to. Call me I live in Ogden now 801 831 1515

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