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Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's taboo isn't it? Depression...let's not talk about that...oh wait, let's do. This blog is a window into my life as a young mother with depression and anxiety (it's also very cheap therapy;). I'll do my best to be candid, even when it's uncomfortable, because I know that depression effects many of you too.
First, I want to define depression. I find it difficult to discuss my depression/anxiety with people who don't have depression/anxiety. It's not because I'm embarrassed, but I find that they don't understand and it's frustrating. I once had a friend, a leader in my church, tell me that developing more faith could help me with depression. He didn't tell this to me to be mean. He just didn't understand. I was able to share with him some aspects of depression so that he could be more careful in his counsel of other people suffering. Depression is a hard concept to grasp if you've never experienced it.
For me, depression isn't just being sad. It's often struggling to find the motivation to do the many things I need and want to do; it's getting easily angry and frustrated; it's seeing all the many blessings I have and not feeling the magnitude of them; it's being easily overwhelmed by too much noise, chaos, etc. And often I feel these things for no environmental reason. It's chemical.
I never know what cocktail of symptoms I will get to enjoy from day to day. Each day is different and some days I have very few. It sure keeps me on my toes.
I feel deeply impressed that God gave me the challenge of depression so that I could have a deep empathy for others who are struggling and develop true compassion. Sometimes I experience deep sadness that in turn allows me to feel and appreciate true joy.

My depression/anxiety have been hovering very closely as of late due to a few factors. 1) I have a new baby (aka-no sleep, no time to myself...). 2) My husband will be starting med school soon so we are permanent students (aka-poor). 3) We are a family of five living in 700 square feet of living space (no, I'm not kidding).

I will expand on each of these factors soon. I'm off to bed now (if you have depression you know what lack of sleep does to you...yikes...scary!) Good night all.

PS- How have you been dealing with your depression? 

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5 comments:

  1. Jody, I am so glad you are doing this! I have depression/anxiety, it is crazy bad when I am pregnant and have a newborn. I feel for you! I never know how to explain it and I've never really understood why, let alone try to get someone else to understand. So, thank you for putting MY thoughts and feelings on paper! :) You are brave and I am thankful!

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  2. Rachel, Mine is the worst when I'm pregnant and when I have a baby too. I made the hard decision to stay on Zoloft during my pregnancy with Jonas and I don't regret it. It was a lot better, still hard, but better. Whenever there is a hormonal fluctuation or lack of sleep or both...it gets bad. I'm like a new person after I'm able to consistently get sleep again. Until then it's a crazy roller coaster ride:). You are an amazing beautiful person. Thank you for sharing with me. PS-we still do need to get together:).

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  3. I can so relate. I think I have struggled with depression all my life, but never talked about it because I was embarrassed. I got labeled a "drama queen" because I didn't know how to handle my frustrations, disappointments and mood swings. It became worse when I was working a job I hated and struggling to make ends meet, but I hit my lowest low after I had Troy. I had a horrible labor and delivery, breastfeeding problems, Troy had colic and I couldn't loose the 60+ pounds I had gained. I hated myself and struggled to bond with Troy. I actually felt like he had ruined my life. I kept it inside. Finally, I had a heart to heart with my pediatrician. She gave me some wonderful mommy - pointers and meds to ease is his colic. I joined a gym with babysitting, and finally got on Lexapro. I didn't realize how depressed I was until I came out of my depression. My OB aplogized all over herself for not catching my postpartum depression, but it wasn't her fault, I never told her -- I was to embarrassed. Well, it didn't happen with Jillian. I stayed on my meds through my pregnancy and after. I have similar challenges; colic, nursing, weight-gain but I made it through. I am totally bonded and in-love with Troy and Jillian. I credit, modern medicine, faith, regular exercise and the occasional kid- free night out to my more positive outlook. I am so glad you're doing this!

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  4. What a great blog! I'm another depression-sufferer, though mine is seasonal. Winter is dark, dark, dark in more ways than one. :)

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  5. Yeah, I want to kick Old Man Winter's Butt!

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