I want to share the story of my depression with you. I’ve had depression my whole life but I want to share my story now because I just started taking medication for my depression and it has changed my life. I want to share my story to give others hope and the courage they need to go talk about their condition. I just saw the #medicatedandmighty hashtag and I would also like to take part in getting rid of the stigma associated with taking meds.
I have had depression my whole life. Thinking back it’s hard to place when I first realized that I had depression, but it was sometime in high school. When I was younger my depression always manifested as anger, rage, an all consuming burning sensation. I would find out later, when reading up on depression, that it can commonly manifest itself as anger in children. In high school it began to look more like depression is typically described: a lost of interests, self loathing, a deep prolonged sadness. I never sought treatment of any kind and so I had never received any treatment. I tried to kill myself twice. I feel that needs said and shared, but that’s not what I want to go into detail with right now. My wife finally forced me to see a doctor, a general practitioner, since we got insurance through her work. Before that I just had coverage through the VA and doing anything through them was a hassle. She really had to fight to get me to go, but I went for her.
I was in a really bad spot because I started working a compressed night shift, every other Saturday, and every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday for twelve hours. That left me home alone on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. But I don’t do good by myself. I was a mess. Depression was eating me alive. I didn’t have the energy to give my wife a kiss by the time she got home.
I went to my new doctor and shared this. I also told her that I had never taken medication before and that I was somewhat afraid to.
“I’m afraid I wont be myself.”
My doctor asked, “But who are you?”
“Who you are has been buried, suppressed for so long.”
Her words really touched me and got me thinking. I was willing to give it a shot and I picked up my prescription for Sertraline. It takes a while to build up in your system and I’ve been taking it for one week now. This is my first days alone with myself again.
My life has been changed by this medication; it has been given back to me. I get a second chance. Everything is different. I’m still me, but I’m more of me. I had no clue how buried I really was under my depression or how it touched every aspect of my personality and life. I’m still an introvert but I can enjoy a conversation with friends again and my social anxieties are so much less severe. I don’t get angry or irritated about everything anymore. I have endless kisses for my wife. I can feel, I can breathe, I’m alive again. I can write again, and I want to share this with everyone I can who may be hurting or need it one day. You have nothing to lose from trying medication. There is nothing wrong with taking medication. Depression is a serious disease and can cost you your life just like many serious physical ailments. Seek help if you need it and do what you need to do to get healthy and well. Life can be beautiful and you should be able to see that. You should be able to live your life.