You have probably read on someone's blog the symptoms of depression. Now, what? In June of 2010 I had a complete breakdown and was hospitalized for about 20 days. It came on slow but when it came it came like a ton of bricks. It started with sleeping, then not bathing and no eating for about four days. When I did wake up I woke up devoid of any feeling other than fear. All I could do was cry. I called the hotline and told them I was going to kill myself and they were asking me questions in that time the paramedics showed up and took me to the hospital. To make matters worse I was not in Houston, I was in my hometown. The first days I spend either sitting in the hall or walking back and forth crying I had no idea what was wrong and what was worse was neither did those doctors. I blacked out for two days. I did not eat while I was there, I would just eat the fruit they gave m e because the food was so terrible. I had no clothes for a hospital stay and was wearing the clothes they gave me. I made friends and that eased some of my fear but apparently I got aggressive with one of the staff and they shot me up with Thorazine. I have no idea what happened and they decided that I needed to be released to see my own doctor in Houston. When my doctor saw me he too was perplexed. We went six months of trying all types of meds, none worked. Finally in December, I took a bottle of Xanax and pleaded with my husband just to hold me so I could go away. Well of course he didn't. Back to the hospital. I don't know which was worse. I had no insurance so my stays were at the state hospital. The only thing was that I was paired up with people who I got along well with. I came out 5 days later on the condition I see my doctor the next day. When I saw my doctor he said I think there is a medication that can help you he said it has a lot of dietary restrictions but I think it is what you need. I remember getting the medication on Friday and looking at them and just praying they worked. I had a reaction that most people don't have. I woke up a feeling different . I could laugh, I could concentrate, and all I wanted was a shower and Chick Fil A. I used to have to be forced to shower and eat. My husband literally sat in the bathroom to ensure I showered besides I was terrified of the shower. The medication made me loopy but by Monday I went to see my doctor and he thought it was hilarious the way I was acting and was so happy, To this day I go see him and his secretary tells me I am one of his favorite patients due to the challenge I am. As the days went by I was fine and the dizziness went away so I was now being responsive in therapy but something started happening. I would get these horrible memories and I could not do anything to make them go away, so I started cutting myself and it started to relieve the pain of the memories. The fear also started to come back. My doctor told me I had a placebo effect, I wanted the meds to work so bad that they did. He said as far as the fear went, it was totally understandable I was scared that I would fall back into that hole but he promised as days went by it would change. We addressed the cutting and I told him what it did for me. My MD and therapist talked and came to the conclusion that I was also suffering from PTSD. My therapist started a type of therapy called EMDR and it has cut down the incidents of cutting. It has been about four months that I stopped cutting on a regular basis. My arm looks terrible. I would show pictures but I don't want to just put them out there for the world to see that is very private to me. But I have been stable for about six months. There are things that make me sad like anyone else but I am able to function almost like any one else. That is my story. If you feel that you have depression what do you do. There are three things you do to recover. The first thing. Ok, this is where a lot of people get lost. Depending on your insurance you either make an appointment with your family doctor if you need a referral to a psychiatrist. Your family doctor is not authorized to treat mental illness you might need to go to him to get a referral and he might give you something but this is temporary. Would you see a dentist for a heart attack? It is the same thing a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is trained to treat people with mental illnesses. A psychologist can make a diagnosis but in most states they cannot prescribe medication. The second thing is to see counselor this is the person that will listen to your problems and actually do therapy. I mentioned EMDR earlier, it is a therapy used for people with PTSD where it transfers a particularly disturbing memory to a part of the brain where it will lie dormant. You know the event happened but the intense feelings surrounding the memory are less severe. One thing that is important is that you have to ensure that your doctor talks to your therapist. It is hard to do but if you bug them enough they will or at least share notes and when both of them are on the same page it makes recovery easier for everyone. I have been seeing my therapist for eight years and my doctor for seven. In the beginning you might doctor jump but when you find a counselor and doctor you like stick with them. These other doctors did not know me and therefore could not really help me. Then also you have to go to DBSA(Depression bipolar support alliance) meetings. They are nothing like AA or NA it is not a 12 step program because I guarantee you if it was I would have resisted and not gone only because I do not believe in the 12 step model for recovery but that is just me. It works great for some people but I really haven't seen a lot of success with that model. This is just a group of people getting together talking about how their illness has affected their lives and how they overcame it or maybe something is going on and they need support. The meetings are free of charge and in most cities throughout the US. Texas has the largest membership and most meetings. I love going to meetings now. I have made friends. It is great. If you do these things your chances of recovery are grand. It is simple you take your medication the way you are supposed to. Keep doctor appointments, see your counselor, and attend meetings. I know I will be on medication for the rest of my life. I accepted that I have an illness that will never go away but I have the power to control it. There aren't a lot of illness you can say that about, maybe diabetes. I just see people who don't follow though because they don't follow the three things. I know it is hard because in depression there is a lot of denial but when you realize denial is not a river in Egypt and get some help your life won't get better. I guess that is all I have to say I could go on but then you might not buy my book, I am writing a memoir and as I am writing I now see depression as a major theme in the book. So, if you have questions, you can email me or call any hotline and they will fill you with information. Don't live life unhappy, angry, or withdrawn you don't have to. Since green is the color for depression here is my green manicure I did on Monday when I went to my DBSA meeting. I used a-England's Dragon and St. George for this manicure and then stamped using my DRK-B plate for the stamping.
Ciao for now bellas,