In This Issue  
Home    |    About Us    |    Meet Debbie    |    Meet Friends    |    Prayer    |    Contact Us
Share Print this page Print Email to a friendEmail

< Back to A Better You

Depression: My Story

     If you’ve never suffered from depression or had a friend or relative who has been in that low place, then you might as well stop reading now and move on to another article because you will not be able to understand or relate and you may begin to feel judgmental.  However, if you are a fellow-sufferer then just know that you are not alone.

A Dark Place

     Depression is a very dark and lonely pit to be in.  Shortly after having children in my early twenties, I began to have an occasional bout of depression.  In fact, my first real encounter with anything other than the general blues or sadness came after having my first child, but that’s another story.  Over the years, my bouts became more frequent and lasted for longer periods of time.

     Fortunately, I was able to function as far as my daily duties were concerned.  Dinner got made, dishes got washed, and the children got taken care of, but I was dying inside.  I did well for a while, hiding it from others, but my private time was torturous.  When my three children were at school and my husband at work, I slept.  This was my coping mechanism.  You see, as long as I had duties to attend to, I didn’t have time to dwell on my emotions; I just sort of shut them off when I needed to be on.  But then when no one was around and nothing was being expected of me and I had the time to think and feel; it was just terrible.

Zero Joy

     The only way I can describe how I felt is dead inside. I had absolutely zero joy and couldn’t wait for nightfall so I could sleep again. I just wanted time to pass so that I didn’t have to feel. I was always thinking about death. It’s strange because I wasn’t suicidal-- yet I did welcome death, if it were to come on it’s own. I even hoped that it would come on many occasions. I knew that things were getting way out of control when I began to have compulsions to want to cut myself. I know this sound crazy but this was my experience. I had to continually cast down the thoughts of wanting to cut myself. I was beginning to fear my own feelings. so I started to talk to my family about what was going on.

I Had to Talk About It

     I talked with my sister and my mother first.  I hoped that they would be understanding and not judge me.  They were concerned and prayed for me and told me to talk with my husband about what I was feeling.  Then I talked to my husband wh, although has always been very loving and supportive, just didn’t know what to do or say.

     My mother and an older woman who had been my mentor from church for some time both encouraged me to go see my doctor to get some help. But I didn’t want to. I thought that if I prayed harder and had others pray for me and got into the Word more then that would be the answer. I didn’t need medication; I just needed to strengthen my mind and my spirit. I just knew that God was going to heal me so I waited. Things got worse. I seriously thought that I was going to lose my mind.

Truth of the Matter: My Pride

     It was at this point when our minister gave a sermon on depression.  I felt like he was speaking right to me.  He said that it was prideful to think that an individual could always somehow battle a physical, emotional, mental, or chemical condition just by sheer mind power.  It wasn’t mind over matter and it wasn’t a sign of weakness, defeat or shame to reach out and seek medical attention when it was definitely warranted.

     He also said another thing that really made sense to me.  He went on to explain that if a person has diabetes, one needs medication, just as if a person is severely depressed, it’s alright and sometimes even necessary to use medication to get out of that dark place that he or she may be in.

My Decision

     It wasn’t easy but I made an appointment with my doctor.  And yes I was scared.  What was the doctor going to think of the horrible things I was thinking and feeling?  Will she believe me? Will she understand?  I’m so embarrassed and feel so weak.  Admitting to weakness was my toughest obstacle you see because I come from a long line of tough, “you can do anything,”  kind of women.  In fact, my great-grandmother died of pneumonia after walking home in the snow from the hospital because she had children at home to take care of and she couldn’t afford to be held up in a hospital bed.

My Prayer

     I prayed and asked for strength to speak truthfully with the doctor and asked that she would be able to hear my heart and hoped that maybe there was something that could help me.  As I began to describe my symptoms she sat listening attentively and seemed like she was waiting for something.  That’s when I took a deep breath and told her about my wanting to cut myself.  I reassured her that I never had but that the compulsions were getting stronger and harder to combat.  She turned to me tenderly and said she thought she could help. 

My Help

     My doctor explained that cutting or the compulsion to be physically harmful to oneself often stems from feeing oppressed in some way.  Often times, individuals with a high expectancy of themselves who don’t see themselves as quite measuring up, have this common emotional response that is then demonstrated in a physical response. The response is to what was happening internally.  She suggested counseling services and began to start me on a medication that was supposed to bring my hormonal levels into normal range.  Staying in a depressed state for long periods of time changes that body’s chemistry or homeostasis levels and may require medication to get back to normal.

The Reality

     To be honest with you the first three weeks of the medication was hell.  I couldn’t sleep. I was more irritable than normal and I had these bursts of energy that needed to be satiated immediately.  I went for long walks and even longer bike rides to get rid of the excess energy.  And then it happened; one day about three weeks into the medication, I awoke after a good night’s sleep and felt great, happy, and even “normal.”  I took the medication for approximately four months and have never felt better.

     My doctor told me that from time to time I may need to use medication when I feel the old symptoms coming on but that the sooner I realize what is happening and get a jump on it, the better.  I have since needed to use my medicine only on one other occasion and that time it was only for a couple of weeks.

     I am grateful for the encouragement of my mother and friend and for a great doctor who made me feel comfortable and at ease with my situation.  I thank God for the medicines he has provided for our health and would encourage anyone who sees themselves in my story to contact their doctor, minister or therapist and get help sooner that later.  A second opinion may also be necessary.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Christina Messer

Post Your Comment...

First Name
Last Name
e-mail   (We will not re-distribute your e-mail.)

Share on Facebook Share
Print this page Print This Page
Email to a friendEmail Article to a Friend

< Back to A Better You

More Great Articles

My Friend Debbie - Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh AirHome & Hospitality

Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh Air
My Friend Debbie - Chicken and Rice CasseroleKitchen Keeper Recipes

Chicken and Rice Casserole
My Friend Debbie - Corolla, NC with GirlfriendsTravel

Corolla, NC with Girlfriends