Depression and anxiety, my story

I woke up in a panic today knowing I could get a call back re: a job, and so could Stephanie in Glasgow. I hate waking up in a panic b/c it means I’m already starting my day with anxiety.

I’ve had anxiety issues ever since I was a kid. I never knew what it was until I was much older; I just assumed it had something to do with my stomach, since that was where it was focused for me, that and the uncontrollable shaking that I would experience. I’d wake my mum up in the middle of the night freaking out, and I had no idea what was happening to me {officially} until I got to college and took a psychology class. But by then I was able to control it when it happened {mostly at night}. I would lay on my back and breathe deeply. I would count back from 100 or imagine I was at the beach. By then I also knew when I could “expect” to have one, like during times of stress or moving away to college. Once I had that down I had a good period of time where it wasn’t bothering me. Unfortunately I was well on my way to being depressed.

I was depressed in my teens over being bullied in the 8th grade, but I got through it.

I was diagnosed as having major depressive disorder or recurrent depressive disorder in my late teens/early 20’s. I fell in love with someone. And then some things happened and it didn’t work out. My reaction to this was pretty bad. I was depressed, not taking care of myself and threatened to commit suicide. I went to the clinic at school, got counseling and medication; Prozac.

There is nothing wrong with needing medication to help you. None at all. Some medications work better than others. Prozac didn’t work for me in the fact that I became numb. I had no feelings whatsoever. Someone could have told me my entire family died in a fire and I would have just nodded back. I had no energy. I had no feelings at all. No joy or sadness. Luckily I was able to find better treatment options after college and had a couple of good therapists and found some medications that worked better than others.

Once the headaches started the medications I used for depression changed with the headache treatment as a lot of different kinds of anti depressants work as pain relievers. So I have gone through a lot of treatments and am now on a tricyclic that helps the headaches and the depression. I had gone off my meds when I got back here as I didn’t have insurance and the month supply had run out. It was a hard month and a half until I was able to be back where I actually feel the difference. I actually leave the house on an almost daily basis. I get up and get dressed and shower every day. Before it was a month + of me hardly moving, just reading or watching tv or staring into space. It’s really made a difference.

I know that there is still a stigma with depression and anxiety in the US and other parts of the world. It doesn’t have to be a life ender or have it make you stop living your life. You can get help. You can call your doctor to talk, for starters. You can call the Samaritans. You can call a friend.

How I ended up getting medication for the anxiety once it really came back and started affecting my life to the point I was having panic attacks just driving to work? So I talked to my neurologist and he was able to give me something that helped.

I may have to live like this for the rest of my life. I can do things to manage the stress and anxiety in my life. I can go for long walks or talk to a friend, or read a good book. I would like to go back to talk therapy, but at this stage I need to work on other areas of my life first {like getting a job} b/c I somehow managed to come back from Scotland without any long sleeved tops and it’s a bit chilly out now. {not sure how I managed that one}

I’m “ok” now for the most part, but there are days that are harder than others, just like with anything in life.

Thanks for reading.

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