Depression: Good for the Soul?

Hello friends, I’m having kind of a blah day today.

A little bit of background info on me is that I am on the upswing (most days) from a very severe battle with acute depression and anxiety. The kind of depression that hits you like a truck and knocks you flat on your ass. Along with paralyzing anxiety attacks every time I tried to do ANYTHING besides sleep. It was a hoot, trust me. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details of my recovery process, but needless to say it’s been a long road.

I suffered silently with this depression/anxiety for 3 months before I hit a breaking point and realized I needed to get help. I cannot stress enough to anyone fighting this illness to not be proud like I was and to GET HELP. Having a depression diagnosis is no different than having a diabetes diagnosis. Both are severe conditions that require medications in most cases.  Da Nile is not just a river in Egypt. (Bad pun, sorry)  But I was in denial, big time, thinking I could do it on my own.

I had convinced myself that I could handle this depression and that the crying spells and the panic attacks would just go away IF I MADE THEM. But there is no reasoning with depression/anxiety. D/A doesn’t care if you have a big exam tomorrow, because guess what, you’re not getting out of bed today. D/A doesn’t care that you had plans with friends, because guess what, you’re going to spend the day crying. It is the most frustrated and helpless I have ever felt in my life. And I have also never felt more alone.

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So, I got help from several wonderful doctors. And after experimenting with lots of different anxiety and depression medications we have finally found the combo that works for me. I am starting to feel better again. Better yet, I am starting to FEEL again.

That is a big milestone for anyone suffering from depression. I’m here to tell anyone reading this who is also suffering, IT GETS BETTER. I promise.  It might seem like it is taking forever, and that nothing is working and your life sucks (which it will for a while). But things will turn around, and you will start to feel like yourself again.

That was the biggest thing for me, that I didn’t know who I was anymore. I am not a girl who fails classes or has to drop a class because I just couldn’t do it.   But I am on an upswing, starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

That is why even though today is kind of a blah day for me, I don’t mind. Because having a blah day is NORMAL. I’m allowed to feel a little lackluster, because this is not my depression telling me to stay in bed all day. It is Katie, me, just feeling stressed because I have a million things going on this month. It is me, and I’ll take it. Because feeling like yourself and knowing who you are is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s good for the soul.

So I am being a little lazy today in preparation for a very hectic few days coming up. And in my laziness I am being a little introspective. Thinking about the months that have passed that were out of my control. I’m thinking about how I am starting to feel in control of my body and my emotions again. (Only cried once writing this post, but mostly from remembering).

My depression took a lot from me. It took me from school, it lost me my job, it took away my social life, and it took away my ability to run the half-marathon I was supposed to run this month. But It didn’t take ME. I’m still here. And I’m a fighter. Anyone with depression is a fighter, that’s why you’re still here. And even though it might be the hardest fight of your life, you will come out of it an even better version of yourself. You will realize how strong you are. And that, my friends, is good for the soul.

Note:

Anyone reading this who is suffering silently, you don’t need to. I am always here to talk and there are also many resources available to you.

Your life means something, so don’t let the depression tell you otherwise. If you ever consider harming yourself, take a step back and please, get some help.  This world needs you, even if you can’t see it at the time.

Here are some depression resources for anyone out there who needs them:

Depression/suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255

A good website with info and people to talk to: http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/Pages/default.aspx

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6 thoughts on “Depression: Good for the Soul?

  1. This is a wonderful, strong post, and thank you so much for putting this out for other people to read. I know it takes a lot of strength to talk about this, but I can tell you’ve made so much progress and you write about it beautifully.
    “My depression took a lot from me… but it didn’t take ME. I’m still here. And I’m a fighter.” So well put, and so true.

    • Thank you. It is hard to talk about, and there are still people in my life who don’t really know what’s going on. But I know there are a lot of people are also struggling with this, so even if one person reads this and feels hopeful, then it’s worth it to share my story.
      I’m glad you liked it. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

  2. I’m so glad you wrote this! Many people with Anxiety/Depression are afraid to talk about it because society makes it a hush-hush topic. I suffered with Anxiety for YEARS (I had no idea I had anxiety, I thought everyone had anxiety attacks, etc and it was normal) before someone pointed out that it wasn’t normal. It’s debilitating. A lot of my anxiety comes from triggers of phobias (it’s still hard to go places if I had an anxiety attack there because I’m afraid it’ll happen again. Which only causes more anxiety, vicious circle I’m tellin ya!). Once I got on medication it was SO much better. There are still good days and bad days but don’t ever beat yourself up for not being able to do something one day. Some days, we just can’t. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    I love how honest, strong and raw this post was. It’s nice to see other people going through the same thing and not hiding it because you’re afraid of what others think. This was perfect!

    • Thank you very much! I’m sorry you are also suffering with this, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But that is exactly why I decided to write about it. I know it helps me knowing that I am not alone, because depression/anxiety makes you feel so isolated.

      • Absolutely! And trying to explain it to someone who has never suffered from Anxiety or Depression is difficult. Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block suffers from Anxiety/Panic disorders and actually stopped performing half way through his show last week. People commented that “he should have just gotten back onstage” which is awful, they can’t even imagine what it’s like to live with. I hope your “recovery” is quick, have you looked at seeing a therapist – they can be VERY helpful.

      • I had not heard about that. What a shame. There needs to be a change in the stigma surrounding depression. So many people think of it as a character flaw when it is really a very serious disease. And yes, thank you, I have some very wonderful doctors in my corner. 🙂

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